We teach kicking and punching, as well as blocking normally. So it doesn’t make much sense that we teach takedowns without leaning how to defend against a takedown. In fact, learning how to fall and not seriously injure yourself is an important self-defense technique, because, let’s face it – you aren’t always going to be able to stay on offense all of the time. You will need to know how to survive when the tide turns against you.
Protect your head
First and foremost, you must protect your head, and this can be done by tucking your chin against your chest as much as possible when you know you are going down.
Protect the rest of your body
Next is the part of the technique that can take the most getting used to – do not break your fall with any extremity – arms, hands, elbows…none of that. It is a recipe for serious injury. Instead, you want to hit the ground with as large of a surface area as you can – namely, your butt or your back.
This is all well and good, but your butt or back can still get injured, so right after contact, you should slap the ground with your arms as you land. This distributes the force of the impact of you hitting the ground to even more parts of your body, lessening further the pain on your back or butt.
So there you have it – how to survive a takedown effectively. So the next time you are doing sparring with takedowns in class, or we are simply practicing takedowns themselves, I recommend practicing these techniques when your partner takes you to the ground.