Safe Falling Class: Slapping or Sitting
There are basically just two methods in Fearless Falling:
Slapping for quick forward trips and falls, and Sitting for everything
else. While many people suggest always reaching out with the
hands to break a fall, we advocate the quick "slapping" method only as
a way to harness the instinctive startle reflex in very quick forward
falls. Slower falling events, especially to the sides or rear,
are better handled by just sitting down and protecting the head, NOT by
trying to turn and reach back, or by slapping backwards with both arms.
Keep your hands and arms in close to your head for protection.
An exception is the front roll-fall, an advanced technique used by
athletes. In a front roll-fall, your outstretched arm is not used
to break the fall, but to guide your body into a circular rolling
motion. A full explanation of this advanced technique is
available here: Roll-fall Technique.
Safely Falling on the training mat:
After learning the basic back-side sit and roll move shown above, you are ready for the pivot and "Aim with your Butt" move.
Here, a group practices this small turn and sit down movement:
This pivot and sit movement integrates the three rules of falling: Tuck, Sit, and Roll.
When repeated enough times as a motor skill, it can help prevent injury from many kinds of falls.