Mark Mueller (aiki_what) wrote:
Bronson Diffin had some great explanations and ideas for training breakfalls that had to do with an exercise ball......
Oh sure, put me on the spot
If you already have a basic idea of how to do the falls you can practice them at a relatively low level of impact with one of those big bouncy exercise balls.
Again, if you already have a basic idea of how to do the falls
, I wouldn't have any brand new person try this stuff (except maybe the first two). That said I wouldn't even say this is my preferred way to practice them, it's just another way. If you are having difficulty please, please, please ask you sempai/sensei...they want to help you get it right.
If you are going to try these please start slowly as it's sometimes difficult to fully explain with just words.
1) Back falls: Easy, just sit on the ball tuck your chin and roll backwards off of it, slapping when you hit the mat.
2) Side falls: Sit on the ball with both feet flat on the floor (like you would in a chair). Extend your right foot across and in front of your left keeping the right leg mostly straight. Roll off the ball to the right, slapping as you land. Reverse for the left side. Make sure to tuck your chin...always tuck your chin.
3) Forward (flipping) fall: I'll try to explaing this
To start at low level you just allow yourself to roll over the ball landing the position you've been taught. After you're comfortable with that you can start to get some height. To do that you stand and hold the ball in front of you and slightly off to one side. Kind of between your center and the point of your hip. Then you simply tuck your chin and let yourself fall forward, keeping your body straight. As long as you don't bend in the middle you'll bounce up and over landing in a breakfall position. After you are comfortable with that you can get a (slow) running start and dive onto the ball, landing on it in that same spot between your center and the point of the hip to flip over with even more speed/height.
Watch you fingers when falling on the ball. Somebody tried it and jammed one of their pinkies.
If you have the ball too low on your hips you'll probably face plant.
If it's too high on your belly you'll just bounce on it. Better to start too high and work down
Alternately you could go to the website for the
Journal of Asian Martial Arts
and order a back copy of Volume 8, Number 3 from 1999. It has a really good article on this subject.
You could also ask your sempai/sensei for help. Yes I know I already said that but it's worth repeating.