Can martial arts really teach me to fall safely?
April 9, 2008 9:59 AM Subscribe
Can martial arts practice really help one overcome the instinct to break a fall by putting out one's hand? And if so, what form of martial arts teaches this most effectively?
posted by Kat Allison to Health & Fitness (24 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
A year ago I slipped on ice, put out my hand to break my fall, and broke my wrist. Last week I tripped and fell, did the same damn thing, but this time was on soft turf instead of pavement, and thus I only sprained my wrist. In each case, I knew perfectly well that one ought not to break a fall by landing on one's hand, but that awareness was not enough to override instinct.
Several people have told me I should practice some form of martial arts to learn to fall safely, so that it becomes second nature. I am interested in pursuing this, but am wondering if it is really possible to get safe-falling habits so deeply ingrained that they would kick in wholly out of the context of martial-arts practice (e.g., while strolling down the sidewalk, preoccupied, listening to headphones, and WHAMMO hitting a patch of ice).
If I were to pursue this, any recommendations as to which type would be most effective? (Judo, jiu-jitsu, aikido have been most frequently mentioned.) Note: I am very aware that there are many other things to be gained from martial arts practice, and many pros/cons to each form, but right now I'm curious about this specific aspect.