Effectiveness of Judo breakfalls

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Effectiveness of Judo breakfalls

Postby Bruise Lee » Sat Oct 14, 2000 3:04 pm

In Juko Kai (Dr. Sacharnoski's organization) he teaches us several types of breakfalls. But one big seperation could be termed combat vs. non-combat breakfalls. There are a couple of striking differences but one is that combat breakfalls do not employ slapping the ground. Slapping the hard uneven glass covered concrete can be pretty damn hard on the elbows and hands. Some would say that this is preferable to it being hard on the spine - but I have not found that those in Juko Kai who practice grappling arts for combat reasons and who do combat breakfalls have any more impact to their spine. I personally have not found slapping to really dampen the impact tremendously.

With combat breakfalls you can hit people on the way over easier as your hands are free. Also the moment you hit the ground you can cover your head and face protectively with your hands.

[This message has been edited by Bruise Lee (edited October 14, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Bruise Lee (edited October 14, 2000).]
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Effectiveness of Judo breakfalls

Postby rich_simons » Sat Oct 14, 2000 7:10 pm

There is clearly a practical application of the judo/jujutsu breakfalls in actual combat. But I would argue that the breakfalls we learn in the dojo are not necessarily designed to allow us to avoid injury outside the practice hall. Instead, I would argue they are designed so that we can practice the techniques in the dojo without injuring our partners.

Hopefully, I will not get into a confrontation with someone who will throw me with Ogoshi or Seionage - unless that person has trained with "The Evil Sensei" who has not taught his students about Budo.

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Effectiveness of Judo breakfalls

Postby RA Miller » Sun Oct 15, 2000 12:13 am

I've used a flat back fall (thunderfall) on concrete at over 30 mph without a scratch or a bruise (front brake worked, rear brake didn't). I've taken several memorable falls while climbing. One was only twelve feet up, but my foot caught on a branch so it was face first over fist-sized river rocks. A judo front fall left me with fore-arm bruises and nothing else. So, obviously, I'm happy with the slaps.

The physics are pretty simple, for our purposes. Once you are in the air there is only so much energy in the system. There is nothing you can do to increase or decrease that energy, you can only focus it or spread it out, either in space (full body contact vs landing on one wrist) or time (flat fall vs roll). The palms of your hands can take a huge amount of damage for their surface area and so the slap draws damage away from the rest of the body (because the energy in the system is fixed, anything that hits harder lessens it elsewhere.)

Another note- there are some styles that teach only rolling falls. I was taught that both were important. Some opponents will let go of you and some will hang on and try to finish- if they hang on it really messes up a roll-out.

I also haven't noticed the slap slowing me down in protecting. Do you use the rebound energy?

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Effectiveness of Judo breakfalls

Postby david » Sun Oct 15, 2000 12:34 am

Interesting, this concept of "combat" vs "non-combat" breakfall. I heard of it a number of years ago from someone who trained with a high ranking, local jujutsu instructor whose name eludes right now but used to teach at the YMCUnion (as differentiated from the Association) in downtown Boston. This guy reputedly served in the French Foreign Legion and is well into his years (? 80's). But a large part of the ukemi he taught, as related to me, were not like anything I've seen. Supposedly, it was for more "combat" orientation. And, as BL pointed out, the "slap" was eschewed in favor of other ways of dissipating energy which though described to me I can't envision. The thought was that the hand would suffered damage on slapping hard concrete of rocky surfaces.

I was intrigued but I never found the opportunity to visit. I also didn't make tremendous effort as this instructor was known for having an ugly "streak" that can surface explosively.


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Effectiveness of Judo breakfalls

Postby f.Channell » Mon Oct 16, 2000 2:44 am

All the breakfalls I've seen or done have been of the slapping variety. Even in rolling a slap is usually done to continue the momentum. I can't see how the elbow is hurt since that is usually a no-no (slap with whole arm). Glass and nails or other sharp objects are always a possibility but I can't see how you can help that, but breakfall experience has got to help. In most judo throwing competition photos you can clearly see the person being thrown setting up his position for the landing, and you always bring up your arm after the slap to defend. I feel a lot more comfortable being taken down in karate kumites with the knowledge gained in grappling classes with breakfalls.
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