In my last post, I touched upon the instinctive 'flinch' response that it ingrained in us when we are unexpectedly attacked. I said that I hoped one day that my flinch response would be completely overcome and I would achieve a state of Mushin.
Sue from "My Journey to Black Belt" made an interesting comment which led me to read her post entitled Block of Flinch in martial arts?. It's definitely worth a read.
When I said that in an unexpected attack I accept that I would most likely have an instinctive response first and then have to deal with the situation at hand, it didn't necessarily mean that I felt it was a bad thing. It was largely meant to point out that in the real world, you may not have the opportunity to observe and recognize what type of attack is coming in, formulate a counter, execute it properly and then continue on.
I do hope that one day I will be so highly trained that I am aware of every potential threat and no attack could ever take me off guard, but I recognize that achieving this omnipresent state is a lofty goal indeed.
In our dojo, we are always required to finish a technique. It may not end up being the intended technique due either to the uke going 'off script' or ending up in an unexpected position. For example, if we are practicing a block from the inside and then a counter and we block from the outside by mistake, there is no stopping and saying "oops" and starting over. You need to adjust to what you have and where you are. We also use free practice or Randori to test our mettle. Nothing like unscripted attacks to make you think, or not think, if you do it right...
Read my Importance of Randori post for more on this type of training.
Now that my curiosity is piqued, I'd like to know how many clubs out there train to use the flinch response to their advantage. I'd love some feedback.