The most important point during breakfall training is to not try to catch yourself by reaching out with your arms, but to take the impact of the fall on the meaty portions of the body. After initial training on breakfalls has been conducted, it must be followed up with refresher breakfall training before training on throws and takedowns. This can be accomplished easily by making it part of your warm-up.
a. Side Breakfall Position (Figure 5-1). Before training on breakfalls can take place, soldiers must understand the basic breakfall position. Laying on his left side, the soldier extends his left leg and bends his right leg, raising his right leg off the ground. His left arm is extended, palm down, slightly away from his side. His right arm is bent in front of his face to defend against attacks. This should be practiced on both sides.
Figure 5-1. Side breakfall position.
b. Forward Rolling Breakfall from the Kneeling Position. After soldiers are familiar with the side breakfall position, the best way to introduce them to the mechanics of falling is by starting them on their knees.
(1) Step 1 (Figure 5-2). The fighter assumes a kneeling posture with his left arm raised in the air. He places his left arm across the front of his body, palm down, outside of his right knee.
Figure 5-2. Forward rolling breakfall from the kneeling position, step 1.
Figure 5-2. Forward rolling breakfall from the kneeling position, step 1 (continued).
(2) Step 2 (Figure 5-3). He rolls over his left shoulder, along his arm, landing on his right side with his right leg extended in the right side breakfall position.
Figure 5-3. Forward rolling breakfall from the kneeling position, step 2.
c. Forward Rolling Breakfall (Figure 5-4). When soldiers have mastered the forward rolling breakfall from the kneeling position, they will progress to the standing position.
(1) Step 1. The soldier starts the fall from the standing position. He raises one arm to expose his entire side, places both hands on the ground, and bends both knees.
(2) Step 2. He rolls forward across the body along the hand, arm, and back to the opposite hip.
(3) Step 3. He ends in a good side breakfall position.
Figure 5-4. Forward rolling fall.
d. Rear Breakfall (Figure 5-5). There are also many times when a fighter will take a fall straight down to his back.
(1) Step 1. The fighter starts the fall from the standing position and keeps his head forward to reduce the chance of head and neck injuries.
(2) Step 2. He then falls backward and lowers his center of gravity by bending both knees. As his buttocks touch the ground, he rolls backward to absorb the momentum of the fall.
(3) Step 3. He keeps his hands cupped and slaps his hands and arms down to help absorb the shock of impact and to stabilize his body.
Figure 5-5. Rear breakfall.