A Good teacher should teach his students about backward ukemi properly and the important of looking around before you start the techniques that involve being thrown or throwing. I know we have been told the stories at my Dojo about the injuries and accidents that have happened in other schools from back rolls and high break falls.
I can happily say in the 21 years we have been open nobody has been ever seriously injured at our school.
Also in my opinion though some may argue; Bankrolls and break falls should be taught at a more higher level to prevent problems as well. (I am not referring to the basic back ukemi that's not a roll either I am referring to the backward high falls or rolls where you don't see anything. I am pretty sure they are the ones you are referring too.)
When I teach a class or help assist teaching a class I make sure everyone is spread out and throwing in the same directions, not crossing each other.
Just last night we were doing the backward fall and slap which is neither a roll or high brake fall. But has the potential to be just as dangerous if someone was to hit their head on something or someone. I can recall now asking one of the students to move to a different place on the mats because they didn't even look behind them before they decided that was the place to fall.
So you always have to watch where other ukes are being sent too, and where you are going to send yours, or where you are going to end up.
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
I am curious if anyone has first hand knowledge of people being injured doing backward rolls. In the past, I have heard about incidents of serious injury and even one account of a death from mid-backward roll collisions, but I don't exactly have medical records and death certificates to prove them.
So, first question: does anybody KNOW about incidents of backward roll related injuries or deaths?
Personally, I have never felt safe doing them from throws and am pretty sure I have never done a single backward roll, except during exercises at the beginning of basic classes. Even without factoring in that you can't see where you are going and might collide, I feel like there is too great of a possibility of angling incorrectly or getting mixed up about which side is being chosen, which could result in neck injury. Before I learned soft ukemi, I just always flattened out instead of rolling. Now I mostly turn slightly sideways, lower myself on the ball of my foot, and do the butt/back wide leg thing. Occasionally I do a hard, flattening out style fall.
In 7-8 years of training, I don't recall ever "needing" to roll backwards in the sense of avoiding injury or even feeling a little awkward. The alternatives always seemed fine. So the second question: does anyone feel backward rolls are necessary in their training? Why?