Flinch Response - Do you teach it? Do you use it?

Thesemindz

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Buddy of mine sent me this great article about how to take advantage of the instinctual flinch response when surprised in a violent encounter.

http://www.urbancombatives.com/defaultart.htm

It got me thinking, do you guys base your techniques around the flinch response? Do you teach it to your students?

I always felt that alot of the techniques in Kenpo, though not all of course, do a good job of taking this into account, at least if your instructor can show you where. For instance, we have a technique that defends against a high two handed push that begins with your hands coming up in front of you and then becomes a blocking movement and a counter offensive striking combination.

So what do you guys do with the flinch response?


-Rob
 

thetruth

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We train something similar to the crazy monkey when faced with an impending attack but follow up a little differently to Rodney King. When completely taken totally by surprise you can't train a response only shorten the time between the initial flinch and what you do after that. We train to flinch naturally and then move on so it isn't foreign to flinch but we automatically respond after that.

The initial flinch, when taken totally by surprise and not when facing someone about to attack (this is a trained response) is similar to touching something hot. Your body instinctively moves away and protects your body using the quickest method possible. You can't train how you behave when you accidently touch a hot object and you can't train to change this either.

Also I think that the naming of the techniques in the article was pointless as at the end of the day a lot of people use very similar techniques often named something different and tracing it's origin would be pointless. I'm sure the crazy monkey was used well before Rodney King marketed it. The ISR Matrix guys use a similar technique but make it abundantly clear that they didn't invent it and that there is probably a painting of it in a cave somewhere thousands of years old but this is just how they market it.

Cheers
Sam:asian:
 

Haze

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The flinch is natural, as stated.

What needs to be trained is what to do off of the flinch. We can train to move forward rather than back so we give the opponent less room to continue their attack.

An X block in karate can be thought of as a demonstration of a simple flinch to an attack.


Do we teach the flinch,,,,,,,,,,,No
Do we use it,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,without thinking about it, yes.
 

seasoned

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Yes, reflex is a natural reaction that if developed, will supersede conditioned body movement. Its that feeling that comes from your minds eye, and puts a block where it needs to be just at the right time. I adhere to a saying that goes like this for in combat, to think is to die. In fact I like it so much it is in my signature. :asian:
 

redantstyle

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When completely taken totally by surprise you can't train a response only shorten the time between the initial flinch and what you do after that. We train to flinch naturally and then move on so it isn't foreign to flinch but we automatically respond after that.

The initial flinch, when taken totally by surprise and not when facing someone about to attack (this is a trained response) is similar to touching something hot. Your body instinctively moves away and protects your body using the quickest method possible. You can't train how you behave when you accidently touch a hot object and you can't train to change this either.

beyond thistruth, it seems that all training is 'flinch training', no?

what's the alternative?

and that stuff looks alot like basic silat postures.
 

astrobiologist

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One thing I really liked about Iain Abernethy's bunkai is that he placed a strong emphasis on the flinch response and movement there from. I train the flinch response in my school. It's a natural human defensive position. Knowing how to use a flinch rather than get stuck in one is very important.
 

Nolerama

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I like Crazy Monkey. It keeps my pretty, pretty.

One of my gym buddies likes to surprise me when I walk past his store quite often. I've gotten into the habit of Monkeying when he does it.

As a bouncer, when a drunk does the whole "make you flinch to show dominance" thing, it's just an entry to clinch.

I like the concept, but I don't think I'd train that in the gym. Is it a real flinch if you know you're training it that day? Kind of like Startle Tactics? Could you elaborate on a drill? I just don't get it.
 

Deaf Smith

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In a true self defense situation you should have enough awareness to know the situation is dangerous. That way you can prime your OODA loop to react.

To teach a flinch without that is asking for an accident when it is not a dangerous situation. For a startle response is a hard thing to turn off.

Deaf
 

Raynac

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hmmmm I'm not 100% about what you guys are talking about with the flinch flex but from what I've put togther heres my 2 cents

flinching is a natural reaction. True, but that doesn't mean it can't be trained in certain ways. for example my flinch before I trainned matrial arts might be to move my hands up a close my eyes, back up a little. but my hands were ineffiectly at blocking anything, as they were way to close.

my flinch now is throw my arms into a block apporpiate from the level of attack and to step back into a ready stance. yes i still tense up , i may blink but the eyes will not close and im not claiming to even at that time to be ready for another attack. but thats my flinch now which is now no longer a natural reaction but a trained one.
 

Franc0

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We train in flinch response alot. We call it the "Oh S**t! Factor". What we try to do is to get the practitioner used to moving in aggressively with it as opposed to the standard backing off response. Whats good is that pretty much everyone has this built into their instinctive reactionary motor skills. It's a matter of fear vs no fear that makes the flinch response a vulnerability or a great entry. Once the practitioner builds confidence and aggression with their flinch ( some call it "the fence") it can be a great entry and/or attack defense.

Franco
 

Bruno@MT

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In ninpo (and jiu-jitsu before) we train in pairs (attack / respond) you have to wait calmly with the response until you are attacked.
By practising the basics hundreds and thousands of times, they become ingrained and they become reflexes.

I have never been attacked for real, but the couple of times where someone decided to 'surprise me' I was going through a response before I knew what was happening, and it took a lot of effort NOT to follow through and deck that person.

Somewhat related: Once I was cyling alongside a busy road, coming back from school, going about 20 / 25 miles per hour.
An idiot in a honda CRX comes whizzing by (way too fast) and his rear view mirror hits my handle bars. I get launched head first over my bike, into the traffic lane, at a high speed.

Instead of hitting the road like a sack of potatoes (like most people) I twist myself into a forward shoulder roll and perform a perfect roll. Coming out of the roll I immediately launch myself in a backward shoulder roll to get out from between the traffic. The whole thing took only 2 or 3 seconds from getting hit to standing aside from the road. And I didn't have to think. My body reacted automatically.

So I think the best 'response' training is to train the basics over and over and over again, for thousands of times. Even when you advance in the art, keep repeating the basics, and stay focused.
Even without fighting scenarios, there are plenty of things in martial arts (depending on which art you practise) that can save your life one day, like jiu-jitsu saved me that day.
 

DavidCC

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the startle reflex has a profound effect on your physical structure that goes a lot deeper than blinking/raising your arms. You can elicit the response even when someone knows you are standing right in front of them. While they may not"flinch", there are physiological reactions that cannot be prevented/resisted.

Try standing in a NB, have partner test your stance in 12-6 line, then have partner pass his hand quickly across your field of vision from your left to right, then test the stance again...

Or swing your hand towards the groin, even if he knows it is coming, and is not going to actually make contact, the startle reflex will cause them to misalign their hips slightly, making their stance weaker.
 

thetruth

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By practising the basics hundreds and thousands of times, they become ingrained and they become reflexes.
They don't actually become reflexes. Your reflexes are ingrained you can't train existing ones or create new ones. For example if I hit the reflex spot on your knee you cannot change what happens through training, it will kick forward every time. However once it is moving forward you can change it's direction then and through practice it will hardly have moved forward before you alter it's direction. When I was talking about the flinch I was talking about total surprise not when facing someone as you should be always ready for something here hence it'll be a reaction not a reflex. In total surprise our body moves the quickest way possible to protect itself, we can't actually improve on this quickness so really the best bet is to train off this anyway. Having said all this the fear factor plays a huge roll in the size and duration of the flinch. If someone is a tiny scared woman (not being sexist just an example) then their initial flinch will be huge compared to a strong well trained man. The actions of the flinch will be very similar just the perceived threat level is different. When doing self defense we are using reactions not reflex and the speed of these reactions depends on the type and amount of training. Regardless of how quick we think we are moving we are not close to reflexive speed as these aren't processed the same way as something we have learnt through training which the brain has to recognise and initiate a response. Cheers Samhttp://www.martialtalk.com/forum/images/smilies/smileJap.gif
 

Raynac

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They don't actually become reflexes. Your reflexes are ingrained you can't train existing ones or create new ones. For example if I hit the reflex spot on your knee you cannot change what happens through training, it will kick forward every time. However once it is moving forward you can change it's direction then and through practice it will hardly have moved forward before you alter it's direction. When I was talking about the flinch I was talking about total surprise not when facing someone as you should be always ready for something here hence it'll be a reaction not a reflex. In total surprise our body moves the quickest way possible to protect itself, we can't actually improve on this quickness so really the best bet is to train off this anyway. Having said all this the fear factor plays a huge roll in the size and duration of the flinch. If someone is a tiny scared woman (not being sexist just an example) then their initial flinch will be huge compared to a strong well trained man. The actions of the flinch will be very similar just the perceived threat level is different. When doing self defense we are using reactions not reflex and the speed of these reactions depends on the type and amount of training. Regardless of how quick we think we are moving we are not close to reflexive speed as these aren't processed the same way as something we have learnt through training which the brain has to recognise and initiate a response. Cheers Samhttp://www.martialtalk.com/forum/images/smilies/smileJap.gif

I agree with parts of what your saying but. even when completely suprised my reflexs have changed to karate style blocks this is probley because I used to bring my hands up anyways and like you said the body moves the quickest way to defend itself. which for me is a karate block. I even if i don't see the strike my flinch is to bring my hands up in the same movement.
 
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