The art of falling is, in most cases, letting the broad expanse of the back take the shock of the fall. With this there are two important points to remember. The first and most important is keeping the head tucked in to avoid it banging the mat. The second is to not use the arms for saving one's position. For example, when a beginner takes up skating and his skates fly out from underneath he will drop down on his backside with both arms stretched out backwards to stop his upper body and head from hitting the ice. This is dangerous because if the fall is hard all the joints in the arm and shoulder could suffer injury. In this case it is better to keep the arms out of the way, with the chin tucked in and let the curve of the back take the impact.
Breakfalling is quite a simple business and shouldn't take much time to master. The following are few exercises to be mastered before taking an actual throw.
Exercise 4 is possibly the closes one can get to an actual throw. With a partner stand as in plate 152. The man standing grasps his kneeling partners sleeve and trouser at the knee and pulls up sharply thus lifting his partner up and spinning him quickly on to his back. The man who is being spun over uses his free arm to beat the mat. The force of this exercise is then gradually increased. There are several breakfall exercises. The best one is to take an easy fall and, bearing in mind the important points about the head and arms, get one's partner to gradually increase the force and speed of the throw. As this happens naturally from the first lessons on throws it is wise not to waste much time on the exercises. They should occupy no more than half of your first lesson with perhaps one or two revision periods in the second and third lessons.
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