A talk about what works. Please participate.

Discussion in 'Self Defence' started by Combat Sports, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    One video of someone holding position without blinking when a punch hits them, that they know full well is coming, that they have made no movement to resist, and that they have experienced before, does not constitute proof that you can train away the flinch. All it shows is training that makes the flinch less likely.

    I understand where you are coming from, but I think we are talking at cross purposes. The reason I don't buy this is because Marc knows that the punch is coming in. He is not at all surprised by it. The flinch reflex is also often known as the startle-flinch reflex. Marc cannot truly be startled because he knows full well the punch is coming in, has made a deliberate decision not to intercept or stop it, and I would expect he has done this exercise many times and as a result knows what it is going to feel like. He also knows almost precisely when it is going to hit. He has not really trained away the flinch, he has trained himself to take a hit that he is expecting to take. I believe that if he was genuinely surprised by the punch, was not expecting it, then (however small) you would see a flinch reflex of some kind.
  2. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    If someone punched Marc Delagrotte by surprise he'd flinch just like everyone else does (albeit more effectively perhaps).

    If someone throws something at me, and I know they are going to do it I can decide to not catch it.
    If something is thrown at me by surprise I'll often make a flinch catching action.

    Love some of these flinch responses. :)


    Isn't it fairly well known that when two world class boxers get into a real figt you end up with some crappling? :)
  3. Kave

    Kave Lunatic

    Yeah, I think you are right. The first statement of yours that I have quoted sums up the essence of what I was trying to say. Fighters train their flinch mechanism to a point where it is meaningless, they no longer turn away from their attacker, or lose sight of their attackers strikes. I see all the new guys come into our gym, and when the get hit they turn away from the punch leaving them defenceless against any subsequent punches (you cant avoid what you cant see). After 3 months of training the new guys are still turning away from punches but to a much smaller degree. After six months the flinch mechanism is still there, but it is minimal, and after two or three years the flinch mechanism is so negligable that it no longer has any meaningful effect on the outcome of a fight, for all practical purposes it is almost gone.
  4. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    That's not the flinch response being talked about though is it?
    That's the "I don't wanna get hit in the face again" response.
    Or perhaps it's one part of a bigger flinch response?

    Someone can react well to punches coming in but then lose those reactions (to some degree) when one actually lands because they don't like getting hit. Brock Lesnar was/is a bit like that. Does OK when he's dominant but crumbles a little when hit.
    I think the reaction to a surprise attack/punch and the reaction to getting hit are two slightly different, but related, things and you guys might be talking slightly at odds as a result.
    I think John is most interested in working with or utilising the initial flinch from a surprise movement/attack rather than teaching people not to turn away from punches (although that's obviously useful too).
  5. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    From my own perspective (and this list is not really exhaustive) things that I've found work (technique wise rather than tactics wise) for the majority of people the majority of the time in the majority of situations are:

    Open handed strikes to the head
    Forearm strikes
    Knee strikes
    Kicking with the shin - generally low (but that doesn't mean not to the head)
    Straight arm bars
    Underhook arm controls
    Keeping tactile contact
    Keeping a high guard with any free hand once you are mid fight

    Different situations call for slightly different approaches but overall I advise using what I call the SAS Principle:
    Select Active Strategy and apply with Speed Aggression and Sustain.
  6. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    That's about right. First and foremost I teach people to move from where they have ducked or turned away or patted aside (because that's what most people do and generally speaking they are more likely to end up in a situation early on in their training with me than later when they've learned more about avoidance and de-escalation). As we do this they gradually learn to spot the telegraphs, so then we teach them to preempt at the telegraphs. Separately, concurrently with the first exercise, I teach them how to preempt on body language, verbal cues and encroachment rather than waiting for the other person to throw the first hit.
  7. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    I'll have to agree with jwt on this one. If you are trained to recognize the responses and are aware they are coming, you can react as you are trained. Once things go outside of what you've trained for, the flinch reflex is still very much there as it's unfamilar. Here's a good example.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cjrrYALNRg"]Very Funny Boxing KO - YouTube[/ame]

    Notice how he still flinched and paused before laying his opponent out. Since it was in a manner different to how he's been programmed to respond, it took him out of his comfort zone.
  8. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    what works is what doesnt

    in other words, if time is spent on what works, it will never fully be able to work all of the time
  9. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Another great post.
  10. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Everyone (esp novice) is looking fior that "Magic Bullet" of martial art methods. That "Bullet" has many varibles. After all, using the analogy of bullet/ammo, there is a large variety of calibers/types for different applications.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  11. jorvik

    jorvik Valued Member

    I learned to fight before I did martial arts, basically by fighting. I've done many martial arts now, but if I had to fight then I think the things that I learned actually fighting hold me in better stead than the martial arts.
  12. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Therefore, why did you study martial arts?
  13. Pearlmks

    Pearlmks Valued Member

    slightly OT
    re fliching.
    What about goalkeepers? When I used to play futbol and hockey I wouldn't flinch. Partly it's due to reading telegraphs but also I would psyche myself not to do it.
  14. jorvik

    jorvik Valued Member

    I was under the illusion that they could teach me how to fight a lot better. Then after that for exercise and enjoyment
  15. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    If you see something with time to react, you won't flinch, you'll access a learned protective skill. In simple terms the flinch is a protective startle reflex to protect the body from something it perceives as dangerous. If you weren't flinching then you either weren't startled or you knew you weren't in any danger of injury.
  16. Combat Sports

    Combat Sports Formerly What Works

    I have seen that second vid before. I have to say I am surprised that thug did not come away a hell of a lot more damaged.
  17. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    I've re-read this several times, and I just don't understand it at all.

    Would you mind explaining it a bit more fully?

    Thank you.
  18. LilBunnyRabbit

    LilBunnyRabbit Old One

    I think you need to highlight your sarcasm more clearly.
  19. Pearlmks

    Pearlmks Valued Member

    Originally posted by jwt
    Mm... I'm still on the fence. I was in danger because hockey hurts (I've been knocked out by sticks and balls). The thing is you train not to flinch. Most of the time you aren't startled but every know and then you are. You train to just let your body get hit and I think that might be the difference, in MA you''re trying to protect yourself.
  20. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    I don't wish to go too OT on this.
    Although I've never goal keeped for a team, I have had to goal keep for hockey (not ice hockey - in my day it was on grass or on leg destroying tarmac) in training without the pads and in hockey in general been hit by the ball, knocked out by sticks etc as a youth, and having supported teams where room mates were goalies I'm well aware of what goal keepers need to wear and why.

    This is a combination of a number of factors. As a goal keeper you are usually deliberately putting yourself between the ball and the net. You are dressed to make impact with the ball, with sticks, with people. The gear is designed to prevent injury, but you are aware that you will often experience pain and there is a risk of injury. You are going to flinch when something happens that you don't expect and your primitive brain (as opposed to your forebrain) perceives that it is going to cause you pain - so a fast deflection of a ball unexpectedly upwards towards your eyes while you are doing something else, even though you have a cage helmet on, will make you scrunch your face and shut your eyes. If you have more time to react you will cover, more time, push away with the hands, more time than that - you'll move the whole body and access a learned skill. The difference between flinching and not flinching is a combination of the perception of injury/danger, your reaction times, your ability to identify stimuli, and (in milliseconds) the time available.

    The whole concept of training 'not to flinch' is a misnomer. You actually train not to be startled, to anticipate contact, and to move from that contact (or to move to prevent that contact). Essentially you train to recognise certain stimuli and to react to them, which is not the same as training not to flinch.

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