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The Importance of Learning to Fall

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posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 06:51 PM
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I saw something again today that I see too often. The Michigan quarterback in a football game got what appeared to be a very bad concussion at the end of being tackled. This case, like many others, could likely have been avoided while still playing the game. The problem is that players are never taught to fall properly.

I was about 43 when I learned to fall, as it was then that I took my son to some tae kwon do classes, and I was asked to join in. I was part of that do jang for about ten years. As part of tae kwon do there are a series of "takedown" moves, and to practice them we had to practice against each other. In order to avoid injury, one of the most important things right away was to learn to fall.

The first thing to know about falling is this - don't hit your head! The second is more general - disperse the force over a wide area to absorb the energy! Those two things are the key to avoid injury. We were taught to generally bury our chin in our chest, and then slap the floor with our forearms or full arms (airplane style) to absorb the blows. This works if falling backward or on the side. If falling forward you should again slap the floor with your forearms and palms of your hands, but in this case make sure your head is up to keep it from hitting the floor. To spread the force evenly, try to make sure that as much of your body hits at the same time as is possible.

As you are falling, there is a natural tendency to try and catch yourself. Aaron Rodgers did that on a couple of his injuries. The problem with that approach is that all the force will end up on a joint or single bone and that can lead to injury. You need to instead spread the force out over a wide area. It may seem like you'd be injured more by allowing the fall to complete, but that actually isn't the case. If you know how to spread the blow you can fall over and over with no ill effect.

It may seem like there isn't enough time to save yourself when you are falling as you might think it happens too fast. But from lots of experience I can assure you that there is quite a bit of time if you are aware of the techniques to avoid harm. You have plenty of time to properly position yourself. Elderly people, especially vulnerable to falls, should know about the proper techniques, although they may be too late in life for training. But certainly football should, in my opinion, be teaching proper falling techniques in the very first lessons of the game. I knew a former professional who told me he had never been taught how to fall in his entire career. My guess is that most coaches don't even know about this important safety issue.

I've tried writing about this a few times before, but it never got any traction. So I thought I'd try again today by writing here. It is just such a waste to see fine young men suffer needless injury. Football is a rough game, and injuries will no doubt occur no matter what. But I am certain that learning how to fall could eliminate a substantial and important fraction of the injuries, so I am hoping this post will help get the word out. Please pass it along!

edit on 18-11-2017 by delbertlarson because: Corrected typo




posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 07:12 PM
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a reply to: delbertlarson

You left out one critical detail,exhaling slowly before you hit the ground,this will cushion the blow significantly.
I learned that when I was learning some Tai Chi,now the Tai Chi moves I learned never came in handy but learning how to fall right has saved me from injury.



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 07:22 PM
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originally posted by: VashTheStampede
a reply to: delbertlarson

You left out one critical detail,exhaling slowly before you hit the ground,this will cushion the blow significantly.
I learned that when I was learning some Tai Chi,now the Tai Chi moves I learned never came in handy but learning how to fall right has saved me from injury.


Thanks for the additional tip.



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 07:39 PM
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a reply to: delbertlarson

What you are describing is how to fall based on Judo techniques.



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 07:55 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

Its the same for Kung Fu basically.
At least, that's how we were taught in Lau Gar.
Hard floor, too, no mats for us.
edit on 18-11-2017 by Tulpa because: Damned autospell!



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 08:07 PM
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Keep your chin tucked into your chest when rolling or being or being thrown, so that you won't have your neck sprained or twisted.



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 08:25 PM
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a reply to: delbertlarson

Your suggesting a relevant technique to martial arts, one that if applied appropriately is in reality an effective defence against an opponent intent on killing you.



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 08:36 PM
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a reply to: delbertlarson

Why fall when you can fly?



SnF



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 08:39 PM
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To be specific that could fall into the category of Mountain Shaolin or otherwise



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 08:54 PM
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In the first place with respect to this form of defense, being on your back, to the ground, with respects to the techniques. there is a defense, that is part of the training.


In respect to Mountain Shaolin.


Knowing yourself does not mean you understand your opponent
Unless you understand that the only real opponent is yourself

Thoughts?



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 09:00 PM
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a reply to: delbertlarson

I'm in my late 50's, about 6 months ago I was putting up sheet rock on the ceiling of our garage. I was standing on the top step of the step ladder. Yea, yea, I know that's a no no, but I was doing it all day without a problem. As fate would have it, the ladder started to wobble and I knew I was going down. What's crazy is during the balancing act, which seemed like a good 5 seconds, I had time to think of the best way to land when I hit the concrete. I instinctively knew I had to keep my head up when I came in contact with the floor. I landed a little more on the left side of my back, and luckily my head didn't snap back onto the concrete floor. I laid there for a good 5 minutes. I was afraid when I stood up, something on my body was going to be broken.

Lucky nothing was broke, but my left side ached for a good 3 months! I trashed the damn step ladder a week later.



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 09:13 PM
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a reply to: delbertlarson

Good info. When I was a kid my father told me how to fall judo like. It saved my life more than once. for me it was not sports but work. Falling from a ladders is not fun.

I was working at a saw mill years ago and I had to setup a 8 foot step ladder and set it up in the only place I could. Going up and down for a few hours it was routine. They moved my ladder at shift change and turn it around. the top rung was not there. Falling back off 8 feet backwards on to cement. not cool but it worked. Falling backwards. I hit my elbow, that was it. I got up and was pissed off.



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 09:18 PM
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i great place to learn to fall and roll without getting too beat up is in sand dunes. u can chuck yourself off of those and generally be perfectly fine even if u screw it up. learned that way as a kid on camping trips. it was a blast messing around with my friends in the dunes



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 10:00 PM
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a reply to: Kashai

Ok so seriously you take on a Shaolin Monk in in deathmatch and you do not understand this?

It is possible that after it is over there could be people checking for loose change upon your carcass.

Yes, that is scary but hey if you have decided to vacation in the mountains of China perhaps you should not get yourself into a fight unless you understand this.
edit on 18-11-2017 by Kashai because: Added content



posted on Nov, 18 2017 @ 10:15 PM
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I was twenty one and in Judo when I learned to fall. After I turned sixty, I spend my time learning how not to fall.



posted on Nov, 19 2017 @ 04:45 AM
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a reply to: delbertlarson

I've never had a problem falling and never felt I needed any special training.

It's the landings that hurt and need to be practiced.



posted on Nov, 19 2017 @ 05:29 AM
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a reply to: delbertlarson

In horseback riding, some riding programs here in France spend time on falling lessons. Where you have to purposefully fall off your horse at different gaits, learning how to do it correctly to lessen the chance of getting injured. Only makes sense!
edit on 19-11-2017 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 19 2017 @ 06:15 AM
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originally posted by: d8track
a reply to: delbertlarson

Good info. When I was a kid my father told me how to fall judo like. It saved my life more than once. for me it was not sports but work. Falling from a ladders is not fun.



The above comment about saving lives is why I'd like to see this issue get some attention. I watch football with my sons on weekends and we see many bad falls leading to injuries that could have been prevented if a few falling lessons were given early on as the kids got into the sport. When I consider all the high school games I do not see, my guess is that this is a huge problem that isn't even known within the football community. If a few analysts would start talking about it during broadcasts I don't think it would be long before it would become part of the game training. The training wouldn't even take much time out from other things, as it doesn't take that long to learn. Just a couple lessons at the start of the season, and a few practice falls during warmups. It would be far better to do that than to continue changing the rules, since falling properly is a skill that would be useful throughout the lives of the players long after their playing days are gone.

Also clear from the comments here is that knowing how to fall is quite well known by the educated members of this forum. So how can that important knowledge get over to those who coach football?



posted on Nov, 19 2017 @ 08:28 AM
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a reply to: delbertlarson

Aikido
Ukemi rolling
Saved my life twice
Aikido
edit on 19-11-2017 by BlueJacket because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 11:06 AM
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The new nfl handbook should read follows... If, during the game, you should happen to get tackled, or lose your balance, whatever you do, just don't worry about holding onto the ball, or winning the game or scoring a touchdown, or tackling the other guy...just lay your body out flat, exhale nice and slowly, like you're on a nice beach, on vacation with your family... If you were in the middle tackling another guy when you lost your balance, just let him go., so you can spread your wings like a snow angel ❄👼, if you have the ball in your hand at the time, just release the ball 🏈 and let it fall to the ground,



Yeah...coaches just "aren't aware of the danger" lol. It has absolutely nothing to do with making the game fun to watch at the risk of the players... Ask the players if they want the game to be safer in exchange for 90% of their viewers and therefore 90% of their paycheck. That's Why they get that big money.💰Cause they take those big risks.💀

Maybe if they made warfare into a sport, soldiers could make "pro athlete money", too, for the risks they take. Just remember, if you should happen to lose your balance during the battle...


Seriously though, thanks for this, bud, I will definitely keep it in mind. 👍


edit on 11/22/2017 by 3n19m470 because: (no reason given)

edit on 11/22/2017 by 3n19m470 because: (no reason given)

edit on 11/22/2017 by 3n19m470 because: (no reason given)



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