Ever since I started training, I’ve been afraid of being thrown. I have a tendency to grab onto my partner when they are trying to throw me (no matter how often I’ve been told not to). Sensei Incredible once tried to cure me of it by allowing himself to be pulled down on top of me when I bear-hugged him. You would think that having 200 pounds of Marine falling on me would have taken care of this bad habit, but it didn’t.
For me, falling sideways is the worst. I first learned how to fall in Karate class, and when I went to Judo, I was told that I was doing side falls wrong. In Judo, you’re supposed to land with your back leg behind your front leg, but in Karate we cross the back leg over the front. The reason for this is that Karate dudes are obsessed with protecting their junk! Leaving the back leg behind the front one exposes too much of that area for their comfort. I swear, 80% of the things we do in Karate involve either protecting or attacking the groin!
Anyway, I’m not worried about my groin, but breaking my wrist by sticking my arm out to catch myself during a side fall has done nothing to make me feel more confident with falling. I dread it even more now. I don’t want to let this fear get the better of me, so I need to figure out how to get over it for good. I’ve been contemplating going to Judo class and just doing fall practice. My wrist isn’t healed enough to do any kind of throwing yet, but I think practicing some falling might make me feel more comfortable when I can start throwing again.
I don’t know, maybe it’s a silly idea to go to Judo class just for falling, but I really want to train myself to stop grabbing onto people, or trying to catch myself when I’m being thrown. I obviously have not had enough practice to build up the muscle memory, or get over the fear yet. I figure the more I fall down, the better.
When I’m falling I’m in peace
It’s only when I hit the ground
It causes all the grief.”