Correct Breakfall?

Discussion in 'Judo' started by Saz, Apr 16, 2002.

  1. Saz

    Saz Nerd Admin

    Since I know very little about Judo i thought I'd post here for a bit of advice. A few years ago, i went to some "self defence" classes, and we were taught a Judo breakfall in the first lesson and I'm not sure whether or not we were shown this right or not.

    On impact with the floor, we were told to tuck our chins to our chest to prevent us from hitting our heads, and slam our arm (as hard as we could) to the floor to prevent us from rolling.

    I recently started to practise forward and backwards rolls, and this breakfall after getting knocked over for the first time in sparring and looking like a pleb. I'm doing it as I was shown, but it feels unnatural and at times, just darn uncomfortable. Is this a correct way to breakfall, or should I go and learn it properly somewhere else?

    Any views would be much appricated :)

  2. Pablo

    Pablo New Member

    Ahhh, you may have gotten it backwards. Isn't it supposed to be 'Tuck your arm into your chest and slam your head into the floor'?


    Without seeing what you are doing, I would wonder about HOW you are slapping. Variations in the angle between your body and the arm breaking the fall can be a problem. Are you slapping parallel to your body, or straight out to the side, or is your arm going above your head? Any of these could feel 'wrong'.
    I would definitely invest some quality time with somone who can get you comfortable with breakfalls.

    take care

  3. Saz

    Saz Nerd Admin

    lol... I think slamming my head against things has caused enough problems as it is! :)

    My arm is going out straight to the side. Its in the same position that a shoulder punch would be, and is 90 degrees to my body
  4. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Member

    Judo throws are shown here annimated

    Any Judo or Aikido book will likely have them as well, have you asked your instructor?

    Learning falls from books and the internet isn't something I recommend, find someone that knows what there doing and get them to teach you.
  5. Joseki

    Joseki Valued Member

    its best to get an instructor to teach you fo although you will get lots of get idrea's on how to do it there is no better way than to go out there and do it yourself (there are lots of ways for aikido's not the same way as judo and in some cases ju jitsu is'nt the same as Aikido and so on for there are lots of styles) the only thing i will say is that get used to mat burn!!! and good luck.
  6. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    If you want to learn to breakfall Ju-jitsu or Aikido are your best bet. These days I'm seeing too many Judoka hurting themselves trying to not land on their back (the safest way if thrown backwards)so as to not give away an ippon. For me Judo has become more about sport than martial arts over the years.

    The arms aren't slapped onto the ground to prevent you from rolling, they're slapped to decrease the impact of your body onto the ground. The idea being that once your proficient, when you fall your arms 'hit' the ground a fraction of a second before your body, the muscular resistance in your arms slows down your body reducing the impact. You tuck your chin into your chest so that your head doesn't bang off of the ground.
    Incidently if your thrown backward with enough force it is safer to roll out than to do a breakfall. With practice you'll be able to know if your going too fast just before you hit the deck, and decide what to do. When you become good at this you don't even think about it, its just physical memory.

    To prove that breakfalls work my Tai Jitsu intsructor would sometimes have us throw each other on the wooden floor with out any mats or protection. If anybody tells you that learning to breakfall is the art of falling down without hurting themselves I would tell them that it is the art of damage minimalisation.

    Oh, and K-girl I know how you feel. When I started Shotokan only two people in the class could breakfall and that was me and the instructor, guess who got used for all the demonstrations!

    Thanx for reading my ramble.
  7. Saz

    Saz Nerd Admin

    Thanks for that Freeform :) I honestly was told the arm thing was to stop you rolling :rolleyes:

    I'm thinking of going into Ju jitsu if I can find one close enough to me. If i can't find a Ju Jitsu dojo, then I'll probably go for Judo purely because of location. I'm not overly bothered about giving away Ippon if I land on my back, since i'm not going into it for sport. The way my sparring is going at the moment I'm probably going to get knocked over a lot, so learning to fall with the minimal damage (and embarrsment) would be good :)
  8. Tintin

    Tintin Cats: All your base...

    It might be useful trying to take a breakfall with your arms somewhere about 45 degrees. Anything above 90 will exert a lot of stress on your shoulders, and if you mistakenly decide to take a breakfall when the speed requires a backward roll, nasty things can happen inside your shoulder.

    This is coming from an Aikido perspective though, and may not be what your looking for. It depends on how you have been thrown really. As freeform says, eventually it will become second nature, you just have to spend a few years beating it into your body :D
  9. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    Doh! I remembered everything except the angle of the arms. Cheers Tintin.


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