Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Simon, Sep 9, 2021.

  1. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    A young lad at work asked if I had any links that could help him with his breakfalls.

    Any go to sites you lot trust?
  2. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    What's the context?

    Judo shiai or randori?

    Or just taking throws via drilling?

    Generally you can't go to far wrong with judo ukemi, googling kodokan ukemi brings up quite a few videos. You have to be carefull because there's a few strategies in shiai judo for breakfalling in a way that doesn't give away the score, but are more dangerous then regular ukemi, which probably isn't what he's looking for.

    Tom bayley, axelb, Mitch and 2 others like this.
  3. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    That is what I've been looking for. Did breakfalls in Jujutsu years ago, and based on the amount of Shuiajiao you find in Taijiquan I think breakfall training would be of great benefit to those wanting more than the health side of taijiquan. Actually the Wu family in Toronto has breakfalls as part of the curriculum. I am planning on working with some aikido folks on breakfalls when the new knee allows, but I can train some of that from the second video now. Thanks
    axelb likes this.
  4. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    I'll be honest I'm not sure what art he does. Someone must have said, "Oh Simon does martial arts" and he approached and asked.
    axelb, Dead_pool and Mushroom like this.
  5. Aegis

    Aegis River Guardian Admin Supporter

    I've only ever taught breakfalls in person, which really helps because you can see what particular errors they're dealing with (everyone has them!). Sorry, I can't really help.
  6. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    I'll probably just invite him along to a session.
    Dead_pool and Mitch like this.
  7. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    I'm great at breakfalls.....whenever I fall I break something.*

    *Think that joke's older than me.
    Zambuka, Anth, Mitch and 2 others like this.
  8. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    This would be a perfect opportunity for the "manly man" meme, where the caption is, "Breakfalls? You mean the thing my opponents have to do?"

    It took me less time to write this than it would to create the meme. Use your imagination folks!

    (Real talk though breakfalls are probably the #1 most transferable skill from martial arts into other areas of life. From running, to falling off vehicles, to tripping or sliding down a ramp . . . . learning to breakfall is 100% the reason I haven't broken more bones in my life xD)
    Dunc, Anth, axelb and 2 others like this.
  9. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    I think this is the right approach. Mind you, my second Instructor said I rolled, "like a 50 pence piece." :D
    Anth, Alansmurf, hewho and 2 others like this.
  10. Aegis

    Aegis River Guardian Admin Supporter

    That strikes me as the best possible idea. If nothing else, a single session will show just how difficult it is to fall properly and how much practice is needed!
    Simon likes this.
  11. Anth

    Anth Daft. Supporter

    I still do - corner, corner, corner, flat on my face!
    Mitch likes this.
  12. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    Building on the point made by Deadpool.

    Some sport based breakfalls actually carry a relatively higher risk of injury because they are designed so that the shoulders do not hit the floor which would loose points. But even in a non sporting context. Breakfall technique can vary a surprising amount based on the purpose and the situation. E,g. some standing jujitsu and aikdo styles teach the backward breakfall with the hands slapping the floor at around hip hight. This leads to a smother roll and less of an impact across the shoulders. But in our hung gar we teach the backward breakfall with the slap at just below shoulder hight. This leads to a much harder impact, particularly aross the shoulders, but it removes the requirement to roll out. Handy if someone has you by the waist or angles at the time.

    Also worth thinking about what breakfalls are really required in general every day use. A forward single hand/shoulder breakfall to dead stop on the floor has saved me from serious injury in bicycle accidents too many times than I would like to think of. Also the forward flat face breakfall (no roll). Backward and backward side breakfalls turn up most in sparing. But although I do a mean handstand cutaway breakfall, I have never had to perform one for real. The same goes for the forward no hand breakfall.
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  13. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    ^ really good points!

    I usually slap the mat close to the hips, at about 45 degrees or less, partially so I'm less likely to post and break my arm, and partially so I don't slap anyone else on the way down, if the mat is busy.

    I try to go to extremes so either stiff body and absorb the momentum with my core, or slap and roll depending in how I'm getting thrown.

    I've also found cupping my hand and slapping with the fingers together takes the sting out of the slap too.
  14. Dunc

    Dunc Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    I agree 100% with this and it's based on several potentially life changing accidents that were non-events as a result of my knowing how to break fall

    As an aside I genuinely don't know why folks do the mat slapping thing
    Seems to me to be a bad idea on hard or uneven surfaces as well as taking an arm out of the fight for a while

    I put this video out as an intro. Unfortunately I never got around to doing the other techniques like the break falls (ie when you don't roll)
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  15. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    The mat slapping thing does two things from what I can tell.

    1) stops you posting your arm whilst being taken down and breaking your collar bone/worse.

    2) When you can't roll out it significantly reduces the force on your body, im not 100% on why that would be, partially as a timing device I think.

    As far as I can tell it's intended as a way to reduce the impact on your body for training on mats, but since that's where I do all my training, and there's no "better" alternative, I'm fine with that.

    Edit: nice rolling!
    Dunc likes this.
  16. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Tom brings up a good point about sport scoring. On dangerous ground your best bet is to hang on to the person throwing you, which will often end in a position easy for them to score points if you were sparring to sport rules.

    There is a big difference between being thrown on mats and on unsafe surfaces, and that is two chunks of rubber under your feet. You can use the same principle as slapping a mat by taking force out of your landing with the sole of a shoe. Failing that then lightly rolling along the forearm to the shoulder can be a last option, but you need good sensitivity and timing for that.

    You get good at the context in which you train, so if me and dead_pool swapped training environments, I'd have broken feet and he'd have broken hands. :)
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  17. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    below is very close to how I teach break falls to beginners. I am slightly different in the use and placement of the arms. when teaching the forward roll Instead of tucking the rolling arm under the shoulder I keep it out in front. The hands and feet make a diamond shape. if you look 1.55 in on the video I would have my right foot, left knee, and left hand in the same position (the east, south, and west corners of the diamond), but my right hand is be extended forward to make the point of the diamond. I do not tuck it back under the left shoulder. this gives more surface to roll over allowing more control and more time. you can see that begins to do this in the standing forward break fall at the end (9.31).

    On the side break fall I slap the ground above my head, not by the hip. on the backward I slap higher. there is not cost to the diamond approach to the forward roll and it reduces the chances of landing hard on the shoulder or back if you mess up. the cost of a higher slap in the side and backward break fall is that you get a much harder percussion on the arms and some increased shock to the back or ribs. the benefit is that it is much better at reducing rotational movement that can whiplash the head into the ground.

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
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  18. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I find the mechanics of breakfalls from actually being thrown and just falling over to be generally different.

    I'm having a hard time visualising these solo drills in the context of being thrown by a person who is trying to dictate how you land.
    Dead_pool likes this.
  19. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    The fundamentals are the same .these sort of drills introduce the fundamentals of break falling. to continue to learn and develop a practical understanding you learn to fall in isolation, then you learn to be thrown by a compliment partner while complying with the throw yourself. then you learn the different defences to the different throws and how to break fall out of them if your defence fails. then you learn how to break fall from a thrower who is out to make life difficult. then you practice putting it all together.
    Dead_pool likes this.
  20. Dunc

    Dunc Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    As usual I agree with @David Harrison
    In my style when landing from a big (eg hip) throw you have to try to get your feet down first. This has the advantage of preventing your body getting broken by any lumpy bits of the ground, but in a sporting context it's not so good because you have to hold onto your opponent to some extent to turn enough so your feet engage
    Here's an example

    Whilst slapping may help in terms of learning how to avoid posting the arm I think it's fairly straightforward to learn how not to post your arm by tucking your arms in (which seems to be a good idea generally)
    When you're thrown flat on your face and can't roll then you do need to use your arms to absorb the force. However, I think it's better to do this as softly as possible. It seems really odd to physically slap the ground if it is hard or lumpy. So in our style we use the arms more like shock absorbers (hope that makes sense)
    When you're thrown backwards and the distance is not appropriate to roll, there is some value in laying one arm out so you can do the technical stand up immediately. But again there's no need to slap the floor, the force of the fall can be taken with your buttocks or shoulder blades (there's a technique to this) and again I don't see the value in striking your arm into a potentially lumpy hard surface
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021

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