What is safety falling? When you first watch Hapkido class, you will see students being thrown, hit the mat, and pop up like nothing happened. How do these students fall not once but for weeks and years of practice? The answer is safety falling.
Safety falling is a safe way to fall not only during martial arts practice but in everyday life. Front fall, back fall, and side falls are building blocks to being thrown for all levels of Hapkido. The goal is to strike the mat stopping a fall with the whole forearm or side of the body instead of concentrating the force on the neck, back, or wrists.
At Greenville Martial Art Center, white belts begin safety falling practice very early in training. One must practice in basic falling individually before falling with a partner. Students begin with roll fall from kneeling and progress to front stance then standing.
“You always want to feel in control, even when being thrown.” Learning safety falling is only the first part of being a student and excellent falling partner. In practice, the attacker must commit fully to the attack, and when drawn off balance, lower himself to the ground.
Falling in Hapkido is the result of non-resistance and re-direction of energy. The defender re-directs the punch or kick in a circular motion causing the attacker to lose balance and fall to the ground where they are less of a threat. Successful falling technique includes matching the partner’s speed and proper breathing upon the fall. Safety falling prevents injury while practicing practical self-defense.