How to Do a Shoulder Roll
Role of a Roll
If you are studying martial arts, you are learning a lot. What you learn gives you confidence in yourself, especially in terms of self-defense. However, you'll find that you'll probably never use the self-defense techniques you've learned against assailants or bad guys trying to hurt you. Why? Because you've learned to avoid fights and problems; plus the air of confidence you exude generally discourages would be attackers from targeting you as a victim.
You will use at least one thing—the shoulder roll. Within your lifetime, you will use a shoulder roll at least a couple of times to save yourself from an injury-causing fall or trip. Most martial arts will teach you how to fall.
Rolling is one way of falling without getting hurt; that's because the energy that would otherwise be absorbed by your limbs are instead dissipated through the motion of a roll.
The video below illustrates how a shoulder roll is done.
Key Points to Remember When Doing a Shoulder Roll
Here are key things to remember when learning how to do a shoulder roll:
- Practice; you'll need to embed the roll into your natural falling instincts.
- Keep your chin tucked in by touching it towards your chest.
- Curve your back like a ball.
- Tuck your legs in; it's hard to roll if your legs are straight.
- Tighten your core as you roll; it keeps your roll stable.
- Practice; practice makes perfect, and as noted before, you'll need to embed the roll into your natural falling instincts
When to Use a Roll
There are many occasions when a shoulder roll comes in handy. In most cases, it is something you don't plan; it just happens.
- You are riding a bike, and your front wheels hit something or jams causing you to fly over the handlebars.
- You are running and trip over an obstacle you failed to see.
- You are escaping a burning building and have to jump the height equal to one floor down to the ground. In this scenario, you land on your feet at a slight forward angle and quickly go into a shoulder roll; the roll absorbs the land shock.
- Someone accidentally pushes you from behind and falling flat on your face isn't an option.
Have You Practiced Your Roll Today?
Even if you aren't in martial arts, it is a good idea to learn how to roll. So find a nice, clear area that has padded flooring and practice.
Have you experienced a fall where a roll could have saved you from broken bones, scratches, and bruises? Share your story below.