Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The "Combat Roll"

From FightingArts.com,
an explanation of the combat roll - which is explained in detail, so I won't try it here. I will tell you a short story about a time it may have saved my life. Apologies to those who've heard me tell this repeatedly (students)! In the late 80s, I was riding a ten-speed bike in Reston, Virginia, with my friend Kevin, and we were riding on a residential road. It had been repaved repeatedly, and the new pavement was just put on top of the old. We were riding along, when I rolled down into the little gulley formed by the repaving, and tried to just ride back out-big mistake. My bike started to fall over to my left, into traffic. I still don't have any recollection of exactly how it happened, but I remember Kevin pulling up behind me as I was standing on the grass beside the road, next to the sidewalk with a scabbed knee, and a little disheveled. He said something like, "Dude! That was wild!" Or something to that effect. He told me that he saw my bike start to go down, and that I did a roll and popped up off the road. It was an Aikido ukemi (roll), executed without thought. I had a bloody knee, but wasn't struck by any cars. My bike was damaged, but I am still here. It works.

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