Last night at Tae Kwon Do we began learning a new set of Sparring.  These are sparring techniques called “One Step Sparring” or “Trust Sparring” as they consist of one person throwing a punch and the other making a move to block the punch and counter attack in some way.  This opposed to “Free Sparring” that is more of a move, kick, punch, whatever to score points (or blows) against an opponent.

For the first time thus far in our training, the “One Step Sparring” technique involves taking your attacker to the ground.  The first move is a simple kick to the knee to spin the attacker down but the second move, that we learned last night, is more of a “throw the attacker to the ground” on their back.  Not so bad when you play the role of the Counter Attacker but as the attacker, having your leg swept from under you and being thrown to the mat takes a little getting used to.  It takes a little knowledge on how to fall.

After some instruction on how to properly fall (hard to explain the technique we were shown but basically it is a drop to the back side then lay flat on your back with one arm stretched out) we got a chance to practice.  My attempts brought a smile to the Master’s face but merely as amusement, not pride.  After a couple of tries, he had me work with a Black Belt who was nice enough to let me throw him around a few times but to my urging (I need to learn it all) threw me down a few times.  I realized that I really need to learn to fall- fighting it is not good and not being prepared to fall the right way could lead to injury.

So, as you know I try to look at life lessons in many things to share with the boys.  In learning to fall, I think about times in life when you know you are headed for a fall.  Perhaps it is financial, or a relationship that is falling apart or something you have said or done that is about to bring negative consequences.  Many times you can see it coming but what do you do next?  Do you brace yourself for the best or do you learn to fall, and fall without hurting yourself too much.

I think a good example of this is the fact that you hear all the time that millionaires often have failed in their rise to riches.  Many times they have had to declare bankruptcy at least once as they took risks and fought to overcome obstacles.  They learned to fall, protect themselves from any additional harm and be able to get back up to fight again.

So the question is how to we learn to fall?  From a Tae Kwon Do perspective I need to practice the techniques taught by the Master for a few more weeks.  From a life perspective, perhaps it is much the same- we need to learn techniques and practice them.  Can we learn to see when a fall is coming and then plan the best way to fall to avoid undue harm?  I think so but teaching that to our kids is as hard as figuring out how to do it for ourselves, perhaps even more so.  This sounds like another topic for a future DaddyCast!