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Old 03-31-2009, 05:35 PM   #26
Brian Beach
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Looks like yokomen unchi "x"-kyo omote - (letting your back foot trail too much)
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:17 PM   #27
Michael Varin
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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.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:31 PM   #28
dps
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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
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:33 AM   #29
Michael Varin
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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."

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:08 AM   #30
philippe willaume
 
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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

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In the Land of Windsor where phlip phlop live.
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:49 AM   #31
JimCooper
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
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.
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:50 AM   #32
JimCooper
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
That flaw is that the flinch response cannot be honed
Actually, it can be trained, but it takes dedicated effort.
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:54 AM   #33
JimCooper
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Quote:
Peter Gröndahl wrote: View Post
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.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:03 AM   #34
Brian Beach
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Quote:
Jim Cooper wrote: View Post
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.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:24 PM   #35
JimCooper
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Quote:
Brian Beach wrote: View Post
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: View Post
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: View Post
The line isn't necessarily the line that bisects your axis.
Sorry, I don't think I follow what you're trying to say.
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:29 PM   #36
Brian Beach
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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.

Last edited by Brian Beach : 04-01-2009 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:13 PM   #37
kironin
 
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Quote:
Peter Gröndahl wrote: View Post
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.

Last edited by kironin : 04-01-2009 at 06:17 PM.

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Old 04-01-2009, 07:02 PM   #38
Michael Varin
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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.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:05 PM   #39
kironin
 
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
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.

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Old 04-01-2009, 07:37 PM   #40
kironin
 
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Quote:
Jim Cooper wrote: View Post
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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Old 04-01-2009, 08:02 PM   #41
dps
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

I think it is important not to stop after the startle reflex gets you moving, but to use the momentum to continue on to what you have trained to do to defend yourself, a smooth transition from one to the next.

David
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:03 PM   #42
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

If your startle reflex cannot be trained, then there would be need for only one martial art technique.

This technique would be the one that cannot be stopped by the startle reflex.

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Old 04-01-2009, 08:19 PM   #43
dps
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
If your startle reflex cannot be trained, then there would be need for only one martial art technique.

"This technique would be the one that cannot be stopped by the startle reflex.
Fear stimuli are absorbed through our eyes, ears and other sense
organs, feeding information to the portion of the brain known as the
thalamus. There, time permitting, the brain quickly creates an image of the
threat in our minds, interprets this image and then processes an appropriate
response to the cortex-the portion of our brain responsible for delegating
actions. This allows the most evolved "human" portion of the brain to remain
engaged and rational thought to prevail. Neuroscientists commonly refer to
this neurological pathway as the "highroad". (Ledoux, 2004: 212-214)
A second neurological pathway also exists. In more spontaneous
scenarios, if the brain regards a stimulus as being too urgent, the threat
message received by the thalamus is instantly rerouted to the section of the
brain known as the amygdala. In these instances, the rational forebrain
(cortex) is completely bypassed. Instead, the amygdala instantly responds
with what is commonly referred to as the "startle/flinch" response. These are
any automatic reflexes designed to protect the body from sudden harm.
Startle/Flinch responses include instinctively pulling your hand away from a
hot stove, sneezing to clear your airway of foreign particles or blinking to
protect the eyes. Neuroscientists refer to this second protective subroutine
as the "low road". (Ledoux, 2002: 212-214; Ledoux, 2004)"

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

Russian Systema's Flow Training:
A Progressive Alternative to Stimulus-
Response Training


David
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:01 PM   #44
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Just got back from Miami and was out of the net for a couple of weeks. My friend Matt Larsen and I were discussing this a few month back on my blog. Matt's comments are worth a read for sure.

http://www.budo-warrior.com/?p=118

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Old 04-02-2009, 12:28 AM   #45
Michael Varin
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote:
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.
Apparently, you didn't read all of my post, either. But since, this is the second time that someone has misunderstood the same comment, maybe it's my fault.

I said:
Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
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.
I meant:
The flaw in Blauer's approach is that he seems to be teaching his subjects that the flinch response cannot be honed. However, the above statement is based soley on the YouTube videos, so I do not know what level of development Blauer expects his subjects to reach with the "spear."

I have been saying all along that the flinch response can be trained.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:22 AM   #46
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
any automatic reflexes designed to protect the body from sudden harm.
Startle/Flinch responses include instinctively pulling your hand away from a
hot stove, sneezing to clear your airway of foreign particles or blinking to
protect the eyes.
Right, so there is more then one response. Suggesting that when something startles us, we can move forward or backward. Drop our hands or raise our hands etc.

When you touch something scary the general response when started is to pull away. However bare handed fisherman have trained their "flinch response" when surprised by a fish to grab harder, while the normal person would pull back. They have honed their startle response, from letting go to grabbing.

There are lots of examples of this in lots of fields of work. You can't get rid of the startle response, but you can change it to suit your needs. This is why different people react in different ways to the same stimulus.

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Old 04-02-2009, 04:06 PM   #47
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

I have to admit, what Chris just said makes sense to me...

B,
R

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Old 04-06-2009, 01:16 PM   #48
JimCooper
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote: View Post
The startle reflex can't be trained
Well, I beg to differ. I believe it can, but it takes a lot of repetition. If it could not be trained it would be useless for self defence.
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:25 PM   #49
JimCooper
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
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"?
We probably have different ideas what "protecting the centreline" means.

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
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.
Like I keep saying, it can be applied to any art, because the art is what you use after you have stopped your head being thumped :-)

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
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.
Well, it should reduce them somewhat (although that type of training is also fairly rare, IME), but "altogether" is asking for perfection, isn't it? :-)

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
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.
Sorry, but in message 29 you said "That flaw is that the flinch response cannot be honed" (I copied and pasted that text). Did you mean to say something else?
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:30 PM   #50
JimCooper
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
The flaw in Blauer's approach is that he seems to be teaching his subjects that the flinch response cannot be honed. However, the above statement is based soley on the YouTube videos
Ah, I see what you mean now. That wasn't particularly clear to me, sorry.

Well, when I trained with him back in the 90's he definitely thought it could be trained. That's the whole point really - to retrain it to be useful - ie his SPEAR technique. My karate sensei teaches something quite similar as well, and he also thinks you can train it.
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