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                          Falling Hard


                                                                                                                   Kyoshi Ronald Lyn


A friend encourages his mate to climb the fruit tree. “No I don’t want to climb up there, it’s too high”

“Why not? “  He replies “You can only fall as far as the ground, you can bank on that”

 Friend number one says- “it’s not the falling that I am afraid of but the making contact with the ground. “

A funny thought for sure, but most of us have a very real and overpowering fear of making intimate contact with the floor. Engrained in us from birth it controls to a large extent how we react to any off balancing event, some emitting a blood curdling scream at even the merest hint of a fall.

It is essential for the student to study how the body falls and make an earnest attempt to master as best as he or she can the techniques of the break fall. Whether it is walking on a slippery surface like mud or ice, falling while protecting yourself in a self defense situation or simply sliding in a slippery bath tub  , it can be the difference between an uncomfortable bump or a serious  injury.

I can remember way back in the distant past being a brown belt and entering the bath tub for a shower, not knowing that my sister had been soaking before in the tub with exotic bath oils, the oils of death I chose call them.   The only thing I remember are my feet being framed by the ceiling tiles, in that instant thinking to myself that they had a peculiar design but would probably look better in another color. There was no memory of my feet moving from under me, no memory of the time in-between that potentially lethal step and my body contorting to this new yoga posture. And this is a key point, for no one warns you if they are planning to sweep you, no one says “Excuse me sir, but would it be ok for me now to attempt my favorite front sweep?”

 Your reaction has to be automatic and this only comes from years of diligent practice, over time the body develops that acute timing that is required for that instinctive technique to work.

I remember years ago in the days when our beloved Jun Shihan still used his trusty bicycle to get around Mandeville. It was a bright summer day and Jun Shihan George had just finished his rounds and was heading back to the gym/dojo when a driver in a late model car decided that he would look striking as a hood ornament on his vehicle. In an instant Jun Shihan had to leave his adored bicycle behind and break fall in the bushes to save him-self from certain grave injury. Again, an automatic response created from years of training.

In the ‘good old days’ we had no choice in the matter you either learned to protect yourself and fall correctly over time or you would be constantly in pain with bruised joints, bumped heads, or injured backs. With this routine your prospects of a long career decreased incrementally, as there was little sympathy for those not yet versed in the art of the break fall.

I have often wondered about sportsmen like basketball players who had fallen awkwardly on their backs, maybe they would have saved themselves years of pain had they been thought how to control that fall. But alas they probably felt it a waste of time as they believe they would never have to use it. But we in the dojo know we will need it sooner or later, definitely as one moves to the higher ranks. The need is not just to be able to do the kihons properly but to protect yourself when you least expect it. That’s when it counts, that’s when you need to bank on it working.







the edge of experience

link to article by Shuzeki Shihan Chris Caile





It is always of great importance for all of us to continue to strive for that ever elusive perfection. 

You’ve been doing that mawashi geri the same way for years and it has ‘worked’ for you. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it IS perfect, or especially good.  We all know someone with that questionable technique that is a good fighter. It may very well be that very same unorthodox technique that continually surprises their opponent.

We need to know the orthodox, traditional, “right” way of doing things. The way one teaches new students with their blank slates has to be as near as possible to perfection; the established way of doing things. If it works in your kumite don’t abandon it, but strive to put other items in your arsenal. Thereby becoming an even more rounded individual.

Constant introspection is what all should have and cultivate, so we can all better ourselves. We should not feel threatened or offended if our peers point out a perceived fault. Before you dismiss it as having no value, check it out for yourself. Sometimes there is a need for a gentle reminder, especially when you have reached the dan grades. Don’t assume that the person is too self-important to be suggested to, and don’t be that person who is unwilling to receive objective criticism.




Maureen in Mandeville 1990 part 1

Maureen and Ronald

Maureen in Mandeville 1990 part 2

So much Space - Its all how you look at it. part 1

so much space part 2


Reprints of past Seido Mandeville articles.

1990 news letter pt.1

1990 newsletter pt. 2



It's very easy for one to complain about someone's swimming when his feet are always dry. It's easy to say a place is dirty if your hands are always clean. The same is true of training and the martial arts. Some will criticize when that student has honestly put forth 100 percent, while they sit back in comfort, no sweat, no pain, and no risk of failure.

It takes a truly weak individual to belittle someone for an earnest effort. It's great when you see someone overcome adversity to achieve what he or she is seeking. They may not be champions, they may not even look the best in the dojo, but they show the spirit and conviction, which we treasure in Seido karate. They have cultivated a character, which is an asset to the class and to themselves,and yes they did get their feet wet.

Senpai Ronald Lyn (1991)

senpai Burt