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07/18/2013: "In real life..."
Yes, you can actually use what you learn at dojo in real life - and not for self defense.
We train in how to roll and fall safely, mostly so that we can be safe as we're thrown after attacking our partner in class. However... it's also highly useful outside the confines of the dojo!
These are things which have all happened to people training at the dojo - and none of them was injured.
- roller blading, hit something, lose balance, roll out, come back up on the rollerblades and keep going
- rehabbing from knee injury, learning how to skate side to side on a slip-'n'-slide mat (to strengthen certain leg muscles), lose balance and fall down; rehab person attempts to help (having been warned not to), goes flying across the room (he didn't fall down, but caught his balance on a table)
- trip and fall down stairs at home
- lose balance and fall backward off porch steps
- step wrong off a curb, lose balance, twist body to land without injury
- training since age 4, playing soccer at age 9, run full tilt, trip, roll out, up on feet and keep running full tilt
- same kid, running full tilt down a steep hill at a soccer pitch, same deal; the hill was steep enough his father (who also trains) thought he was going to get hurt
- slip on rain-slicked ramp of barn, take a severe fall - but a proper one - and end up a bit shaken, but uninjured
- playing baseball, reach for the ball, overbalance, catch the ball, roll out, come up on feet and throw the ball...
- playing soccer at age 7, she puts her arm out sideways, making a frame, and, using body mechanics - not shoving, which would be illegal - moves the opposing player out of the way
There are probably a number of other stories, but those are the ones we've heard so far...