Monday, April 27, 2009

Active Self-Defense - Learning to fall

Last week, we went over some of our previous techniques, but I had a little surprise in store for the class. I brought out our tumbling mat and when it came time to learn our new technique, we practiced falling. It's quite a sight to see a child at play, fall. They can run, fall, use the momentum and get up and keep running as if nothing happened. As we get older we have a tendency to forget some of the things that are natural to us as children. Falling is something children can do with style. If you have ever seen a child unleash a temper tantrum you know what I mean. The interesting part is that they can fling themselves to the ground, but not hurt themselves. When it comes to the realm of self defense, it's important to know how to fall without hurting yourself, should you ever need to go to the ground or are taken to the ground. Intially we are rigid, but after some practice everyone in the class was getting the concept of "rolling to the floor". The idea is to think of yourself as a sphere and rather than fall back flat on your back, roll yourself to the ground letting the shock and impact "roll through you" rather than your body absorbing the impact.

The other ability children seem to have inherently is making themselves "heavy". We have all experienced this. A child is busy having fun and it's time to cut the fun short. The child is not having it, he wants to continue having fun! You go to pick up your child and find that instead of weighing twenty pounds, he has discovered the secret of super gravity and now weighs one hundred pounds! We all have this ability and many times its essential in defending yourself to displace your weight in such a way that you are "heavier" than you may seem. If someone wants to grab you and lift you from the ground, from any angle of attack, you can displace your weight so that you are heavier.

As adults there are many things we have to "relearn", but with enough practice we will find that these things, like falling and being heavy are part of us waiting to be rediscovered.

strong spirit-strong mind-strong body

Sensei Orlando

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