• orjanpettersen

MASTERCLASS | SOFT BREAK-FALL BACKWARDS | by Orjan Pettersen

Updated: Feb 11

Each week MASTERCLASS gives you brief but key information on how to optimise a simple Krav Maga strike or technique.


Knowing how to fall correctly and efficiently is an important skill in self defence because defending violence whilst on the floor (think: multiple attackers and weapons being used) is a very difficult task to achieve.


The soft break-fall backwards - or; how to fall backwards when one or two feet are still in contact with the ground - is key for three purposes; 1. To fall without injury, 2. To fall ready to fight and 3. To fall ready to move or immediately stand up.


This is how you optimise a soft break-fall backwards:


When balance is lost, to fall as safely and as ready as possible, apply the following biomechanics - from head to feet:


Drop chin down towards chest (to avoid head bouncing onto the floor). Keep this head position whilst falling and whilst on the ground.


Move hands up in front of your torso, with elbows in front of your lower chest/abdomen (to avoid elbows bouncing onto the floor and with hands up ready to protect you on landing. Keep hands in this position throughout the fall.


DO NOT use your hands to ‘soften’ the landing by putting your palms down towards the floor. Your body weight (and additionally, that of an attacker connected to you) can damage or break one or all of your wrist/elbow/shoulder joints.


Lower your glutes (as if you’re sitting down) towards the ground, aiming to fall on an angle to the side connecting with the floor with only one side of the glutes.


Continue the fall by rolling on the same side along the back (to protect the spine from uneven surfaces or objects on the floor) until the shoulders connect.

Exhale on impact to prevent being winded.


Stop the movement by keeping the opposite foot onto the floor throughout the falling motion (to avoid the momentum forcing you to roll over).


The falling-side foot should be moved back into a position with the knee out and sole of the foot in a 90° angle with the heel close to the opposite knee with toes out, protecting the groin from a kick, whilst recoiled and ready to kick yourself if required.

Next week: How to move and stand up from the floor.

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