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Thread: Being taught to fall

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    Default Being taught to fall

    I was watching a documentary this morning on the tube where the main topic was teaching people how to fall properly - these were skateboarders and BMX competitors.

    I found this interesting because being taught how to fall and when to stop the fight against a fall was a very important part of the amateur wrestling clubs I'm still involved with. In amateur wrestling and especially at the senior high school level, there were sometime falls that resulted in an athlete being injured or concussed and usually that athlete was just a high school wrestler where the very short season did not allow for the amount of instruction that a club wrestler could attain.

    Now learning how to fall and when to stop fighting the fall is a very difficult thing for many wrestlers to wrap their head (and bodies) around. The ones that did figure it out rarely got injured and the ones that really figured out often could take a deliberate fall and turn it into a very advantageous position for themselves against their competitor.

    That all said, are kids/athletes taught how and when to fall in other amateur sports because falling is a pretty much a part of every sport. Is it taught in the amateur sports that your kids are involved in, have you been taught this in any sport you were involved in? Hockey, soccer, football, baseball, it doesn't matter because falls are a part of all of these sports and I'm curious as to how commonplace it is for this skill set to be taught.
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    Its not common at all unless youre self taught or have taken part in the sports mentioned. I know martial arts (most) teach this as well - judo 101 for eg.

    I learned how to crash properly at speed on the MT bike - after years of riding, the only serious injury I had was a broken collarbone cause by a sudden separation of head tube from frame (no warning). All the crashes I had usually resulted in scrapes and bruises as I learned to roll and tuck.

    When you crash at speed you have time to think (time slows down) and you have time to say things like GO WITH IT (dont try to stop) several times in your head.
    Last edited by revelations; 06-22-2019 at 12:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by revelations View Post
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    Its not common at all unless youre self taught or have taken part in the sports mentioned. I know martial arts (most) teach this as well - judo 101 for eg.

    I learned how to crash properly at speed on the MT bike - after years of riding, the only serious injury I had was a broken collarbone cause by a sudden separation of head tube from frame (no warning). All the crashes I had usually resulted in scrapes and bruises as I learned to roll and tuck.

    When you crash at speed you have time to think (time slows down) and you have time to say things like GO WITH IT (dont try to stop) several times in your head.
    I learned how to fall from Judo. It does have a huge impact in the real world. Its more subconscious behaviour and muscle memory.
    The same applies when having physical confrontational, it just became instinctive to move to the side of the person. It gives the angle to throw them down if need be.

    The biking one is interesting. I actually agree. There are times where its been instinctive to press the brakes, but experience has shown to just go with it, balance the bike and let the bike/frame itself take the hit.

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    I learned to fall from gymnastics as a kid. I didn't realize how much it helped until high school when a friend's mom (who's a gymnastics coach) pointed it out when she saw me take a hit in a basketball game.
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    Snapped two of my arms in half skateboarding and one snowboarding. Needless to say, I learned to fall properly after the 3rd break. It’s tough to think that quickly when your surprised with a fall though, your first instinct is to always put your arms down. Definitely takes some brain rewiring to fall properly if you haven’t been taught that way from a young age.

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    It’s the very first thing we teach our kids in Judo.

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    I took judo when I was a young teenager and that taught ability to fall still is something I utilize without even thinking - I've took a fall recently on a job site at Cochrane in muddy and wet conditions and looking back, I can see how I just rolled with the fall as opposed to trying to stay upright and avoid getting muddy. The ability to fall properly is probably why I haven't had a twisted ankle for as long as I can remember.
    Moran supreme

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    Knowing how to fall has saved me countless injuries through my life and left only small abrasions etc. in their place. The few times I have had more major trauma there just was no good way out haha

    I do this in my own way with my son though, with the exception of a helmet I don't put protective gear on him in the skate park or anywhere else. Learning how to fall and take a little bit of pain without protection is a very necessary skill. We talk about the crashes and what to do next time, I think it works.
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    Thought this thread was about learning to FAIL, and oh boy did I have some stories to tell! But yeah, fall, I have no technique for that.

    As for teaching my kids, I mostly just let them hurt themselves with normal activities and that seems to be helping them learn a bit about personal risk assessment. They are pretty careful riding bikes down hills, climbing trees, using sharp knives or hot glue guns. Some kind of marital art would probably be a good idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtraSlow View Post
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    Thought this thread was about learning to FAIL, and oh boy did I have some stories to tell! But yeah, fall, I have no technique for that.

    As for teaching my kids, I mostly just let them hurt themselves with normal activities and that seems to be helping them learn a bit about personal risk assessment. They are pretty careful riding bikes down hills, climbing trees, using sharp knives or hot glue guns. Some kind of marital art would probably be a good idea.
    Judo would probably be the best choice.
    Moran supreme

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    Didn't realize there was so many Judo guys here. I haven't done Judo in a majorly long time, but I'm guessing doing it at such a young age helped. Impossible to say if or how many times it has saved me from breaking bones or injuring myself? But based on how many times I hear about people breaking their wrists from just tripping or slipping on ice, leads me to believe being taught how to fall properly for the first month of Judo gave me a leg up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Misterman View Post
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    Didn't realize there was so many Judo guys here. I haven't done Judo in a majorly long time, but I'm guessing doing it at such a young age helped. Impossible to say if or how many times it has saved me from breaking bones or injuring myself? But based on how many times I hear about people breaking their wrists from just tripping or slipping on ice, leads me to believe being taught how to fall properly for the first month of Judo gave me a leg up.
    The first month? Kids & adults practice Ukemi every class as long as they continue to practice Judo. It’s not something you only learn for a month, it’s forever. It becomes natural.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 89coupe View Post
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    The first month? Kids & adults practice Ukemi every class as long as they continue to practice Judo. It’s not something you only learn for a month, it’s forever. It becomes natural.
    Yes. The first month where it's basically the only thing you learn. After that it's essentially just practice.

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    Decades of Judo has perfected my ability to take a hard fall, whether by throw or otherwise, and get back up. If you're at a Judo club and they aren't practicing breakfalls during every class, you aren't at a Judo club. I've taught countless kids and adults proper ukemi to keep them safe, it requires a lot of good repitive practice to overcome the natural (and stupid) reaction of trying to post with an arm to stop your, and potentially your opponents, body weight from hitting the ground. Once your balance is broken and you're past the point of no return, you are going to hit the ground, you need to maximize the surface area hitting the ground, not minimize it by sticking your hand out.
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