The Psychology of Krav Maga Fall Breaks

Last week, we spent a whole hour on fall breaks. Here’s Matt, my instructor, demonstrating fall breaks on concrete. Like a crazy person.

Posted by Krav Maga Instructor Matt on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Today, I went to a Krav Maga bag class for some cardio. Afterwards, I spent a few minutes working on fall breaks (just like I said I would).

Matt gave me some great advice before I started: Fall breaks become easy once you commit to the fall and you get out of your own head. The mechanics are simple. You have to trust you can do the technique.


I pulled the thicker pads to the center of the room to practice on. With his words still ringing in my brain, I threw myself backwards and… successfully completed a fall break. Rock! I did it again. No problem. Fall breaks! Take that!

That’s on the nice thick pad though. I stepped¬†off the pad and looked down at the floor. It’s cushioned, but it’s not a five inch cushion like the thick pad.

I looked down at my feet. I looked up at myself in the mirror. I looked down at my feet. I crossed my arms across my chest. I looked up at myself in the mirror.

You get the picture, right? I got in my own head. I was doing it in the moment and I was aware I was doing it.

I sighed and threw myself back. My legs collapsed underneath me. I had no real fall to break.

What was that?

I stood back up, crossed my arms, and tried again. I couldn’t get myself to fall backwards. I crouched down so I was closer to the floor. This is how I was first taught fall breaks. Maybe I just needed to start from here and work my way up to standing. I practically rolly-polly’d across the floor.

I stood up frustrated with myself, marched over to the thick pad, threw myself back, and completed a fall break.

I got up, marched over to the non-pad side, threw myself back, and my legs just collapsed beneath me.

I couldn’t do a fall break on a non-padded surface. Not because I can’t do the technique, but because I don’t trust myself to break the fall.

Why is this so hard? To fall backwards and trust you’ll catch yourself?

I threw myself back on the thick cushion once again completing a successful fall break and then decided to give it a rest for the day.

Sometimes Krav Maga is a lot less about learning physical techniques and more about trusting yourself. I’m not giving up. I will learn this.

Do you have tips for learning psychological issues of fall breaks? I’m all ears!

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