Knowing how to fall and making that work for you is a pretty big deal.
I am very glad Si Kung made sure we knew how to fall, tumble and recover.
Now I know that the ground is my friend.
Beyond that we also learned "ground fighting" techniques at Wu's Academy.
Where I very quickly learned that Tai Chi Chuan is an extremely versatile martial art that does not require you to be standing on your feet to work.
I once asked a teacher (this was after I left the Wu school and was searching for another place to train) that was teaching a "Tai Chi Chuan sparring" seminar that I attended but who did not once mention ground fighting techniques what we should do if we are thrown to the ground during a fight.
His answer was, and I still cannot believe I heard this reply, "In TCC we learn not to get thrown to the ground, so there are no ground fighting techniques."
I clearly remember the distinct feeling coming over me at that moment that I was in the wrong place.
I thanked him for his time, then left.
Trust me on this as I speak from experience, if you are ever in a real life combat situation there is a distinct probability that you will be thrown to the ground.
If you don't know how to roll with that, recover from it and even use it to your advantage, or if you can't fight effectively while lying on the ground, then you're going to be in big trouble.
But I digress...
Then again, I usually do.