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Thread: Reflex

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    Default Reflex

    Reflexes......are you born with it, or is it just a result of constant training?

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    Default Re: Reflex

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcatbonz
    Reflexes......are you born with it, or is it just a result of constant training?
    I think everyone is born with reflexes, for example closing your eyes when dirt tries to enter or something involuntary like flinching.

    I also think they can be focused, developed and improved with constant training.

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    Post Reflexes

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcatbonz
    Reflexes......are you born with it, or is it just a result of constant training?
    That depends on what you mean by "reflex." Many people say "reflex" when they really mean "reaction" (or "reaction time"). Here's the medical definition of "reflex" (from http://www.stedmans.com):

    An involuntary reaction in response to a stimulus applied to the periphery and transmitted to the nervous centers in the brain or spinal cord. Most of the deep reflexes listed as subentries are stretch or myotatic reflexes, elicited by striking a tendon or bone, causing stretching, even slight, of the muscle, which then contracts as a result of the stimulus applied to its proprioceptors.

    There are many types of reflexes (deep tendon, withdrawal, corneal, Moro, etc.), and they cannot be controlled or trained, hence the word involuntary. If your nervous system is intact, you cannot override a reflex. For example, suppose someone surprises you by touching your skin with something hot. You will withdraw your body away from the heat. Of course, this example requires that you are caught by surprise. If you know that it is happening, or even that it may happen, you can force yourself to remain still. People may misconstrue this to mean that they have "defeated" their reflexes. However, when unaware of the danger, the reflex will manifest itself.

    "Reaction" is a completely different thing. You can train yourself to respond to stimuli with specific movements. With extensive effort, you can greatly improve your speed and reaction time as well. However, regardless of how much you improve, it will never be a reflexive action. Movements that are taught always involve the formation of a decision.

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    Default Re: Reflex

    I for one would like to thank MHeeler for bringing such a great wealth of knowledge of the human atantomy to this forum. I've have learned much from reading your posts. I am quite impressed

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    Default Re: Reflex

    here is a plain english definition of reflex: 2. extremely fast: very fast in reacting
    So yes we are talking about reaction time.
    Are you born with good reflexes, or is it something that can only be developed over time.

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    Default Re: Reflex

    I teach something called a "trained flinch." It is still a stimulus-response as verses a true reflex (like an eye blink). Even an eye blink can be modified or the practitioner can be desensitised to that particular reflex, as can most people, when they are expecting the stimulus. It is when you are not expecting it that the trained response may, or may not, come into play.

    At least that is my observation.
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    Default Re: Reflex

    We train them. Practice using your peripheral vision. It picks up movement much quicker.
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    Default Reaction training

    Quote Originally Posted by EndlessRising
    I for one would like to thank MHeeler for bringing such a great wealth of knowledge of the human atantomy to this forum. I've have learned much from reading your posts. I am quite impressed

    Salute
    I'm happy to be useful, but I can't take much credit. Many men and women, much more accomplished than I, took the time and energy to teach me. Then also, you have the pioneers who actually had to discover this knowledge. I just happened to take the right classes and read the right books. I'll try to pass on whatever little knowledge I have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcatbonz
    here is a plain english definition of reflex: 2. extremely fast: very fast in reacting
    So yes we are talking about reaction time.
    Are you born with good reflexes, or is it something that can only be developed over time.
    Yes, you're right; there is a "common usage" of the word. It's just that I find this to be ambiguous at best, and incorrect in either case. Still, now that we're on the same page, the answer is yes: you are born with it, and you can train it. Much of the nervous system (organization, basic pathways, etc.) is "built in," encoded into our DNA. We will inherit tendencies and limitations as a result. So, some of us will naturally have fast reactions, and some of us won't. All of us will be able to improve our natural abilities with training. However, everyone will peak/plateau at different levels, depending on our genetics and training.

    Hope this helps,
    MH
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    Default Re: Reaction training

    The reason for my usage of the term "reflex" - it is one that people identify with when discussing the ability to react quickly to the environment.
    "He just got out of the way of a speeding car, that guy has great reflexes"
    No doubt that words of certain origins or meanings find a way out of their standard nomenclature and into the lexicon of "average joe", this in no way negates the original meaning but instead adds a definition through common usage.
    I didn't intend to have an etymological discussion.

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    Default Re: Reflex

    A 'trained reflex' in the vernacular, is the same thing as reaction time.

    I think it's definitely learned. When white belts are first starting to learn blocks, and you throw a punch at them, they might go 'huh'?

    But after awhile, even if they don't block perfectly, they'll get out of the way.

    What different reaction drills do you all like to do?

    I like the monkey in the middle one. Or 'walking the gauntlet'

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    Default Re: Reflex

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Billings
    I teach something called a "trained flinch." It is still a stimulus-response as verses a true reflex (like an eye blink). Even an eye blink can be modified or the practitioner can be desensitised to that particular reflex, as can most people, when they are expecting the stimulus. It is when you are not expecting it that the trained response may, or may not, come into play.

    At least that is my observation.
    -Michael
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    Default Re: Reflex

    Sure..people vary as do thier skills. Some people have better reflexes than others. But...learning proper body mechanics and principles can improve anyones' reaction time and execution speed.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Reflex

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcatbonz View Post
    Reflexes......are you born with it, or is it just a result of constant training?


    I would say Both. ---- Some seem to be gifted with the ability to move fast and react fast even with out training. But you can also train to have a better reaction time; just ask any of the big name drag racers they live and die by reaction time.


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    Default Re: Reflex

    I know I'm new here, but thought I'd voice an opinion.

    It depends on what you mean by "reflex", just as everyone is saying here. Your body does have involuntary responses to external stimuli that it knows from birth (or before). It's very hard to modify these reponses past what the body already does. You can't really beat that kind of response time.

    But your body does also develop what used to be called "muscle memory". It's not really something that simple...just the term that I remember it by. But the bottom line is that you can teach your body to react to external stimuli of a specific type with a set pattern of responses. They'll probably never be as fast as the ones you were born with, but you can push them to the point where they're 'nearly' involuntary. You can DEFINITELY hone them to a point where it's hard to go against them.

    As a teenager a couple of decades ago, I had the chance to learn kenpo/ju-jitsu for a couple of years. And I learned all of this as a young teen...when my body was pretty good at learning new things.

    I didn't study further, but did work on keeping what I could remember throughout my time in the military after that.

    Recently my youngest son showed an interest in the MA, and we both began going to a dojo that taught Bushidokan karate here near our home. He learned a LOT faster than I did, even given my prior background. He wasn't "unlearning" all those movements I still wanted to make from before. The sensei in our class had the "marker game"...where she would use washable magic markers as knives to have the students work on their blocks. For months it was amazing how my Bushidokan blocks would very quickly become kenpo styled blocks or even ju-jitsu grapple/locks when I was trying to fend her and the upper students off.

    Now that my son and I have decided to do kenpo instead, it's equally amazing how quickly the stances, strikes, and blocks are coming back for me. And now my son is seeing what I was dealing with, as he's trying to get his feet out of japanese styled stances and into the IKCA ones.

    I consider that all part of 'reflex'. Hope this is still on topic.

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