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Old April 6, 2011, 12:19 AM   #1
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The Combat Roll?

Ok sorry or 2 threads in a night, but I am REALLY wondering about this. I love the quote from Hondo in SWAT where he says they only roll in John Woo movies. I am just wondering if there would be ANY case where this is an acceptable tactic? Maybe this belongs in the live fire excersise thread since they do it in training in the movie? But seriously...does anyone actually do this?

I will say that I understand a roll while jumping from up high. It does actually take the load off...that is why parkour runners roll. But we are talking about a combat roll. Does it make sense? I assume this is a product of Hollywood? I mean I practice "combat rolls" during jiu jitsu so that I learn how to fall. This is an agility training thing though, but does it have something to do with putting you off balance and having you come up to shoot during training and that is it? Or is there some mysterious reason that is beyond me atm?
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Old April 6, 2011, 01:13 AM   #2
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I have no idea if it;s legit or ever has been, but when did a roll become a "combat" roll?

I too come form a jiu-jitsu background, albeit the Brazilian kind, and the roll is used to transfer energy, absorb impact and return you to an athletic stance quickly. Don't really know how well that applies to fighting with a gun.
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Old April 6, 2011, 02:17 AM   #3
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I find that combat rolls deplete the stamina meter too quickly to be of much use. They might be buffed in the next update patch, though.
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Old April 6, 2011, 06:35 AM   #4
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I thought "combat rolls" were what donuts were called when they are eaten just before SWAT serves warrants on houses where they have to perform dynamic entries. It just seems much more realistic than the gymnastic silliness of the SWAT movie.
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Old April 6, 2011, 06:59 AM   #5
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I prefer the Cinnamon Roll.
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Old April 6, 2011, 07:46 AM   #6
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Rolls are good for training agility. We've done them in every martial art I've studied. They are also good for physically clearing an obstacle or gap (my diving roll is currently about 16 feet).

Practically, the roll is about as useful as carrying a 9" nail around in your pocket. Hey... some day you may be installing gutters and be one nail short. But you really shouldn't go into a situation expecting to need to use it. That being said, it's not BAD to train them. Do what you want. Just don't expect to be using combat rolls in tactical situations anytime soon.

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Old April 6, 2011, 09:01 AM   #7
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I used to do rolls when I did judo in my ancient youth. I prefer now the combat flop.

I suppose if someone did one I would find it amusing and waste time laughing.
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Old April 6, 2011, 09:14 AM   #8
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Icant imagine a roll being all that usefull, at least not from a standing position. Maybe in an "oh ****!" situation where you are already in a squatting position, get surprised by the BG, and need to clear some small distance to cover before doing anything else.

Let's say (dontcha love those made up scenarios that always start with let's say?)', let's say you're out in the field and heavily engaged in practicing a Combat Crap when a BG pops up from behind a large shipping crate and starts tossing lead your way. The only effective tactic to disengage from your Combat Crap is a quick sideways hopping rolling manuever to cover behind the large cluster of 55 gallon rocket fuel drums. Otherwise known as The Combat Roll. Once behind cover you can finish clearing (ahem) yourself from the CC, and proceed to engage the BG.

Highly effective defensive tactic under the right conditions.
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Old April 6, 2011, 11:15 AM   #9
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I used to do rolls when I did judo in my ancient youth
Me too, did this then went to tae kwon do for a bit. Boxing was the most fun tho.
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Old April 6, 2011, 11:32 AM   #10
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You do that "combat roll" at my range you'll be picking out prickly bear cactus for a while.
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Old April 6, 2011, 11:36 AM   #11
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I have scar on my leg where I rolled into a pillar at the dojo and split my shin open. I hobbled to the side and the sensei told me to bow out. I told him that if I let go of my leg I would spurt blood all over the very expensive, spring mounted rice straw mat from Japan.

He saw the logic and that and I was forgiven for violating the mystic nature of the martial arts.
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Old April 6, 2011, 11:36 AM   #12
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On the field of combat, rolls pay a role only here and there and usually when someones putting hot lead in your area and your diving for cover. The other place they are used is after firing from a position you will at times roll right or left to change position so you dont get your head shot off by being at the same place too long.

Combat rolls are more of a exception than the usual.

In the civilian world... I dont see a lot of use for them.
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Old April 6, 2011, 01:20 PM   #13
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I'm just being practical here, as I push the cart downhill;

While you're rolling, your safety is OFF, or ON?

Finger OFF the trigger, or ON.

Assuming it's safety OFF, finger OFF, your 're going to roll, then

immediately shoot, like we've all seen a million times in the movies.

So you roll, recover balance, while acquiring target, aiming, and placing your

finger back on the trigger to shoot-something tells me that this is going to

take more time than it does in the movies, from a practical standpoint.

You can't have your finger on the trigger while rolling, because the muscle

contractions while your body is tensing to absorb the shock of you hitting the

ground is going to make you ND.

(UNLESS you're Mel Gibson, John Wayne, or Vic Morrow...)
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Old April 6, 2011, 01:36 PM   #14
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As a teen and in my 20s - we called them "cop rolls." It is what Crochett on Miami Vice did in every gun fight
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Old April 6, 2011, 04:15 PM   #15
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Wait, didn't I see Donatello and Leonardo do those, but they called them California Rolls? Bit different being chopped at with axes, though.

Seriously, if I tried to roll on anything, parts of me are going to break and others be left behind. Not happening. I agree with the "combat flop", aka FAT GUY INCOMING!
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Old April 6, 2011, 04:58 PM   #16
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In my training movement requires return fire. No matter how I move or for what reason, I should be shooting back. The theory is that giving the bad guy your back or in this case your whole body to shoot at, without giving them a dose of duress causing return fire, is a mistake.

Move to cover while shooting.
Create or maintain distance while shooting.
Advance while shooting.
Retreat while shooting.

Kinda hard to commando roll while shooting LOL.
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Old April 6, 2011, 05:01 PM   #17
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Old April 6, 2011, 05:53 PM   #18
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Works for the Spetsnaz.

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Old April 6, 2011, 06:03 PM   #19
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Didn't Mel Gibson do a big combat barrel roll while firing in the movie 'Lethal Weapon 1' ?
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Old April 6, 2011, 06:18 PM   #20
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Now are we talking a form of Ninja roll where you step forward and bend over while rolling on your shoulder and coming back up into a one knee kneeling stance?

Yea I've done it in TKD classes, but I tell you with full gear, loaded gun in hand, handgun in holster, mags, butt pack, etc.... it ain't so easy.

You will end up like Cmdr. Taggart in Galaxy Quest.

Now on the other hand if you are talking about shooting from prone and rolling to another location to fire, that has been done many a time in real combat and it has worked to keep the other side from zeroing in on ones location.

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Old April 6, 2011, 07:30 PM   #21
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The only example of a "combat roll" I have seen, outside of the fantasy realm of hollywood, involves rolling in one direction or another prior to moving from a prone firing position. The concept being that when firing from a prone position behind cover and / or concealment, rolling to the left or right might give you a better chance of not being seen / shot due to the fact that you "pop up" in a slightly offset position, and force a shooter that may have your position "dialed in" to adjust their fire on your "new" location. If you do it fast enough, and far enough away from the baddie, it may give you another half a second to get from where you were to where you want to be, BEHIND COVER.

The only problem is that it requires energy better expended on hauling your arse to a nice piece of cover, it becomes slow and inefficient depending on your kit, and it becomes less and less effective as you close the distance to the baddies.

I neither used it, or taught it, as the way I look at it, if I am going to leave cover, I am going to do so on my feet, moving as fast as possible to the next piece of cover, and if I want to offset my position before I move, I will do so only behind cover and simply use a low crawl.

I DID use many of the same falling / rolling techniques taught in Judo / Aikido / Jiu jitsu, however, never INTENTIONALLY.

IMO, the only "combat roll" worthy of learning and actually using consists of the ability to roll out of an unintended fall / trip, which happens in training AND combat far more often than one would like to believe. Climbing in and out of windows, falling off / out of roofs or helo's, tripping while hauling arse through a street / alley / compound. These things happen, and if you have the ability to "roll with it" and pop right back up on your feet and keep moving, you are less susceptible to injury, and getting shot in the arse....which is good.
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Old April 6, 2011, 08:33 PM   #22
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I call it falling with a spectacular recovery. I just saw the new modern twist. I believe it was on Demolition Man. When both Stalone and Snipes met up after getting thawed, Stalone does this flip in the air to land on his back and start shooting. I have NO clue what purpose that served, but I guess the stunt coordinator or director thought it looked cool.

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Old April 6, 2011, 09:08 PM   #23
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I saw in one of Michael Yon's Dispatches from Iraq a couple years back where a Battalion Commander was on a foot chase and did a flip/roll across an opening ..... it got him shot in the leg, IIRC. I looked for it again, and can't find it.... maybe someone else's Google Fu is better than mine....

The only "combat roll" I'm doing is combatting the rolls trying to show up above my belt line......
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Old April 6, 2011, 10:54 PM   #24
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He was shot in the leg mid-stride, then did a roll to come up firing. It worked well enough, in that he didn't get shot again, and was able to return fire.
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Old April 6, 2011, 10:57 PM   #25
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raimus, you have a link?

I remembered reading that, but could not find it...... great coverage by Mr. Yon!
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