Trainer Seminar: Sam Larson on Rolling and Falling

Jun 23rd, 2009

Trainer Seminar: Sam Larson on Rolling and Falling


Rolling and Falling

This Saturday, June 27, from 11 to 1, I will be teaching a class in basic rolling and falling. No prior experience or practice is necessary. I will cover back falls, side falls, front rolls, and back rolls. The instruction should take about an hour, then I will supervise practice for an hour for anyone who wants to work on the skills.

Why learn to roll and fall?

I learned to roll and fall as part of my martial arts training (Danzan Ryu Jujitsu). Most of the training we do is partner-based, and frequently involves throws and takedowns of various kinds. Learning to take falls when being thrown (referred to in general as ukemi) is one of the first things we teach, and is absolutely fundamental to continuing safe and effective training in our art. I have heard many stories of people escaping and minimizing injury in accidents of various kinds, in bicycle and motorcycle wrecks, falling off of ladders and roofs, and just tripping and falling down, due to the reflexes gained from steady, continued training in ukemi. It has saved my butt a few times, mostly by protecting me from my own clumsiness.

Even if you aren’t planning to take up a sport or martial art that involves falling (such as judo or jujitsu) as part of the practice, rolling and falling are important and useful in other ways. CrossFit lists ten physical skills that define fitness, the last four being coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. Rolling and falling will help you develop these skills. In my personal experience, I’ve gone from being completely uncoordinated and clumsy to somewhat less so, a marked improvement.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, rolling and falling are fun. As adults, we tend to avoid falling down whenever possible, because it can hurt and it’s undignified. Being able to take a fall or roll gracefully gives you another way to be comfortable in your body as you go through life, something I think most of us can use.

–Sam Larson

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Tomorrow’s WOD (6/23/09)

Rest Day