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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 4:12 am 
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I think the answer is ; These are REFLEX responses from TRAINING, not autonomic "flinch" responses such as blinking when sand is blown into your eye, or you lean on a hot radiatior. THOSE are flinch reponses.

Trained autopilot REFLEXES (totally different concept) are the Holy Grail of Karate training.

Perhaps the confusion (mine) is that some have taken the concept: "flinch" which is an autonomic survival nerve-response, not under the control of the conscious mind, and confused it with "REFLEX" which is a TRAINED MUSCLE/MOTOR response, bypassing the decision-making process.
I believe that "reflex" is what Karate trains, not "flinch"
The difference is not just semantics, but physiology.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 5:03 am 
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There is such as thing as a sympathetic response to certain kinds of sudden shocking stimuli – this reaction bypasses most if not all pre-processing and causes the body to respond with a best guess, often spastic movement, that from what I have seen will depend on the person and type of stimuli. The question is if one can train this "hardwired" sympathetic response to go from a spastic hands up and or duck and cover <or whatever someone's response is> to a more offensive or more tactically sound response.

Under certain conditions like a surprise attack or even dealing with an attack in close range there will not be enough time for the visual brain to recognize or identify the "threat" and therefore cannot offer the “correct” response to deal with this sudden and unknown threat. In these cases training identification through feel and when all else fails a general but tactically sound response may, through training, replace this natural spastic "cover" response.

The real question is if there is overlap between the spastic hard wired response and certain kinds of MA training - I think there is. In any case the issue is the ability or in this case inability for the brain to identify the threat and access the correct solution.. This is why various levels of response should be trained that require ever decreasing levels of analysis and option selection by the brain’s higher functions, such as those performed by the visual cortex.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:26 am 
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"The real question is if there is overlap between the spastic hard wired response and certain kinds of MA training"

After reading this a thought came to me that made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. :twisted:

I just had this image of a tai chi master standing in a clearing doing an incredibly flowing and graceful form, slowly transitioning through different postures in all directions, hands describing arcs and lines in concert with the dan tien. In a seperate frame was a prehistoric human being in the same clearing, dead of night, snow covering ground and trees. Fighting for survival against a small pack of wolves that has him surrounded, each one at intervals lunging high or low, one attacking from a blind side whenever he is trying to strike/grab/throw/stomp/twist/push/evade the jaws of another. Then I saw the struggle in slow motion, and it became the Tai chi master again, with the spirits of ancient wolves around him.

Oh crap. I guess it's time for me to start looking for some wise old Chinese dude who seems very serene and has an incredible sense of balance :lol: I thought maybe I was content not learning any more stupid forms. :lol:

It always occurs to me at innoportune times such as right now that I need to get in touch with my old teacher and learn the f'n leopard form. Really bugs the hell out of me, it's been like three years since I've seen him. :cry:


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 4:49 am 
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I'm thinking I'm on the path with Jim/Shaolin and 5Dragons to decipher the realtionship between what is "flinch", what is "reflex" (particularly TRAINED reflex) and how they overlap or replace one another.

There are some people who you can't make flinch in response to your "attacks", but their reflexes are like lightning.
Other people are very flinchey, and you can fake them out because of this. They just react to, and chase everything. They don't really have any reflexes because they are "late-chasing" their flinch.

My teacher has a favourite name for this: he calls it "blocking on the way out": which means performing a ferocious block after you perceive an attack...by which time it is LONG GONE.

I maintain, as I previously posted, that Karate trains reflex.
I think 5Dragon's reactions that he presented were reflexes, in the absence of a flinch response.
I believe that these reflexes are "neuro-muscular reactions" which become ingrained and replace the "know-nothing" flinch which is simply a protective reaction by the body which has no other options.

THESE ARE THEORIES! Half baked at best, and still "under construction"!

However, comments are welcome!

NM

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:47 am 
Neil I beleive the best kind of training actually uses the Flinch as the base .

I beleive most natural blocks are continuations of a basic flinch response , basic covers and guards that are natural by necessity .

Or training is merely a process of refining natural movement , and accentuating natural tendencies .

I myself wish I had a bigger guard/flinch , I think i mistakingly programmed it out of me , but luckily it`s hard wired and i`m sure will become more dominant again .

I see getting faked out different form eliciting a flinch , it`s sparring mindset , confusing biology and nurture . Hence the individual does neither well and is easy meat .

I predomiantly train striking defence to react from a guard/flinch .. it`s the common denominator to being struck , the reference point to be familair with .

All these postures in forms etc , often very similar to natural guards , just twaeked and stylised , and from there theres usually counters and entrys .

All building from our inherent humanity . not bypassing it , or reprogramming it , just acknowlidging it and empowering ourself to use our natural gifts .

A flinch and a move forward .... :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:01 am 
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There is a time when flinching will happen and times when it should not happen. Like when you are ready to engage. If the brain has enough time to process the attack and react then no flinch is desired or required. Many CMA do specific drills to eliminate a conscious flinch – I wonder how that might carry over in general to flinch performance. Being faked out has nothing to do with flinching but a timing attack may elicit a flinch..IMO and that might be the end of the flincher right there; If my opponent flinches when I attack or test from the outside then I will enter on his flinch and attack with great fervor. So IMO when in "condition red" or perhaps even yellow folks need to be trained to eliminate the "lame flinch" and process information quickly and adapt.

Situations of complete surprise AND overwhelming stimuli is what real flinching IMO is. This is when the CNS does not have enough time to fully "understand" what is happening but it is overloaded with input; because it is overloaded it cannot "output" a detailed and "correct" response. You have to realize that humans flinch based on sight and sound and perhaps touch. Even if most folks are "ready" I can walk up to someone and toot off a TRAIN horn.. Most people will totally FREAK/SPAZ out when subjected to this kind of stimuli exhibiting all the typical natural flinches and some that are quite odd. What is the correct response? In these situations there is no "correct" response. The body does react though, in most case quite "severely." :lol:

I think that the brain makes the most of the situation, if it thinks that something big like a train is coming then it will make you jump out of the way, albeit in a spastic way. In cases of a shocking attack on the street the flinch may involve more of a cover, again a spastic one, still it is targeted at protection. So I think that these responses can be changed slightly for use in those dire circumstances when the flinch has happened without our having enough time to output a better response. In WCK we train to enter most of the time, but there is also a cover move that is taught to folks early on. I hadn't noticed it until I had thought about these kinds of topics and I realized that the cover IS the/a flinch.. The system seems to adjust the flinch to a specific kind of two hand cover that is designed to cover and then convert immediately into a sticking entry.. Works for me.. ;)

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M Y V T K F
"Receive what comes, stay with what goes, upon loss of contact attack the line" – The Kuen Kuit


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:14 am 
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I hadn't noticed it until I had thought about these kinds of topics and I realized that the cover IS the/a flinch..


BAM !!! and a cover can be the entry ....



Quote:
to eliminate a conscious flinch


I`ll even say the dread B word ... blocking ... if your thinking about blocking your not blocking .

theres no such thing as a concious block unless your opponents inept .

So are my unconcious parrys , blocks jams etc trained or a flinch , and who can draw the line when you train them as the same ?

ever throw your arms up and just charge/Bull rush someone ... try it in class it`s hilarious .


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:33 am 
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Stryke wrote:
Quote:
I hadn't noticed it until I had thought about these kinds of topics and I realized that the cover IS the/a flinch..


BAM !!! and a cover can be the entry ....


Well the way it's trained it's a natural way to bring both arms hands up, one low, one high, to cover a large area.. Done with either a high left or high right the flinch part is bringing the hands up to cover and the next move, after what I see as the flinch, is the attack.

If there is no flinch then there should only be attack, albeit one that fits.

Stryke wrote:
I`ll even say the dread B word ... blocking ... if your thinking about blocking your not blocking .

theres no such thing as a concious block unless your opponents inept .

So are my unconcious parrys , blocks jams etc trained or a flinch , and who can draw the line when you train them as the same ?


Been watching lots of fights lately and what I see is that many fighters will not attack on the opponent's attack but will attack when they feel the opponent is defensive and vise versa. In other words I see a lot of fighters "defending" and waiting by covering and moving away waiting for the attacking opponent to stop, so they may attack. Many do not seem to train, or emphasize intercepting, cutting off the attack, a few do, most don't very often at least among the fights I have been watching.

The thing is that when these defensive fighters are attacked seem to flinch... They are attacked, they do not intend to cut off the attack or even try and instead they avert/close their eyes, turn their head away, make passive movements, cover and make space.. To me this is a kind of flinch and one that IMO is a tactical error, still I see even top rated fighters do this and I think it is a liability.

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"Receive what comes, stay with what goes, upon loss of contact attack the line" – The Kuen Kuit


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:47 am 
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The thing is that when these defensive fighters are attacked seem to flinch... They are attacked, they do not intend to cut off the attack or even try and instead they avert/close their eyes, turn their head away, make passive movements, cover and make space.. To me this is a kind of flinch and one that IMO is a tactical error, still I see even top rated fighters do this and I think it is a liability.


This is good stuff , this to me is the difference between flinching and posturing .

A defensive fighter if stuck in his guard and intellectually defending , will often freeze or/and flinch , I see this kind of thing as a conflict and duality set up between a trained respnse and a natural one .

This to me is a lot of free yourself from the classical mess ;)

In Shotokan I learnt to attack the attack , more correclty I learn to attack on any perceived threat , to win or draw ....

In the points fighting game it is often all about attacking on there hesitation , he who hesitates has lost 8) .

I see a natural flinch as a good thing , i`m yet to cower in a way thats of disadvantage , I beleive that over reaction is created by being overwhelmed , to invested in thinking and not feeling .

I`m trying to train to trust my flinch , rely on my inate ability , one I beleive everyone has , they just need to recognise it .

at the end of the day were the descendants of the survivors , our inbred ability has purpouse and function .


I truly think defence comes from (aprt from offence) natural reactions/flinch , and confidence and familiarity with contact .

I dont see much more being possible than that .


anyway just some more babling and thoughts .


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:14 am 
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Stryke wrote:
I see a natural flinch as a good thing , i`m yet to cower in a way thats of disadvantage , I beleive that over reaction is created by being overwhelmed , to invested in thinking and not feeling .

I`m trying to train to trust my flinch , rely on my inate ability , one I beleive everyone has , they just need to recognise it .

at the end of the day were the descendants of the survivors , our inbred ability has purpouse and function .


Okay, I think I understand what you mean here.. It sounds like you are talking about opening your mind to whatever may come and eliminating conscious thought - yes?

You see this as connected to the flinch - yes?

I relate to opening the mind.. It comes with a lack of patterns, as in chi sao.. I just focus on attacking/clearing center using visual reference or tactile or both. But to me, in computer terms, there is a high to medium bandwidth connection operating there. If and when one gets stunned; as in a surprise it gets cut down to just a few bits of data and the flow may stop. So, I see the term flinch as something else...more like a short circuit, a blind spot, a momentary thick fog.

When we open our mind be it conscious or subconscious it must be able to transfer information about what the stimuli is. If there is enough time to process the data, then in my way of thinking, there is no flinch just adaptation. In other cases some will not let themselves "see" they react too late or too early with a generic response, they have not really flinched but they never gave themselves the time to "see" so in a sense they "flinch them self" by short circuiting their own system to prevent possible error, yet this in itself may be an error. Others react defensively more so as they tire and loose strength and focus. There are so many nuances it's hard to know who is talking about what sometimes..

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"Receive what comes, stay with what goes, upon loss of contact attack the line" – The Kuen Kuit


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:25 am 
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"I`ll even say the dread B word ... blocking ... if your thinking about blocking your not blocking"

Isn't it funny how someone took one instinctive gross motor movement on three planes, arguably the most capable of inflicting insurmountable blunt force trauma (along with maybe the dropping hammerfist/elbow and "baseball bat" forearm) and called them "blocks"? :lol:

EDIT: I'm referring to upper, middle and lower blocks as in pinan, I don't know what they're really called.

Who the hell came up with that word anyway? Was that for Japanese schoolyard calesthenics, or was it an American misinterpretation of a much broader meaning, for instance "crazy ape fighting technique"? :? :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 9:31 am 
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"There are so many nuances it's hard to know who is talking about what sometimes.."

I'm starting to think the "f" word is entirely subjective. I'm the most high strung, flinching all over the place person in the world. But maybe it's not so bad to be a jungle cat. :lol: I think maybe sometimes people aren't comfortable or familiar with their own instincts, and end up with an aborted movement that doesn't do much good. Someone with really good reflexes, if they're going to freeze up, they'll just freeze faster than someone with slow reflexes. I dunno. I don't really have any choice but to accept the fact that I'm a jungle cat, :lol: and make the best of it. :lol:

Seriously is "flinch" just some kind of self defense buzzword of the day?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 10:06 am 
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Yes, I think to some extent it is a buzzword.. But it's also about some folks trying to get a better understanding of what works and what doesn't. In the end I see the best of the "old ways" repackaged as the "new ways."

I think Bruce summed up this issue best when he said:
Quote:
Don't get scared backward, get scared forward!

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"Receive what comes, stay with what goes, upon loss of contact attack the line" – The Kuen Kuit


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 6:46 am 
Good discussion guys. :D


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 Post subject: Jim..
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 3:59 pm 
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The thing is that when these defensive fighters are attacked seem to flinch... They are attacked, they do not intend to cut off the attack or even try and instead they avert/close their eyes, turn their head away, make passive movements, cover and make space.. To me this is a kind of flinch and one that IMO is a tactical error, still I see even top rated fighters do this and I think it is a liability.


I'm not sure, but I'm assuming many of these "top rated fighters" you refer to, don't train themselves to flinch in the way you describe. Perhaps this reaction is something they can't change.

I've worked with thousands of students and we spend far more time doing "attacking the attack" techniques than "cooperative" drills. I'm trying to keep an open mind in all these discussions, but still feel that only a small percentage of people possess the ability, whether learned or hard-wired, to modify their flinch. At best, we can become comfortable with the fact that we might react differently than what we would like.

How many of us can live with the shame of pissing our pants while cowering in a ball when surprise-attacked. . . after convincing ourselves that we had "mastered the flinch".

I've had really tough fighters in my dojo, all who held their own in the roughest type of sparring imaginable, get into a real fight, where they didn't see the attack coming and found themselves totally unable to recover from the shock of not being able to regain their balance or engage the attacker. They were so overconfident in their ability to fight that when they were overpowered in the initial fury, they lost all their confidence and will to fight!

I can remember at least two who stopped training because of this emotional and physical discovery about themselves.

Much of my teaching has evolved, based on what works and what doesn't work for "average" people. That is why I keep asking those who feel they have the answers: "How many students have you taken from novice to expert? How many of those experts are in fields where their lives depend on the skills you taught to them?

And most importantly, how many of your average students live normal, happy lives and will probably be able to fend off an attack by your average bad guy and... when discovering they wet their pants and had stumbled after being nailed in the face with a haymaker, smiles and says, OK, you want to play?

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