Movement inspiration 1.2.13 choose to fall
Why you need to fall
In life we fall down, without being willing and able to fall down we could never learn to stand or walk, but at some point in life many of us get good enough at the things we do we never really fall, and the few times we do we are unprepared and are easily hurt or scared by falling.
To move well to really stretch your abilities you need to be comfortable falling. One of the biggest signals for me of a life time mover is how comfortable they are taking a fall. If you roughhoused climbed trees and hiked up creeks as a kid you fell. The longer you continued to push your boundaries in those areas the longer you continued an informal education in the art of falling. Its an art well worth training more formally.
Your inspiration for today is a new video featuring all my bails from the shoot for tree runner.
Good falling and bad falling
As you can see after most of my falls I am smiling and ready to move and play some more. Being in this state is ideal here we learn not to overreact to falls. We develop a much better map of how to respond to unexpected adventures with the ground.
The first area shown, is an area where I often fall. The ground is soft, the tree limbs low. So I know if I try something and it doesn’t quite work, well I will get some good falling practice in.
Of course there is flip side falling can be dangerous, there are times in your movement practice to push yourself and try things were you might fall and times when you shouldn’t; when a fall could mean serious injury or death. Where that line is depends on your strength, your situational awareness your skill in falling.
There are two falls in the video I shouldn’t have taken, the second to last and last falls featured. In the first I failed to notice a broken tree limb in the path of my hand when I was going to jump, inattention like that, that high up can be very costly and I am lucky to have taken only a cut to the hand from the experience. The last fall was at the end of the day of filming, fatigued, hungry and ready to be done. I needed to refocus before I tried that flip, I am thankful for all the ukemi practice I have done which allowed me to walk away unscathed.
How to fall
Develop your ability to fall and you will unlock your confidence to try so much, and maintaining the ability to fall well is very much the stuff of youth and vigor, falling is what toddlers do all day but it is a threat to life for most of the elderly, build your capacity before you end up endangered by even basic falls.
The big keys to falling are avoid landing on the head and vital organs. Avoid landing on locked joint or getting a limb trapped where you can not flex it into the body. Finally try to spread the impact over as wide an area and as long a time as possible. For more specific examples come to a seminar or check out my good freind Amos Rendao’s work on his Parkour ukemi channel. http://www.youtube.com/user/FreerunParkourUkemi
Go do it
Your mission today is to work on your ability to fall. Try some basic Ukemi, if your comfortable enough with fall techniques push your skill training in a direction where a fall might happen. Can you use your comfort with falling to buffer your skill practice so your more confident to try new things?