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Techniques>Falling>Front rolling fall

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Front Rolling fall

Intro

The front rolling side fall is used when you are falling forward and have a lot of forward momentum, such as when you trip while running. A smooth rolling fall may save one from injury during common mishaps, such as a bicycle crash or a fall down a flight of stairs.

In practicing the front-rolling fall, start from a squatting position and progress to a standing position and then to a diving position. Protecting the head is vital will performing this fall.

Rolling often causes apprehension amongst students and they may become disoriented while rolling. Many throws happen very quickly, such a being thrown over the opponent’s hip in a quick snapping motion; these types of throws may also cause disorientation due to the sudden change in position. Practice may alleviate some of this dizziness.

From squatting position

Start from a squatting position, with your feet a shoulder-width apart.
  • Take one step forward with your left foot.
  • Place your right hand on the mat on the right side of the left foot, under the right shoulder.
  • Place knife-edge of your left hand on the mat between your left foot and right hand with fingers of the knife hand pointed backward toward your body.
  • Turn your head to the right and look over your right shoulder. If the head does not remain turned but tucks into the chest, it may impact the floor as you perform the fall.
  • Push forward with your right foot, rolling along the outside of the left arm, diagonally across your back, and finish in a right side fall position. Keep the body curled like a ball throughout the fall.
  • Return to a squatting position.
  • Repeat with your right leg forward, rolling into a left side fall.
  • Repeat the movements until they become smooth and powerful.

From standing position

Start from a standing position, with your feet a shoulder-width apart.
  • Perform the same as for the squatting position but start from a standing position.

Using a forward dive

Start from a standing position, with your feet a shoulder-width apart.

In one smooth motion:
  • Step forward with your left foot.
  • Turn your head to the right looking over your right shoulder. 
  • Push forward with your right foot and then push off your left foot and dive forward, reaching out with the knife-edge of your left hand in front of your body, with the fingers of the knife hand pointed back toward your body.
  • Roll along the outside of your left arm, diagonally across your back, and finish in a right side fall position. Keep your body curled like a ball throughout the roll.
  • At the end of the roll, slap the mat with your right hand, kiai, and keep rolling forward to a standing position.
  • Repeat with your right leg forward, rolling into a left side fall.
  • Repeat the movements until they become smooth and powerful.
Beginners usually throw themselves forward, landing heavily on the shoulder instead of rolling gently along an unbroken arc. They have not learned to maintain a sense of "center" around which the sphere of their body will roll. They leap forward with their upper body with the rest of the body trailing along.

In a correct forward roll, the entire body moves at once as it revolves around the center of gravity like a wheel. To avoid injury, contact must be maintained with the ground throughout the movement. Pain usually results when various body parts impact the mat individually. The greater the distance between a body part and the mat, the greater the impact and the greater the pain. If there is no distance between them, there will be not impact and therefore no pain.

Your body must roll along the mat, not "fall" onto the mat. Contact should be smoothly transferred from the shoulder to the back, the hip, thigh, and finally to the feet. There should be no interruption of the flow.


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