Re: Backward Roll - Risks and benefits
Two months ago, after we had completed testing, Sensei got this marvelous twinkle in her eye and a smile on her lips that anyone who's known her for more than 5 minutes knows that something is up. She carefully eyed all of us and spoke in a low voice, "Roll tag." Immediately all the students splintered up and shikko-ed to the farthest corners of the mat, but no one got very far... no more than 10 seconds in, I look around and I see everyone staring at the corner of the mat that I had my back to. I swivel around and I see one of my senpai, one of the most advanced students in the class, flat on his back.
To clarify, Roll Tag is what you might expect it to be: tag, but you're only allowed to move around using rolls and shikko. It's great fun. Anyway, when Sensei called it, she dubbed herself "It" and set her sights on the nearest student, which happened to be senpai. He back-rolled out of the way, and since I wasn't looking I can't tell you exactly what he did, but Sensei said that he tried to alter his motion in mid-roll as well as stop short from rolling off the mat. Long story short, he broke his collarbone.
So even after 6 years of rather hard training and performing a simple ukemi, awareness is still the biggest player in safety.
After seeing the look on Sensei's face after the incident, I swore to myself that I would never let myself get hurt.