Breakfalls- not cool, perhaps?

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by David, Mar 18, 2005.

  1. David

    David Mostly AFK, these days

    I've had 2 (count 'em) lessons in ninjutsu. It's been fun so far and I look forward to many more lessons: the classes are frequent, convenient, cheap, close and doesn't clash with my kung fu. It just feels like extra lessons in chin na and some wrestling - which is a good thing :).

    Took on some breakfall methods and I must say I'm disappointed - I expected something more accomplished, less last-resort. Sacrificing arms and legs to save torso and head: why not toughen the torso and head (eg iron head, iron shirt) and then you can save your arms for the fight?

    I guess once I can do flips ;) I will never need to fall over again.

    Please enlighten me.

  2. Ikken Hisatsu

    Ikken Hisatsu New Member

    err, maybe something to do with your head being more important than your arm. if your arm gets hurt, well you might still be able to fight. if your head gets cracked open on the pavement....

    as for using iron body techs or whatever... maybe theres a reason they arent used?
  3. Simon.J.T

    Simon.J.T New Member

    Why try not to get hit so you dont need iron head iron shirt or iron board

    As you say 2 lessons.

    Be pateient, listen ,think it through and keep going
  4. David

    David Mostly AFK, these days

    Ikken, I just wondered why a defensive technique could put me out of action... Falling on my head - yeah I know but it just seems a bit suicidal to injure yourself... Like maybe the inventor hadn't thought of a proper escape.

    But, I'm not casting judgment: if that's what a breakfall is, then so be it.

    Simon, as for being hit - I'm not easy to hit; I can intercept a barrage of stuff with one arm that some couldn't manage with two :D.

  5. Simon.J.T

    Simon.J.T New Member

    I Bow to your obvious skill :eek:
  6. Anvilfire

    Anvilfire Valued Member

    As in Kung fu alot of thing will seem useless till you apply them.Breakfall are can be quite handy to throw off against a bigger opponent thats rushing in on you.
  7. Kunoichi

    Kunoichi Valued Member

    Broken arms and legs heal but broken backs or heavy falling on your head are far more likely to put you out of action possible for ever. I haven't tryed breakfalls on concrete but we mostly train on a wooden floor and we havent had any injuries except for some bumps and bruises. If you get taken down outside by an attacker you don't need to worry to much about the fall if you develop good habits in the dojo. I'd worry more about the attacker :) High throws will likely injure you but you probably wont have to worry about that from an untrained attacker. The breakfalls work fine on mats for high throws so if you get attacked by a judo-ka, pray you're on a beach ;)

  8. Anvilfire

    Anvilfire Valued Member

    Oh,breakfalls I had dropping on my mind coffee has not kicked in yet. But, I agree you can continue the fight or flight with a broken arm but if the grey matter is on the slab you're not going anywhere.
  9. Brad Ellin

    Brad Ellin Baba

    As you said, you've only had 2 lessons. You haven't experienced anything yet. Be patient, it'll come to you and one day something will happen and you will go "Aha! That's why we worked so much on those!!" And chances are it'll be something non-MA related.

    By the way, don't think of them as breakfalls, think of it as Ukemi.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2005
  10. Banpen Fugyo

    Banpen Fugyo 10000 Changes No Surprise

  11. David Field

    David Field New Member


    thats the whole point of ukemi, not to worry if you hit the ground, u are used to it, start off on matts then wooden floors, then hard surfaces then cobblestones.

    honestly just keep doing it and one day you will have the answer as to why you always land ok...
  12. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Matthew 7:6

    David, that shouldn't be necessary. Can you describe what you're doing with these breakfalls?

    Just to add some perspective, certainly it's good to roll out of something when you can; but the breakfalls are designed to protect you in situations where you can't. Examples might be when you're wearing your armor. . .


    . . .or when a throw or takedown is being done in such a way that the opponent still has a good grip -- or perhaps a joint lock -- on you at the time.
  13. David

    David Mostly AFK, these days

    Well, you folks have put me straight; I guess I read too much into one minor aspect of what I was told in class :).

    The breakfalls (ukemi) I'm on about are fwds, backwds and sideways. Fwds, your legs fly back to land toes down on splayed legs with the forarms landing triangled under the face. Back I not sure I got that one - can't rememeber if I land my bum on the floor or higher up and at what point the arms slam down. Sideways was flinging one leg across the other and slamming down with one arm while twisting torso to opposite side.

  14. Preta

    Preta New Member

    These breakfalls are very similar to what I practice and can be used without injury on any flat surface, including pavement. The entire technique revolves around dispersing the impact over a large area of the body.
  15. snake_plisskin

    snake_plisskin Valued Member

    A modified version of the forward breakfall you mention (and thank you, too, for the description) absolutely works; I'm not completely sure about the "splayed" part, however--perhaps I've misinterpreted the image. However, not to rewrite a thread (check out ninjutsu for self-defense thread for my--cough--novel), but using the forward breakfall on a concrete floor was 100% effective and, quite frankly, saved my life--or at the absolute minimum, kept me from suffering a skull fracture or becoming a quadrapalegic. Simple as that.

    The leg flinging up in the back can be used as a strike.
    The body drop before you roll can also be used as a strike--body drops, leg juts out, almost land/do land on your buttocks, roll. The hands can fling out and smack the surface. It works, only because last week I tossed a (polymer) knife at my uke's head on the icy macadam, and he arched his head backward, slipped on the snow, and executed a really cool (he didn't plan it) backwards breakfall on the rough, hard surface. He landed with ease, and just bounced back up like some video game character. Of course, he's 17, so he can still do things like that :p !

    The sideways breakfall you mention, I've never seen application for it in these parts--perhaps my mind's eye can't "see" the image you describe quite right. Not your fault; late, sleepy, grading papers, eyes blurry....!

    Also, in my case, the breakfalls are just that: used to "break" a fall. They're not necessarily sacrifice drops, where you actually throw yourself to the ground. However, in training, it's necessary to do so in many cases to get the "feel" for dropping that way. Or being tossed about, that is...

  16. Small Dog

    Small Dog Valued Member

    2 lessons and you hate ukemi? tsk tsk tsk, ukemi is the bread and butter of the noob's diet

    that and sabaki (from what ive experienced)

    i enjoy a lot of sabaki and ukemi btw lol

    youll learn to love it, its really a beautiful thing once you get it down and some judoka or bjjer tries to slam dance your face into the ground and you bound out of it all chipper with an air of "well gee bobby, that was fun! kinda like the scooby doo at kings dominion!"


    but yea, i dunno, everybody lieks different aspects of the art, i mean i love the basics, but i suck at shuriken, and i really dont enjoy them (odd huh?)

  17. hatsie

    hatsie Active Member Supporter

    in proper bujinkan ukemi there should not be any floor slapping - a la judo.(except the forward summersault no handed breakfall, where your front foot 'slaps' to take the impact) that i know of. slapping is ok on mats, real life has no mats.

    you should curl up, lowering yourself to the ground. bring your arms in to a defensive posture ,try slapping your arm down onto a brick or needle.

    is it a booj school you train in?
  18. xen

    xen insanity by design

    ukemi is everything!

    you shouldn't think of it as sacrificing anything!

    ukemi is all about relaxing and not using strength. For example, if your partner locks your wrist and tries to take you to the floor, go with it. Learn how the lock moves your body and how you are going to hit the ground. Then over time you will learn how to land without injury and how to use the natural movement of your body to develop counter techniques.

    Lesson 2? You'll still be working on ukemi at lesson 2002 and beyond!!! :)
  19. ShadowHunter

    ShadowHunter Living the Dream

    God Dave! You've had TWO lessons and your already complaning about the basics! You should stop running down to the pub and come more often then? Good idea? I think so!

    (It's okay, he goes to the same Academy as me, and has only come to two lessons)

    Shame on you Dave...
  20. David

    David Mostly AFK, these days

    Hehe don't be so harsh; I'm not complaining at all. I merely have a noobish ignorance that's been well satisfied here :). I'd have asked you but I didn't think you knew the answer :p.

    And I'm moving house atm, not running down the pub. And too poor to train this week at all :(.

    Thanks all.

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