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Old 11-26-2006, 09:54 PM   #35
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 788
Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Cady Goldfield wrote:
For the record and to stay on topic, slapping in a breakfall is still silly. And, I'll say again, it's absurd. Just relaxedly extend your arms, fleshy side to absorb part of the impact, keep your ankles and heels from slamming the ground, and use your butt too (what do you think it's there for?).
My primary teachers agree, and taught traditional-style falls, but never outright slapping, though many of their students somehow end up doing it anyway. A few sound like they have been dropped from a plane some of the time.

My current interest is the Waite-style wide leg falling, which involves using different body mechanics and a different use of the arm in most falls. The end result is falls that are nearly silent and very soft. In the 'breakfall', the arm actually reaches for the mat, sticks, and deccelerates the body, immediately transitioning to pushing off to get back up. The ankle and heel are protected by the sidewards trajectory of the fall and the fact that the leg is abducted and the ankle dorsiflexed and springy - allowing one to land softly on the ball of the foot instead. However, learning to do it right has involved some pretty extensive heel and ankle whacking for me... which is what the mat is there for.
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