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Old 01-23-2010, 10:22 PM   #76
DonMagee
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I have a pretty well developed flinch response I think from years of training it spontaneously and dealing with CQB with the military.

There are so many conditions and parameters you will face that I don't believe you can really control (realistically) how much clashing occurs or doesn't occur. It depends on the attacker, the amount of momentum, overwhelming force he projects, skill he has, and environmental considerations such as noise, light, objects etc.

I think the only thing you can do is frame your default response which is "hands up", stay up right, balanced on your base, turn towards the attack, and enter. From there it becomes "Feel" based on your experience and "intuition". Intuition being what you develop over repetitive training.

It may be that you stay on your base and you uproot him and you simply "linebacker" him into the nearest wall or object.

It may be that you meet resistance of a well based and established opponent and you must move off to an angle, gain position on him, then drive him off his base (think iriminage).

It may be that he has suprised you enough and you are off your base and must "backpedal", clinch, or what not and regain your integrity.

Those are about the three basic scenarios that you will run into. He is off his base at the attack/you are not, both you are not off your base at the attack, you are off your base/he is not.

in reality, I think it is really that simple. All the variations, skill, throws, cheetah flips, and what not are all additive, fun to do, and yeah maybe useful after a number of years of training I suppose. (I am definitely not there!).

Anyway, that is my thoughts on startle/flinch from my perspective.
I've been l lucky (or unlucky depending on the situation), my default flinch response has always been attack.

It runs in the family, my dad startles the same way. I guess it really is fight or flight. I had a friend in high school jump out and scare me while I was walking to my car and I almost broke his nose. It's like when I'm scared I just try to break anything in the general direction of what is scaring me.

I have noticed however that as I become better trained, I recover from being 'scared' faster and my 'scared' attack is more efficient. I've also noticed that I don't flinch as easily. For example, my aikido instructor will faint blows to the face where he expects you to block (and thus give him a hand to work with). It was natural when I first started, but after training more (and in other arts such as boxing, mma, etc) my brain knows the punch will not connect and thus I don't instinctively block. I have to consciously do it.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:08 AM   #77
Eugene Leslie
 
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
It runs in the family, my dad startles the same way. I guess it really is fight or flight. I had a friend in high school jump out and scare me while I was walking to my car and I almost broke his nose. It's like when I'm scared I just try to break anything in the general direction of what is scaring me.
A good inherent ability to be sure..

There are some good you-tube vids of people being surprised by practical jokers and the "victim" punches the joker without malice or intent at the moment of surprise.

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
For example, my aikido instructor will faint blows to the face where he expects you to block (and thus give him a hand to work with). It was natural when I first started, but after training more (and in other arts such as boxing, mma, etc) my brain knows the punch will not connect and thus I don't instinctively block. I have to consciously do it.
I humbly ask you to rephrase this claim good sir...In my opinion I think an experienced (in life generally) person senses an artificial threat as opposed to a real threat. Ie; dojo vs. street.
Most martial artists with a modicum of skill level will strive for control and therefore not really "hit" their sparring partner if it is not full contact agreed.
Ergo: Why bother to block (or flinch) at all....

Last edited by Eugene Leslie : 01-24-2010 at 01:22 AM.

Self-discipline is the chief element of self-esteem; and self-esteem the chief element of courage. Thucydides
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:37 AM   #78
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Hey Don. I suppose mine has always been attack too. It probably started with Pee Wee Football where I was a lineman and was made to push forward into the defense practice after practice. Always move forward, never retreat!

So, at my base level, I was conditioned at a young age to do this.

For me though, I think back about my first fight. Naw that didn't apply I had no clue! I got hit and I simply froze and went into the classic fetal tuck! lol!

Then as an adult I learned martial arts. Which for me at the time was all about speed, timing, good posture, and movement...aka...AVOIDANCE! hmmmm.

Got my ass kicked again in a few fights...then learned about fighting a little more directly and ....well it all went back to what I learned in Pee Wee football! LOL!

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Old 01-24-2010, 07:49 AM   #79
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Eugene and Don...you guys bring up some excellent points concerning hitting and realism and how you respond. I struggle with this alot like Don does.

Most of the training we do in aikido with atemi is controlled and VERY artificial you simply have to extrapolate ALOT to make the uke/nage relationship work.

Nothing wrong with that, however, but I do believe that it does cause some challenges for someone that trains like Don and I do.

One, as you get used to dealing with very fast and powerful attacks, you begin to look at the situation a little more holistically, subconsciously taking in the whole of the strike and not just the strike itself. You intutiively begin to understand that even if a strike makes contact that it is NOT going to hurt. You also might process, as Don states, that it will not make contact.

So in Aikido, that is one of the challenges you will face both as Uke and Nage, and of course, a HUGE subject of discussion here.

Boxing: Don, one of the reasons I don't like boxing type striking for the street or AIkido is that as a sport it is a sport of "round attrition" and/or timed knock out as such you will also develop "Boxing responses" to strikes that say, "hey, I will take that one to close the distance".

Personally, I am that kind of fighter. I am a reasonably big guy and I don't mind eating a few punches in order to close distance.

I also assume in ANY fight really that I am going to take the first few strikes, blows with a stick and/or knife..simply because....hey, we are in a fight and I suck, and I didn't see it coming and if I did, and have time...welll....I am doing something else!

While I think it is good to train that way......

I also think it is good to practice good ma ai ala Aikido style and to work through the distance and timing scenarios that while are somewhat "wishful" and "perfect"....I think there is quite a bit to be learned there as well.

Anyway, not much for me to conclude on here...it is a problem for sure...and one I constantly struggle with too!

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Old 01-24-2010, 09:31 AM   #80
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

IMHO, there is a great scene in Man On Fire where Denzel Washington is teaching a young girl to accept the starting gun in swimming as a friend. Her startle/flinch response when from freeze to dive. Illustrates that with mindful training that we can condition the startle/flinch response (not always to be confused with the fear response).

I also agreed that there are distinction is atemi. The more we train the more we can discern an actual strike. Also, the more we train the more we ask our training partners not to pull the punch. If I don't get off the line, please hit me.

I think as a young kid I had the fear based freeze or flight response. Later is was a fear based attack response. The it was move towards not away from (a motivational strategy that has helped in other areas of my life). Now, I am often kidded about my irimi.

Good discussion. Compliments and appreciation.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:56 PM   #81
Eugene Leslie
 
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Hi again...

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
One, as you get used to dealing with very fast and powerful attacks, you begin to look at the situation a little more holistically, subconsciously taking in the whole of the strike and not just the strike itself. You intutiively begin to understand that even if a strike makes contact that it is NOT going to hurt. You also might process, as Don states, that it will not make contact.
I agree with that. Well said.

Myself; I know when I'm pumped up I'll take in the whole person and not just the "swinging arm". Untrained scrappers will just use their shoulder to strike which is not a very threatening punch. Like you Kevin, I'll eat it if I have to, ( though I'm smaller and quick) to get my favorable position, (along with a deflection and half-assed absobtion block which will make that punch pretty much useless by the time it connects). Then again some people expend their gas tank in a flurry of hockey style punches in which case it ends up a grappling session.
(Please note that I'm talking from a younger time when I did get in a few fights (some sober ) as well as sparring at kung-fu dojo's and with friends; but my "strategy" still applies today as I am now, until I learn more).

I'm a neophyte when it come to Aikido and I've got a mountain to learn. I've learned so much from this site and the fine (experienced) folks here. With my maturity and wisdom I see violence and aggression for what it is and Osensei nailed it when he says that aggression is insincere. A trained, sincere person can win the fight no matter what physically happens or the outcome.
But you will walk away!

Cheers, guys!

P.S. Man on Fire analogy sums up the flinch response perfectly! (good movie).

Last edited by Eugene Leslie : 01-24-2010 at 04:09 PM.

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Old 01-24-2010, 11:58 PM   #82
Charles Hill
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
The more we train the more we can discern an actual strike.
Hi Lynn,

Let me put my NLP/DHE hat and modify your statement to "The BETTER we train the more we can discern an actual strike." When someone in an Aikido dojo does not react to a fist coming toward their face, there are two possible explanations. One is that the individual has accurately calculated that force, distance, timing, etc, is not equal to potential damage. The other is that the individual is ignoring a fast moving object coming towards them (in NLPspeak, altering submodalities), that is, deleting information.

In Man On Fire type situations, the trouble is that the individual is anticipating the sound. It is natural for us to hear a loud, unexpected sound and to react fearfully. (If we pretend the movie was real) the girl anticipates the sound/fear response and has a bit of the fear response first. To put into NLP terms again, the training involves anticipating the sound and lowering the auditory submodalities.

SWAT entry teams use flashbangs and they are not incompacitated like the suspects because they know the sound is coming and they know the sound is only a sound and not a sign of danger.

Man On Fire type training might be good for a sport based scenario, but I don't think it is good for a martial art. Yagyu Munenori said something like, when you take a swing at me and I blink, that is natural. If you swing again and I don't blink, that shows my mind is disturbed.
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:17 AM   #83
SeiserL
 
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

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Charles Hill wrote: View Post
Let me put my NLP/DHE hat and modify your statement to "The BETTER we train the more we can discern an actual strike."
Osu,
A kindred NLP spirit.
All acceptances, modifications, or rejections welcomed. Whatever makes it useful.
Rei, Domo.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:11 AM   #84
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

Charles Hill wrote:

Quote:
Man On Fire type training might be good for a sport based scenario, but I don't think it is good for a martial art. Yagyu Munenori said something like, when you take a swing at me and I blink, that is natural. If you swing again and I don't blink, that shows my mind is disturbed
A conditioned response is a conditioned response, so is an unconditioned response. I don't think it has anything to do with being sport based or not.

For example, in the miltary we spend a great deal of time practicing developing good and appropriate responses to "suprise" stimulus, especiallly in the CQB environment. I believe it is the same thing you are talking about.

I think the whole modality of aikido is really designed around this as well. That is, to change our structure, be it emotional, neurological, or physical to respond in a way that is "more correct" or "better" than what we may do otherwise.

I think the whole practice of martial arts is really all about this. If it wasn't, there would be no need to practice martial arts as folks would have enate abilities to do these things without training!

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Old 01-25-2010, 08:01 AM   #85
AsimHanif
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

interesting stuff....I've been trying to make sense of this for a while in an aikido context.
Last week I spent considerable time teaching my students how to throw a decent short lead hook to the body. After that the goal was to counter with 'something'. EVERYONE had issues dealing with a true punch...meaning the hand/arm wasn't left out there. Aside from mistakenly trying to deal with the hand/arm, most people backed off of the punch which creates other issues.
My point in that exercise was that if we are doing aikido for any significant amount of time and can't deal (emotionally) with a real punch, maybe we need to re-evaluate how we are training.

Then just this Sat at a yudansha class we were working on an iriminage initiated by an atemi. (Here's where I slightly disagree with Kevin). True boxing is a sport of attrition but the goal is not to take a lot of shots. Its about endurance on a few diff levels.
It's hard for me to do the atemi type techniques in honest practice because my response is to slip and counter...to attack but not to 'take it', but that's because I tend to be a counter puncher. I agree with Kevin, some boxers tend to eat punches, which really aint good.
So responding to these atemi initiated type techniques can be all over the board depending on how people are conditioned to train. I prefer an honest attack and response but that can be difficult if people are not confident to do so.
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:47 AM   #86
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

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Jim Cooper wrote: View Post
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.
Dear Jim,
While I agree that there are some Aikidoka who couldnt punch their way out of the proverbial paper bag your statement that all the Aikidoka you have met irrespective of rank are poor leaves me to ask the question , who have you met?I can tell you that the guys I have met using a furitsuki /shomenuchi/ yokomen uchi attack , if it connects you know about it.
Anyway if you are serious about your art , you should make a point of knowing how to punch /kick.Perhaps this is where basic skills in Karate come in useful?
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:17 AM   #87
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Re: Flinch Response in Aikido

I believe, one of Osensei's students practised Karate... and Osensei did not approve of the linear aspects of the art. But once, the student realised it, he was inspired to use spiral energy in his attacks (punching etc), and Osensei saw that and approved. Actually, Osensei approved it because the student no longer stop his movements in Kata...more like flowing, but the spiral energy was part of the equation I think.

A high ranking karate-ka once wrote, that he found his inspiration one day when he saw a couple of kids playing with tops. He was given a conundrum by his sensei and couldn't understand it, until he saw the power of the tops.

FWIW, the above is just in response to the atemi part of the thread. But as for the flinch, I personally think at this point in time, that if we're flinching, then we're not getting aikido yet. Flinching, by all manner of understanding means that we're reacting... however fast, to an opponents attack. Whereas, full understanding of Aikido requires that we are synchronised with our 'opponents' from the get go.

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