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The startle flinch has been made popular by guys like Tony Blauer and Richard Dimitri. Its a conditioned response to a sucker punch or ambush. you throw out your arms to counter attack. does anyone use it in their FMA
I try not to let anyone that aggressive get close enough to sucker-punch me. If I even sense it, I strike first.
When I was in the States, I taught variations of it to my students who had to attend violence-prone public schools where both parties usually get suspended "for fighting". The "bad" student is rewarded because he didn't want to go to school in the first place. The ""good" student is penalized because he fought back. The "good" student cannot keep refusing to fight. He will be picked on day after day until he shows some backbone, so I teach them to defend themselves without throwing a single punch. For example::
(1) The upward elbow that accidentally connects to the chin. "Oh!"
(2) The palm strike to the side of the face as you say, "I'm sorry!"
(3) The head butt as you press him close to show you really mean it.
(4) The choke as you try to get him help.
I'm back here in the Philippines now where the school scene is much different. The older students don't pick on the younger. They actually look out for them.
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