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#331015 - 03/27/07 10:43 AM Reflex Action?
Raul Perez Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 2806
Loc: Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, USA
During our training we are told that once you practice long enough your techniques will come without any thought. Just a reflex action like pulling your hand away from a hot object.

I’ve been training for just over 11 years. And I have never “really” had the “no thought” technique come out. What I do experience is that when I’m sparring I no longer think “Front Kick, Punch, Round house, back kick, clinch knees, etc”. All I think is HIT. And the proper technique for that particular range I am in comes out all on its own.

What are your experiences with this? Do you think “HIT” or do you not “think” at all and the technique springs out like a reflex action?
"I'm gonna come at you like a spider monkey"

#331016 - 03/27/07 10:53 AM Re: Reflex Action? [Re: Raul Perez]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
That's roughly how it is for me, too. Although I have very vague action plans in mind for what happens after contact is made. My attacks are usually thought out somewhat, but my defenses are pretty much pure instinct.
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#331017 - 03/27/07 11:10 AM Re: Reflex Action? [Re: MattJ]
RazorFoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 2064
Loc: Seated at the computer, DUH
Offensive responses have always been thought out given the size, style, quickness, strength, and movement of the opponent. Because you have to adapt to what ever your opponent throws at you, you have a greater need to think about your offensive choices.

Defensively, it does get to the point where you just react and I believe that is more of what the automatic response is keyed to. Because you do not have the time or luxury to think out a response to an unexpected attack, that is where the continued practice to get to an instinctive response level comes in. The repetition builds muscle memory and a practiced, conditioned response to a threat. Which may be why you always hear instructors tell students, "the way you practice is the way you will fight." If you practice lazy techniques, when you are suprised, a lazy technique will most likely be what you use. On the contrary, if you practice quick, strong, fluid responses, that is what you will most likely respond with when attacked.

I think it refers to defensive responses, not offensive. Just my take.

"The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be."

#331018 - 03/27/07 11:17 AM Re: Reflex Action? [Re: RazorFoot]
Raul Perez Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 2806
Loc: Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, USA
I see what you are saying Razor. But it is the same when I am defensive. I "think" BLOCK, EVADE, etc.
"I'm gonna come at you like a spider monkey"

#331019 - 03/27/07 11:27 AM Re: Reflex Action? [Re: Raul Perez]
Zombie Zero Offline
Compliance & Liability

Registered: 06/17/05
Posts: 1993
Loc: Lorton, VA
When sparring, I find that muscle memory pretty much takes control, but I also have favorite techniques/combos that I intentionally try to execute. I'm also looking for particular openings to present themselves, and thinking ahead of what I will do when they are available.

It's kind of like typing. When I first learned to type proficiently, I would still think the letters in my head as I typed. "T-Y-P-E-D" and which finger needs to go to the respective keys.

But with years of repetition, all I have to do is think the word, and it's as though my fingers fly around the keyboard all on their own.

Simply put, you have to find the happy medium between muscle memory, and conscientious determination.

#331020 - 03/27/07 12:10 PM Re: Reflex Action? [Re: Raul Perez]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
Many styles teach a number of attack combinations & defensive combinations as a method of teaching the idea of flow (as opposed to freeze & think). These pre-arranged skills are stepping stones to the reflexive actions & reactions an experienced MA-ist practices.

As the pre-arranged techniques become reflexive, the creative MA-ist/instructor will build on that foundation by substituting technique "A" for "B" and/or adding techniques "C" & "D".

The key is lots of practice @ each level & not trying to move too quickly to the totally improvised skills. If basics suck, everything beyond that suck (worse).


#331021 - 03/27/07 12:20 PM Re: Reflex Action? [Re: Raul Perez]
Taison Offline
The Forum Dragon
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 3629
Loc: BKK, Thailand
Reflex. . funny subject.

I've never fought a match or a sparring session where my brain would go "hook, uppercut, jab, jab". It's all instincts to me.

The bell rings, I put up my guard, tighten the defenses, sees what my opponent does. As I catch his rhytm, I step in for in-fighting. Then it becomes natural. If his guard is high, my fists will hit low, if his guard is low, my fists will go high. My arms alternate between hitting high and low, and rarely stops until he moves out of my 'firing-range'.

Then it comes to defense. I'll be honest. My defense sucks. I have no defense whatsoever. Ok, you guys might be able parry this, block this block that. I can't. My defense is simpler though. I see a cross coming, I slip past it, deliver a body hook, and then continue my offense. When I see a hook incoming, I 'rock away' and continue with my offense. It's all about hitting and moving the upper body out of the way.

Sometimes my defense is just 'shrug it off and continue'.

My reflexes are very odd. If I see something flicky coming towards me, I'll slip without thinking about it. But I've never attacked on reflex, only evaded.

I rarely think 'hit, evade, hit' or anything like that. I'm more 'what can I do to get in??' 'How do I stop his advance?' 'Why isn't my punches hurting him?' along those lines. A question in need of answer as the fight goes on.

-Taison out
I got two fists.. Don't make me use my head as well!

#331022 - 03/27/07 03:15 PM Re: Reflex Action? [Re: Taison]
alext Offline

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 36
Hmm from what ive heard there is alot about "natural reflexes" in Dim mak, and they talk about you training your reaction to do a certain thing similar to that of your natural reaction (this involves diving in with a harsh palm to the throat)
But i suppose if your sparring, its less of "reflexes" just more of training to keep your guard up. A reflex action should come from something unexpected but sparring is more...antisipated.
Also, so far ive always thought through sparring, and ive found it very useful to think of an attack before it comes, and to think of a following attack. Ofc if you practise something it will come more naturally but still requires some thought no matter what.

#331023 - 03/27/07 03:32 PM Re: Reflex Action? [Re: alext]
globetrotter Offline
does unto others before they do unto him

Registered: 01/10/05
Posts: 637
Loc: ny usa
your reflexes come in to play best when you are suprised with an attack. if you have been training 12 years, I bet if some idiot friend attacked you from behind as a joke your reflexes would come into play.

#331024 - 03/27/07 05:15 PM Re: Reflex Action? [Re: Raul Perez]
DLove Offline

Registered: 04/10/06
Posts: 82
As far as ever having a reflex action in way of a defensive move, I can agree that yes it will happen....In 20 years it has only happened ONCE (because I have only been attacked once without knowing it was coming) when the attack occured I reacted without consious thought, I just simply reacted to the attacker and nutralized the probelm. But Like Razor has already said, its more of a reflex action in a defensive form...

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