Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Three questions regarding falling...

Question 1:
In your adult life, how many times can you think of that you or one of your close friends has been physically assaulted - as in, some situation that we train for in our martial arts?  For me, off the top of my head...
  • I was in a multiple-attackers, knife assault in Krystals in Bessemer Alabama in college.
  • A friend of mine was attacked by a handful of rowdies one New Years night in college.
  • A friend of mine had her breast grabbed by a guy at a dance club - the grabber was then dispatched by her boyfriend.
  • A friend of mine in college used a wristlock to shut up a smartalek that grabbed his arm in a bar.
  • Some low-life street punks threw a brick at me and my son a couple of years ago, then ran off.
...and that's about it.  And that's pretty much straining at gnats to try to remember situations.
Question 2:
How many times in your adult life have you or your close friends fallen down - as in an unintended descent to the ground?
  • A buddy of mine slipped yesterday on a waxed floor and hit on the back of his shoulders.
  • Another buddy of mine fell off his roof a couple of weeks ago.
  • My elderly mom fell three times in the past two weeks, and she has fallen a couple of times in the years before that.
  • A building contractor friend of mine has fallen off of a ladder twice recently.
  • I can remember three of my patients falling during my rehab career.
  • My elderly dad fell from a ladder off a porch a couple of years ago.
  • I got an email from a college buddy the other day saying that he slipped twice playing soccer with his son.
  • A buddy of mine fell off of an elevated porch when a rotted step broke under him a few months ago.
  • My wife tripped and fell in a school parking lot when she was pregnant with one of our sons.
  • A student of mine fell out of a moving truck at work.
  • Another friend of mine fell about 25 feet off of a telephone pole at work!
  • Another student of mine slipped on wet concrete and landed on the back of his head.
  • I slipped twice in college - once on snow and once on mud - and I frequently tripped running up steps.
...and that's just the ones that I can remember in about 5 minutes without really trying too hard.
Unless your job involves people trying to hurt you (police, military, etc...), you are probably like me and my friends...
You will slip, trip, and fall many, many more times in your life than you will ever be assaulted.
And I'm not talking about just a little bit more likely.  I'm saying your likelihood of falling is orders of magnitude greater than your likelihood of being assaulted.
Question 3:
What proportion of your class time do you spend practicing dealing with violent assaults and what proportion do you spend carefully, systematically learning to control unexpected falls?

Patrick Parker
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