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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Falling:

OK, it's winter. Ice, snow, slush, even slipping a bit on rock salt that rounded out a little bit, crazy stuff. Falls are just more frequent during this season, some of them highly injurious and, though rare, occasionally even deadly.

Those trained in the art of safe falling need not read further. Everyone else (which is most of the folks in the world), read on!

Most martial arts have some training on how to fall safely without injuring yourself. Some delve more deeply into the subject. Western Civ. falling methods have take two divergent paths. First, from old (OLD!) school wrestling, involving the expectation of hip-throws, there was a base level training which involved taking the fall on your heels. Sadly this isn't applicable to slips and trips without a wrestling partner. Second, Western Civ. developed some pretty impressive acrobatics and tumbling, but this requires a certain level of commitment and athleticism.

Falling methods from the East, particularly certain wrestling and throwing arts from Japan such as Judo and Aikido, developed very specific and rich skill sets, often referred to as ukemi. Base level instruction for many actually starts with the assumption that the person falling. This is particularly applicable for slips and trip on ice. But it takes certain dedication, live instruction, and practice. Difficult to learn without an instructor and very unlikely to be learned from a small monologue.

However, there are some quick tips which can, literally, save your life.

When you slip and fall:
1) Tuck your head down and press your chin to your chest. Look at your belly button. This helps protect the back of your head from impact on hard surfaces such as concrete sidewalks.
2) Round your back like you are doing a crunch. This also helps protect your head but also your spine as well.
3) If possible try to drop toward your buttocks not your hip. Hip bones break. Buttock muscles are thick and can take a certain amount of impact (at least my dad and mom thought so! ;) ).
4) DO NOT THRUST YOUR HAND DOWN TO TRY TO CATCH YOURSELF! This rarely works and often injures or breaks the wrist and can injure shoulder and elbow as well. Better to tuck your elbows into your ribs.

This will kinda have the look of a semi-controlled falling Fetal Position and that's not entirely wrong. Remember, the Fetal Position is a natural, instinctive reaction which positions your body to protect it and minimize injury.

Now all these things are a lot to remember during an immediate fall. If you remember nothing else, TUCK YOUR CHIN. You can recover from a broken wrist. Depressed skull fractures, in comparison, are really really dangerous.
 

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Just a Man
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+1 on the chin tuck, look at your belly button. Remember that from my sons Freestyle/Greco Roman wrestling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Winter is back, and with it the ice so I'm bumping this back to the top.

If anyone is in the Dayton/Huber Heights area, I will give FREE safe falling lessons. I really believe that it is that important.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

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I recently read that falls are the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S.

Last month my next door neighbor fell and hit her head when she hurried through an unseen puddle of water in her garage and her feet slipped right out from under her. She couldn't get up, but heard me working in the yard and got up enough energy to call to me for help. I immediately assisted her, but I wanted to call 911, but she really didn't want me to. Eventually, she was O.K., but I still wanted her to seek medical care. She wouldn't, mostly I think because she was embarrassed.

Then about a week ago, my wife slipped on small rug and hit the floor in one of our bathrooms. She hurt her elbow and back, but she's O.K., but it scared the hell out of her.

Me too.

Falls are serious business.
 

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A woman I used to work with fell while taking a shower. When her boyfriend found her she was dead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My grandfather died much the same way. He fell and hit his head resulting in a depressed skull fracture, intercranial bleeding, and swelling. He had emergency surgery to relieve the pressure but, by that point, it was too late. He had already suffered brain damage and passed away soon after.

I've had several friends and family members seriously injured due to falls. My grandmother had a complete emergency hip replacement due to a fall. My Uncle had a particularly gnarly compound fracture of the femur due to a fall. I've had other friends with similar falling injuries.

I'll reiterate. I will give free lessons in Safe Falling practice to anyone who wants them. If you run a small business or are a manager and want to get your department some quick training and you're in the Dayton area, then I'm your guy.

I even can supply some mats.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

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Just a Man
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Ive managed two good falls this fall... Slipped outta the bucket, landed on my side... Then fell down a flight of concrete stairs a few weeks later, after not seeing the opening to them in the dark, and stepping into empty space.... Between the two, I think I've tweaked something in my shoulder, that isn't going away soon.. But managed fairly unscathed besides that.
 

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I'm disabled and have chronic back pain from a fall I suffered in Jan, 2000. I actually fell in the yard yesterday. I was out feeding the dogs and stepped in a hole that I couldn't see because of drifted snow. I wasn't hurt just ended up falling on my knees. There's no doubt falls can cause serious injuries.
 

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Uncle Sam had a penchant for taking Mr up in airplanes and making me get out of them before they landed again. They taught us how to hit the ground, sounds a lot like what you are saying.

I fell about a month ago, think I instinctively protected my arms and head. Didn't do my legs a bit of good though. Tore a muscle in the back of my left thigh and tore the meniscus in my right knee. Trying to avoid the knee surgery, but it just ain't healing. Be careful, and if you are close th Kirk, you should take him up on the falling lessons.
 

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ROLL wif Da MOLE!
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...at least you are getting some responses this year :rofl:
Perhaps we are getting SMARTER??? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think I've convinced my NRA Training Counselor to let me teach a safe falling class at his school.

Peace favor your sword (mobile)
 

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One thing to keep in mind is...we get old.:(

I "took" judo, way back in the day, played a few sports, knew most of what Kirk is saying, relatively instinctively. But being old and fat means two things...you get slower, and the impact is greater when you hit.

Running an infield grounder out, caught first, tripped, tried to do a forward tuck and roll, just pile drived my shoulder into the ground, broken collar bone as a result. Oh, but I was safe.:p

So...it's not enough to "know" what to do, it's a good idea to stay in some sort of shape other than round, and get a few reminder reps in once in a while.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Truth.

Peace favor your sword (mobile)
 
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