Systema Forward Roll

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Systema Forward Roll/Forward Somersault

The Systema forward roll is the basic method of redirecting any kinetic energy you may have that takes you forward and towards the ground. This is useful to learn in case you have been struck from behind and have fallen forward. It could potentially save you from striking your head, etc.

This technique should be practiced slowly on a hard surface and the speed should increase as you become comfortable with it. Although most martial arts use a padded mat to teach rolls, Systema schools will always use a hard floor.

For other Systema low acrobatics, please visit the main Systema Low Acrobatics section.

This technique is designed to use rotational and wave mechanics to protect your body. In it, you cause rotations that keep your body under control and use a wave motion on the ground to save your joints and keep your spine and hip bones from hitting the ground. This may sound very complicated in theory, but you will find that if you just concentrate on doing it correctly and let it work, it will be very easy in practice.

  • Although you can roll from any position, from lying prone to falling ten feet, when first learning the forward roll, it would be easiest to start in a sort of squatting/kneeling position with one knee on the ground, as seen at 0:50-1:16 of the second video.
  • The Kadochnikovs themselves teach people to spread out and touch their hands to the ground and twist both arms. They are to then turn their bodies in the direction of the knee not touching the ground.
  • Other schools of Kadochnikov or Kadochnikov based systema may tell their students to touch the ground directly in front of them and slide their arm outward as they lean forward to roll. The student is to twist the arm as it slides, so the shoulder blade touches the ground instead of the shoulder itself.
  • In either case, you roll over the knee touching the ground.
  • Paul Genge discusses "position safe" on the main Systema Three Dimensional Movement page. This is very helpful for preventing hip injuries. It can be trained on its own with the short curve step.


  1. The Combat Professor,, Added - 09/21/14
  2. The Kadochnikov System Russian Martial Art,, Added - 11/28/14

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