Boy now I'm really confused
I'm going to disagree with my last post.
Maybe self-protection reflexes are learned and not ingrained. I just thought about a child learning to catch a ball. If self-protection reflexes were automatic the child would never get bonked in the head with the ball. He'd move or deflect it. Now that I really think about it those people we've had in class who were completely foreign in their own bodies and couldn't for the life of them anticipate any type of attack or how to avoid it, led a completelty unphysical life up to that point. I wonder if what I'm thinking of as reflexes are really reactions learned over a lifetime of getting hit with balls, falling off bikes, falling out of trees, wrestling with other kids, playing tag, playing dodgeball, etc. Over time we learn that something coming at us quickly will probably hurt if it connects. If someone led the type of life where they didn't have those experinences then when they started in a dojo they would essentially be at the stage of a small child learning to catch a ball, having no deep internal body awareness telling them to move or block it.
Like I said, I've gone and confused myself all up