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In Kuk Sool Won, as with most martial arts, we train not just on how to counter-attack to defend ourselves, but also how to defend ourselves in a more rounded way; whether that be blocking an incoming strike or disarming an attacker with a weapon. One of our key defence mechanisms which may not spring to mind straight away is our falling principles, or ‘nak bub’. These are essentially a set of ways of landing when falling which are taught from white belt to ensure that no harm or injury is caused to us. This is accomplished through dissipation of the energy of impact, ensuring our vital organs remain protected when we fall or are knocked over.

In Kuk Sool, our falling techniques can be divided into two basic categories: hard falls (those which work to use parts of the body to absorb impact without causing major damage; and soft falls (those which work to redirect the energy of the fall – such as a rolling breakfall).

Aside from the obvious benefit of practising nak bub, another benefit is that by practising them repeatedly over time your body will become better conditioned to taking strikes and withstanding impact forces on the body when falling. This happens through the strengthening of internal organs and toning connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments. In effect, the body will become “tighter” through repeated practice of nak bub.

In addition to physical conditioning though, repeated practice of falling in controlled situations conditions the body to respond reflexively to falling situations, therefore conditioning the mind. You will become able to instinctively adopt a safe falling position when necessary, allowing you to become more aware of what is happening around you and if necessary, such as in a real life self-defence situation, you are more able to formulate a plan of how to respond to the situation at hand.

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