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The Art of Falling Down

March 10, 2019

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Photo copyright- Youtube: Skateboarding Fail Compilation

 

 

"I remember practicing doubles one day, and one of the other kids got lifted from his feet. He posted out with his arm, as was his natural reflex. Then I watched his arm snap like a pencil.

 

 

 

     Okay, I’ll take the speed up a bit.

 

     Three hard strides on my Sector 9, moving my hips like I’m riding a wave. If you can’t surf, skate. Then it happens. I’m losing control.

 

     The tail of the board slides left toward the front. One of my feet leaves the griptape; I balance awkwardly on the other for what seems like hours. The tip of the nose takes a hard right, and I’m thrown forward. My board slams into a wall, scaring a group of Taiwanese children.

 

     I’m catapulted ahead--no time to think. Muscle memory kicks in: I tuck my chin, front roll with the energy over my right shoulder and break fall with my left arm. Jiu-Jitsu saves my life...again.

 

     Onlookers gasp and point. Lucky for me, I’m wearing a pollution mask and sunglasses, so my identity remains hidden. I grab my board, shake off some dirt, and I’m ready for Round 2.

 

     I grew up wrestling. I remember practicing doubles one day, and one of the other kids got lifted from his feet. He posted out with his arm, as was his natural reflex. Then I watched his arm snap like a pencil. I look back on it now and think to myself, If he just knew how to fall properly, that would’ve never happened.

 

     I’ve heard multiple times that learning how to fall is a waste of time, and I’m always reminded of the times falling has saved my ass--and the asses of others--in and outside the gym.

 

     I’m at a party in with my BJJ buddies, and falling becomes the official theme of the night. In Taiwan, you can rent these crazy hotels, many of which come with private pools, multiple hot tubs and marble floors. Water from pools and hot tubs on marble floors is a recipe for disaster.

 

     I’m enjoying the massage chair when I hear a crash. I thought someone had ate shit and died. My buddy had jumped out of the hot tub in the next room. As soon as his feet touched the marble, they were sliding like hockey pucks on freshly-zambonied ice. No time to think. He instinctively braces himself with a beautiful drunken side fall.  He laughed it off and danced to the bathroom. We resumed the festivities with no further casualties.

 

     As a coach, I always preach to my students, ‘If you take anything away from this class, take the art of learning how to fall, as one day it could save your life.’

 

     Here’s a great video to brush up your falling skills:

                                                                                                                                                                                        Youtube- Pro Judo: Learn Judo Breakfall skill: Avoid breaking bones in falls

 

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