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Seeking Zanshin: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Aikikai Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 02-24-2005 10:53 PM
One small gal + a dojo full of big guys = tons o' fun
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 270 (Private: 12)
Comments: 195
Views: 846,604

In General Gaining Focus from Losing Focus Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #129 New 05-12-2004 08:33 PM
[Quote of the Day:
"If someone swings at you with a baseball bat and doesn't know what they're doing, you'll be okay, but if someone actually skilled with a sword ever comes at you, just run away!" --- Sensei Jon Hay's sage advice to us all after a class of primarily defenses from Bokken strikes.]

For the past couple of weeks, I've been making a habit of purposely training without wearing either my glasses (usually during weapons work) or my contact lenses (usually during all other, regular classes) with the reasoning that I need to learn how to defend myself in all situations, especially those in my "natural state" without the aid of corrective lenses. I figured that, now, over a year into my training, I can make this transition a lot easier --- it's certainly not something I would have tried a lot earlier on without at least some overall familiarity with techniques.

Of course, aside from the very practical advantages of not using corrective lenses on the mats (no obtrusive glasses to come flying off, no irritated or dry eyes from contacts, etc.) there just so happened to be other advantages to adapting that I had not originally, um...forseen (*chuckle*). For one, having slightly fuzzier vision forces you to concentrate even harder than usual on picking out details when Sensei demonstrates --- it's pretty much "blink, and you'll miss it". Another thing is that when it comes to weapons and other exercises that rely heavily on perfect timing, the disadvantage of bad eyesight tends to make you move a little faster than usual --- even if it is, I suppose, more out of a self-preservation instinct than anything else.

I only wish, however, that this latter aspect would manifest itself more during Randori. It seems that, much to my chagrin, my Randori/Jiyu-Waza has become worse since I stopped using corrective lenses during class. So far, I can only attribute it to it being comprised of faster and more continuous attacks than usual practice, and my still adapting to having worse eyesight on the mats. Needless to say, I'm hoping that this gets better with practice. I hate the thought of being so dependent upon corrective lenses.

My theory is that the more I get used to this change, and the more and more having worse eyesight becomes normal to me, one of the major ways my body will adapt to this change will probably be by forcing me to rely more on feel and blending rather than having to concentrate on seeing in order to move correctly/putting parts of myself in all the right places in relation to uke...for now, only time will tell. .

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