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dps 03-29-2009 10:28 PM

Flinch Response in Aikido
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk_Ai8qT2s4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWWl7...eature=related

What do you think of Tony Bauer's idea about startle/flinch response.
How it can apply to Aikido?

David

MarkWatson 03-29-2009 10:47 PM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Hi David.

I just watched the first video and paid close attention and i belive he has avery good point.
I'm am a white belt in iwama ryu aikido and have been training for approx 5 months and i love everything about the art, both physicaly and spiritualy, mentality of the art too. However beeing 16yrs old living in a small town near Glasgow, Scotland, i have the everygrowing need to protect myself against todays modern kids (im only a kid myself i know) and even adults. In the town where i live there is ALWAYS a chance of being attacked. I have been attacked twice whilst studying aikido and not used aikido untill i knew it was a right moment.
Basically in the video he talks about the first movements...
When i was attacked i through my arms up in the air and then grappled his neck and then realised 'hey if i move behind him i could do a variation of irimi nage' and i did so.

Basically what im trying to say is, protect yourself first and then try to apply a technique.
I was very lucky to be in the postion to apply a technique, unlike teh other time i was attacked.

Regards,
Mark

Spinmaster 03-29-2009 11:43 PM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
I just watched the first vid and enjoyed it quite a bit (though I probably missed a couple things because youtube doesn't like my laptop, and I was keeping the sound down so as not to disturb others who are trying to get to sleep). It sounds quite similar to some stuff my BJJ coach was describing when telling me about a "practical self defense" course he's going to offer in the near future. Working from natural flinch response, closest weapon to closest target, etc.
Maybe I'll have some more to say later, but I should be getting to bed now! :D
Thanks for posting the vids.

Michael Varin 03-30-2009 12:28 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
First off, it is apparent that Tony Blauer is a businessman who is capitalizing on the tactical trend that started after 9/11. He has come up with a catchy acronym and all the gear to go with it. Considering the affect this has had on the law enforcement community, I'm not entirely sure that this is a positive thing anymore. But I digress. . .

Blauer seems to be a very good instructor, but there is nothing unique or original about the concepts he is teaching.

This easily applies to aikido. It is part of the principle of centerline, and is embodied in the movement shomenuchi, which presents itself in numerous techniques.

Further, aikido addresses surprise, superior numbers, and weapons, which are the most dangerous situations and all of which relate strongly to the concepts Blauer was teaching.

Erick Mead 03-30-2009 12:34 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Quote:

David Skaggs wrote: (Post 227417)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk_Ai8qT2s4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWWl7...eature=related

What do you think of Tony Bauer's idea about startle/flinch response.
How it can apply to Aikido?

It already is. Funetori, udefuri, furitama, asagao, etc.-- they are just slowed down in order to examine them is all. With good training "techniques" are what flow from those very basic things in various configurations as things just play out .

Good stuff though.

George S. Ledyard 03-30-2009 01:28 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Quote:

Michael Varin wrote: (Post 227422)
First off, it is apparent that Tony Blauer is a businessman who is capitalizing on the tactical trend that started after 9/11. He has come up with a catchy acronym and all the gear to go with it. Considering the affect this has had on the law enforcement community, I'm not entirely sure that this is a positive thing anymore. But I digress. . .

Blauer seems to be a very good instructor, but there is nothing unique or original about the concepts he is teaching.

This easily applies to aikido. It is part of the principle of centerline, and is embodied in the movement shomenuchi, which presents itself in numerous techniques.

Further, aikido addresses surprise, superior numbers, and weapons, which are the most dangerous situations and all of which relate strongly to the concepts Blauer was teaching.

To be fair... Tony Blauer pioneered many of the concepts about scenario training that are commonplace today. I have videos of the work he was doing way back in the early nineties. He was doing staged muggings in the park with protective gear cobbled together from myriad sources. His stuff has always been solid. He is a good business man, unlike most martial artists but that doesn't equate to bad quality, in his case. His gear is expensive, pretty much geared for institutional purchase. But it is good stuff and well designed. Anyway, he isn't just some Johhny come lately post 911 wonder. He's spent a lot of years refining his stuff and it's generally good stuff.

Michael Varin 03-30-2009 03:12 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Thanks for adding that, George.

And, I'd like to make it clear that I wasn't disparaging Blauer specifically or entrepreneurialism generally.

sorokod 03-30-2009 03:59 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
"wax on, wax off"?

SeiserL 03-30-2009 05:46 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Agreed, Tony has been around for a while. I have always enjoyed his emphasis on the mental discipline, knowledge is power if put into practice.

IMHO, what is important, is that the flinch/startle response can be trained and utilized.

dps 03-30-2009 06:57 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Quote:

David Soroko wrote: (Post 227430)
"wax on, wax off"?

In the movie "Karate Kid" the sensei, Mr. Miyagi, teaches his student, Daniel, karate principles by having him do seemingly menial jobs. Waxing a bunch of old cars Mr. Miyagi has at his house (wax on, wax off ) teaches Daniel about blocking punches.

Go rent the movie and see it.

David

Bob Blackburn 03-30-2009 10:16 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Quote:

David Skaggs wrote: (Post 227434)
In the movie "Karate Kid" the sensei, Mr. Miyagi, teaches his student, Daniel, karate principles by having him do seemingly menial jobs. Waxing a bunch of old cars Mr. Miyagi has at his house (wax on, wax off ) teaches Daniel about blocking punches.

Go rent the movie and see it.

David

When I quote this movie and the student's eyes glass over, I start feeling old.

sorokod 03-30-2009 11:30 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Quote:

In the movie "Karate Kid" the sensei, Mr. Miyagi,...
"Karate Kid" is rated UK:12. It's a film for children.
Is this is the level of martial arts know how Mr. Blauer's audience is comfortable with?

Spinmaster 03-30-2009 12:00 PM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
I love Karate Kid. :)

Nick P. 03-30-2009 12:31 PM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Quote:

David Soroko wrote: (Post 227452)
"Karate Kid" is rated UK:12. It's a film for children.
Is this is the level of martial arts know how Mr. Blauer's audience is comfortable with?

That is not how I understand that rating at all, it is for those 12 and over, see http://www.bbfc.co.uk/classification/c_12.php

That movie is simply a cultural reference, one which is rather quite wide spread, much like using the term Klingon or Darth Vader. Arguably also for kids of all ages, but by no means a limited modern reference in my opinion.

To the original question: seems already rather intigrated. Add it to basic irimi/tai sabaki and I begin to understand more why I feel
1- aikido seems so natural
2- I gravitate towards kokyunages, I guess as they remove the need for pinning and precise handwork (dont misinterprate that to mean I dont strive for precise handword and pinning).

sorokod 03-30-2009 12:31 PM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Me, I am "The Cat in the Hat" person, but I do not see Thing One and Thing Two as a randori demonstration.

Ketsan 03-30-2009 01:52 PM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
I thought the idea was that Aikido became your flinch reponse.

It's near enough mine.

Russ Q 03-30-2009 05:35 PM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Interesting.....George sensei, I've just finished watching your "Irimi" instructional video and I think what you have to say speaks clearly to the flinch response..... "being inside" with your mind before the combative distance is closed resulting in nage's action simply being a physical manifestation of already being mentally inside. This may not speak to the physical symptons of our fight or flight response but, I find, gives me a starting point to work from. Perhaps you could elaborate on that idea if you agree with my statement.

Cheers,

Russ

dps 03-30-2009 09:44 PM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Three other links.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWeCW... =PL&index=24

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--74C...=PL&index= 25

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--74C...=PL&index= 25

I see the basics he is talking about in the beginning of most Aikido techniques. The only thing I do not see is proper distancing. Is it because the system is a for law enforcement officers?

David

George S. Ledyard 03-31-2009 01:52 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Quote:

Russ Qureshi wrote: (Post 227472)
Interesting.....George sensei, I've just finished watching your "Irimi" instructional video and I think what you have to say speaks clearly to the flinch response..... "being inside" with your mind before the combative distance is closed resulting in nage's action simply being a physical manifestation of already being mentally inside. This may not speak to the physical symptons of our fight or flight response but, I find, gives me a starting point to work from. Perhaps you could elaborate on that idea if you agree with my statement.

Cheers,

Russ

Hi Russ,
I think the whole idea of "irimi", entering first with your mind and then with your body, pretty much precludes a flinch response. It's not hard not to get the flinch / startle response when you already know you are in an encounter.

On the other hand, it is very difficult to not have the startle response when you are surprised (which my videos didn't really address). This is why predators prefer an ambush.

I think Peyton Quinn's Adrenaline Stress Conditioning work is the most realistic training for the unexpected assault you can find. He's at Rocky Mountain Combat Applications.

Flintstone 03-31-2009 06:47 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Quote:

Glen Luke Flanagan wrote: (Post 227453)
I love Karate Kid. :)

Ya, we all do.

JimCooper 03-31-2009 07:02 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Quote:

Michael Varin wrote: (Post 227422)
First off, it is apparent that Tony Blauer is a businessman who is capitalizing on the tactical trend that started after 9/11.

I went on one of his courses in the early 90s. The guy has been around a long time, always stressing realism in his training. But even back then, he did tend to use a few too many movie metaphors :-)

In regard to the original question, IME aikido dojo never train the flinch reflex. There's no particular reason why they couldn't though, as it is only used to protect yourself in the face of a surprise (and usually close range) attack. What you do next is where aikido (or any other martial art) comes in.

Quote:

Michael Varin wrote: (Post 227422)
This easily applies to aikido. It is part of the principle of centerline, and is embodied in the movement shomenuchi

Well, having trained for some years with an instructor who also utilises flinch reflex training, I have to disagree with you on that one. I've never seen it used that way in an aikido dojo.

grondahl 03-31-2009 07:28 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
In some styles of aikido, nage/tori initiates the encounter by doing shomenuchi/shomenate and then capitalises on ukes response (similiar to the flinchresponse) to create the waza.

Flintstone 03-31-2009 07:37 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
I believe it's a pretty common response.

JimCooper 03-31-2009 07:57 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Quote:

David Skaggs wrote: (Post 227473)
I see the basics he is talking about in the beginning of most Aikido techniques. The only thing I do not see is proper distancing. Is it because the system is a for law enforcement officers?
David

No, it's because of the type of attack he's talking about. These are surprise attacks, from a realistic distance.

What you call "proper distancing" is dojo stuff for (basic) training purposes. If you have only ever trained from outside touching distance, you have never done any realistic self defence training.

If you always have the sort of control over distance that is possible in a dojo, you never need to get involved in unarmed combat.

But actually, nobody will ever attack you with a stepping punch. Firstly, because unless you've trained for years, you can't do one properly (and I include every aikidoka I've ever met, of any rank, who hasn't trained in karate or similar in that statement). Secondly, it's really a quite weak punch. Try doing it against a punching bag, then compare it with a simple reverse punch. There is no comparison.

sorokod 03-31-2009 12:26 PM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
An interview here: The Tony Blauer Story.

Amusingly the FBI's name is misspelled along with the names of other organisations.

Brian Beach 03-31-2009 05:35 PM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Looks like yokomen unchi "x"-kyo omote - (letting your back foot trail too much)

Michael Varin 03-31-2009 06:17 PM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Quote:

Jim Cooper wrote:
Quote:

Michael Varin wrote:
This easily applies to aikido. It is part of the principle of centerline, and is embodied in the movement shomenuchi, which presents itself in numerous techniques.

Well, having trained for some years with an instructor who also utilises flinch reflex training, I have to disagree with you on that one. I've never seen it used that way in an aikido dojo.

Jim,

This isn't really an argument, because I realize that training methods and styles vary, but we do this regularly in our dojo.

You may want to reconsider the significance of protecting the centerline and of the shomenuchi cut.

And if you have, I would love for you to expand on why you do not think it applies.

dps 03-31-2009 09:31 PM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Here is an article on flinch response training, Aikido is mentioned on page 7.

http://www.montrealsystema.com/uploa...MA_Article.pdf

David

Michael Varin 04-01-2009 12:33 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Good article. Althought it is funny that the author confused uke and nage!

The article metioned something that I felt was a flaw in Blauer's approach. Of course, I am basing this soley on the YouTube videos, so I do not know what level of development Blauer expects his subjects to reach with the "spear."

That flaw is that the flinch response cannot be honed. The unconscious mind certainly acts faster and is able to handle a greater number of simultaneous processes than the conscious mind, but the conscious mind can be used to program the unconscious mind.

The way we approach this is to use slow training, much like that described in Systema, to program the body, move on to varying degrees of speed and fluidity, then test that with full speed attacks delivered with as much surprise as can be reasonably created in the dojo environment.

Another factor the article addressed was the flinch response against a weapon (Blauer mentioned forensics showing knife and bullet wounds to the hands, but I did not see him address how to prevent it).

From page 9 of the article:
"As practitioners gain familiarity and comfort with the drill, your partner can begin to swing more quickly and with more force. Again, it is important for the bulk of your training to maintain a pace that permits you to continue to explore and experiment with your movement rather than simply flinch and freeze. As the stick comes more quickly or at more awkward angles, you will invariably be caught off balance. In these instances, your hands or legs may naturally rise up to protect your more vulnerable head and body. What is essential here is that you do not allow this flinch response to become oppositional, since blocking a stick or blade will result in serious injury. Instead, the arms should be used to guide and gently redirect the weapons with minimal force. In this way, the limbs along with any other surface of the body that receives an impact, can be taught to act as a sensor that detects the incoming force, dictating to your body how much movement is needed to avoid harm."

philippe willaume 04-01-2009 04:08 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
I think this is really what using te-katana is all about.
He does it this clip really highlights the similarities up to the hand being open and “alive”.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ_Dd...eature=related.

phil

JimCooper 04-01-2009 06:49 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Quote:

Michael Varin wrote: (Post 227534)
You may want to reconsider the significance of protecting the centerline and of the shomenuchi cut.

And if you have, I would love for you to expand on why you do not think it applies.

Because I've never seen it used in flinch reflex style training - in fact, I've never seen any aikido dojo do that sort of training. If you do, I'd be happy to hear an explanation of what it is you do.

Also, protecting the centreline has virtually nothing to do with this style of defence. By their very nature, these types of close-range, surprise attacks do not give you the time to do that.

The next step might, depending on where you are, but a flinch response is very fast - there is no time for you to move your body very far. You don't defend your centreline - you just defend yourself. After that, various other techniques and principle come into play.

JimCooper 04-01-2009 06:50 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Quote:

Michael Varin wrote: (Post 227549)
That flaw is that the flinch response cannot be honed

Actually, it can be trained, but it takes dedicated effort.

JimCooper 04-01-2009 06:54 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Quote:

Peter Gröndahl wrote: (Post 227486)
In some styles of aikido, nage/tori initiates the encounter by doing shomenuchi/shomenate and then capitalises on ukes response (similiar to the flinchresponse) to create the waza.

I've done that too, but it's exactly backwards to what is being demonstrated :-)

What's being shown is how to deal with a surprise attack, i.e, tori is the one doing the flinching.

Brian Beach 04-01-2009 09:03 AM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Quote:

Jim Cooper wrote: (Post 227559)
You don't defend your centreline - you just defend yourself.

Can you explain the difference as you see it? Controlling the space is the goal - no? The line isn't necessarily the line that bisects your axis.

JimCooper 04-01-2009 12:24 PM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Quote:

Brian Beach wrote: (Post 227571)
Can you explain the difference as you see it?

Well, I'll try :-) It's more convincing to show than to describe though.

Quote:

Brian Beach wrote: (Post 227571)
Controlling the space is the goal - no?

Er, no :-) Not getting your head taken off is the goal. After that, other things come into play, but the very first thing to do to is not get hit (hard, at least).

This is for these particular type of close-range, surprise attacks.

For a typical dojo-style stepping punch, say, there is plenty of time to do other things (lead, enter etc). By definition, you don't have that amount of time to respond the sort of attacks in the videos.

Quote:

Brian Beach wrote: (Post 227571)
The line isn't necessarily the line that bisects your axis.

Sorry, I don't think I follow what you're trying to say.

Brian Beach 04-01-2009 02:29 PM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
I see the SPEAR's flinch, wrestling's sprawl and Aikido's Ikkyo undo as all variations of the same - the difference is how the supporting structure transfers or redirects the force. Some one enters your space and you reclaim it. You aren't trying to block anything ( blocking his punch) you are putting up your shield as it were. Blocking entry to yourself. Transferring the energy : back into them ( Flinch ) , Downward (sprawl) or upwards (ikkyo). There are secondary forces as well - the flinch also redirect some of the force through your structure to the ground.

kironin 04-01-2009 06:13 PM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Quote:

Peter Gröndahl wrote: (Post 227486)
In some styles of aikido, nage/tori initiates the encounter by doing shomenuchi/shomenate and then capitalises on ukes response (similiar to the flinchresponse) to create the waza.

the attacker's planned capitalizing on a reaction from the defender is not exactly the scenario Blauer is concerned about. What you are talking about doesn't have to be a startle response, it can just be a defense reaction of someone expecting an attack akin to a boxer delivering a jab as a setup to a cross. Also, unless you are talking about jiyu-waza, that's not likely really engaging the startle reflex for the defender either.

Blauer's point is a good one. The startle reflex is fast, it's going to happen if you get caught by surprise, is there a way to train that acknowledges that and allows a connection to previous training. I think it's certainly a worthwhile thing to explore. We've done some exploring of this in my classes in the past and found it very interesting.

Michael Varin 04-01-2009 07:02 PM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Quote:

Jim Cooper wrote:
Also, protecting the centreline has virtually nothing to do with this style of defence. By their very nature, these types of close-range, surprise attacks do not give you the time to do that.

The next step might, depending on where you are, but a flinch response is very fast - there is no time for you to move your body very far. You don't defend your centreline - you just defend yourself. After that, various other techniques and principle come into play.

How do you fail to see Blauer protecting the centerline at 9 seconds into the first video that was linked to, or any other time he uses the "spear"?

There is no requirement of moving the body very far the protect/control the centerline. In fact, the movement can be incredibly slight.

I would agree that most aikido training does not stimulate a flinch, but I interpreted the original question as whether Blauer's "spear" and the flinch response could be applied to aikido.

My answer is yes it can, and that the principles, strategies, and techniques of aikido already address it.

Further, aikido training places (or should place) a huge emphasis on expanding your awareness and your perceptive abilities. This has the potential to eliminate the "jack in the box" moments altogether.

On a different note, you have to watch yourself in quoting people out of context. I had said that the flinch response CAN be honed. There have been many times when my flinch responses have been totally appropriate and I credit much of that to my approach to taking ukemi.

kironin 04-01-2009 07:05 PM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Quote:

Michael Varin wrote: (Post 227549)
That flaw is that the flinch response cannot be honed. The unconscious mind certainly acts faster and is able to handle a greater number of simultaneous processes than the conscious mind, but the conscious mind can be used to program the unconscious mind.

by definition a startle reflex occurs to a novel stimulus, so yes, habituation will not occur, but I took Blauer to be interested in the conditioning that could be trained for the experience in the next instant after the startle response occurs. I didn't read all of that article but what you quoted and what I read seems to be suggesting that the flinch can be honed not to be "oppositional". Certainly weapons are a challenge.

kironin 04-01-2009 07:37 PM

Re: Flinch Response in Aikido
 
Quote:

Jim Cooper wrote: (Post 227560)
Actually, it can be trained, but it takes dedicated effort.

The startle reflex can't be trained, but what you do in the moment after can. I really think it's forming a bridge to the rest of your training. I think Tony sums it up nicely here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWWl7tjxe6Q


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