Front fall is used when falling forward with no forward momentum. Being able to instinctively bring the hands up and turn the head may protect one from chipped teeth, broken nose, or bruised ribs. In practicing the front fall, start practicing the technique from a kneeling position, and progress to a squatting position, a toe touch position, a standing drop position, and finally a jump toe touch position.
Front Fall (from kneeling position)
Begin by kneeling on the ground with the heels under the buttocks, toes curled upward, and weight resting on the knees and the balls of the feet with the arms in a guarding position, then:
- Raise the arms with the forearms perpendicular to the upper arms, hands held flat, and palms facing forward.
- Turn the head to the side, slightly raise the head, and tense the neck muscles.
- Fall straight forward with the upper body and slap the ground with the palms with a kiai. Do not reach forward with the arms so the elbows hit the ground (may injure elbows) or let the arms drop so they land in a push-up position (may injure wrists or shoulders). The hands should hit the ground on a horizontal line with the head. When the hands initially hit the ground, the elbows should be at a 45-degree angle to the hands (about 9 to 12 inches off the ground).
- After the hands slap, the arm and shoulder muscles are used to absorb the forces of the fall and slowly lower the elbows to the ground.
- Return to the kneeling position.
- Repeat until the movements become smooth and powerful.
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