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Thread: Unthinking Response

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    Default Unthinking Response

    I've read through MANY threads here as well as Mr. Ted Sumner's site for an answer to this question. Besides repetition, "shadow sparring", actual sparring utilizing techniques and not just boxing, how can one develop in themselves the ability to react without thinking to an attack. The reason I ask is two-fold. One is because I think that is where I want to reach and even beyond. Another is because I did it once and have been unable to do it again. A friend of mine was playing around and had snuck up behind me and grabbed me in a bearhug from behind. One instant I was in a bearhug and the next instant I had him in a rear armlock. I would like to say that I used "this" or "that" technique but since this was when I was only around 13 (20+ years ago) and had only tried to pick up what I could through blackbelt magazine I didn't have any formal training or sparring experience. I've come close a couple of times but my brain was always going so I don't think I was on autopilot response. I know it seems like I'm rambling but hopefully some of the great minds on this board will be able to help explain this and not only help me but others out there. Thank you for your time.

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    Default Re: Unthinking Response

    First of all, welcome to Kenpo Talk. Good to have ya here. You ask a very interesting question. I've had similiar experience, pulling off self-defense almost without thought twice. Since then, I've goofed around with buddies or coworkers and have found out that the more I train, I also have to "restain" my automatic responses.
    "I used to think the brain was the most important organ in the body. Then, I thought "Guess what's telling me that?!".
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Michael Huffman
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    Default Re: Unthinking Response

    How long have you been training specifically in kenpo? The reason I ask is that kenpo is a complex art. If you're a yellow belt, you're probably still developing the skills necessary for the spontaneous response that you're talking about (assuming you mean a "kenpo" response).

    Practicing against random attacks will help build spontaneity. You can start by picking a spot on the floor and standing there, with another person repeatedly attacking at will with any attack that your belt level has a defense for (don't cheat by looking in the mirror if they're behind you). Keep it light, and aim for as quick a reaction time and as "kenpo" (meaning using moves and ideas you've learned in class) a response as possible.

    In case you haven't done this type of drill before, you'll likely find yourself using techniques against attacks they weren't taught to be used against, and perhaps even using part of one technique and part of another. These responses are great, as long as they successfully thwart the attack. Don't get uptight about your performance in the drill, especially if you're not at a high rank. It takes a lot of time and practice to get spontaneous with kenpo. Ask your instructor about when might be the right time to try this type of drill.

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    Default Re: Unthinking Response

    Repetition, repetition, repetition. Make sure it's not just practice, but perfect practice. Don't allow yourself to slop your way through it. As you advance in rank, the basics will start to become natural, almost autonomic responses. Focus your mind on what you're doing when you're working out, shut out everything else. This will help begin the process of honing your mind.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Unthinking Response

    Repetition, repetition, repetition. Not just practice but perfect practice. Do it so much that the body reacts without the mind thinking first. This takes time. As you advance, you'll be able to "change it up" more easily and efficiently.

    Focus your mind on what you're doing, shut out everything else. This will help begin the process of honing your mind.

    Most importantly of all, don't be in a rush! To achieve the "mind, no mind" point in your training takes time, practice and patience. Enjoy the journey!
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Unthinking Response

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    Repetition, repetition, repetition. Not just practice but perfect practice.
    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    Repetition, repetition, repetition. Make sure it's not just practice, but perfect practice.
    now that's funny

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    Default Re: Unthinking Response

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidCC View Post
    now that's funny
    The best jokes are often the ones that are unintentional.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Unthinking Response

    Quote Originally Posted by MooseKenpo View Post
    I've read through MANY threads here as well as Mr. Ted Sumner's site for an answer to this question. Besides repetition, "shadow sparring", actual sparring utilizing techniques and not just boxing, how can one develop in themselves the ability to react without thinking to an attack. .
    I've already covered this a couple of times on kenpotalk.

    So go to the search engine and type in "reactionary sequence", and that should take you to those posts.

    It was a very good question and also concerns the "five steps to competency" which I've also already posted else where on this forum.

    You are actually talking about level 4 of competency, with is called "Unconscious competency", which normally takes 2,000 to 5,000 repetitions to acquire, UNLESS you have a mind-trained Kenpo Karate trainer.

    And there are NOT many of us around.

    On this forum I've only notice 3 others that can "walk-that-talk".
    Sincerely,

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Unthinking Response

    What exactly is "mind-trained Kenpo Karate trainer"? I will do a search for what was posted earlier and read through it. Thank you very much for everyone's input. I've only posted a couple of times because l'm still new to American Kenpo (Yellow belt level). The farthest in a system that I got was my Purple belt in USSD's style of Shaolin Chuan Fa. I promise to try to keep the newbie questions to a minimum. I've also started my own repository of notes at www.freewebs.com/american-kenpo-notes. Again, my humble thanks.

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    Default Re: Unthinking Response

    Quote Originally Posted by MooseKenpo View Post
    What exactly is "mind-trained Kenpo Karate trainer"? I will do a search for what was posted earlier and read through it. .
    AFTER you read those other posts, THEN I would love to talk more.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Unthinking Response

    The theoretical basis for programs like “Model Mugging” and the offshoots, including some of the RedMan training done in law enforcement, is that by eliciting an adrenaline release, and then having you work through your “techniques,” you more quickly reach that place where you are able to react spontaneously.

    Research conducted by Peyton Quinn in the area of tachypsychia and the bodies ability to recall movement that requires fine motor skills under adrenaline stress indicates that although 5,000 repetitions is the standard motor memory number, skills learned under adrenal stress take far less, as low as between 5-50 times, depending on the complexity of the skill.

    This was illustrated in “Forrest Gump” when the troops were assigned the task of disassembling and re-assembling their rifles while the drill sergeants screamed at them to hurry, helicopters hovered overhead, and mortar fire was all around, simulating a combat situation and eliciting the adrenaline dump. In the movie, Forrest excelled at the exercise because he was “too stupid to panic.” However, the point of these drills is to prepare these men to perform complex fine motor skills under life and death situations.

    There is a difference between surgery at a hospital and surgery in a trauma center, and even more so in a M*A*S*H unit.

    So, to actually get to the point, if you want to learn to react spontaneously in a short period of time, you need to have an instructor trained to elicit an adrenaline response from you, and an opponent in a padded suit that will allow you to perform realistically. In short, when training, your brain must think it is real. Instructors trained in this stuff can bring it out of you without you getting hurt.

    You can get the same “training” at your friendly neighborhood biker bar with the right outfit and a few well placed insults. More injuries, though. I recall Bruce Wayne in prison in “Batman Begins” saying to the “bully” right before a big fight…”This isn’t Hell, it’s just practice.”
    Dave

    "I consider that the spiritual life is the life of man's real self, the life of that interior self whose flame is so often allowed to be smothered under the ashes of anxiety and futile concern." - Thomas Merton


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    Default Re: Unthinking Response

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpodave View Post
    You can get the same “training” at your friendly neighborhood biker bar with the right outfit and a few well placed insults. More injuries, though. I recall Bruce Wayne in prison in “Batman Begins” saying to the “bully” right before a big fight…”This isn’t Hell, it’s just practice.”
    Ha-ha-ha.

    There you go again, quoting from "Mental Training of a Warrior".

    I liked that last part, "this isn't Hell, it's just practice!"

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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