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Old 01-12-2007, 12:08 AM   #1
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 788
Backward Roll - Risks and benefits

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?
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