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petra
10-29-2001, 11:51 PM
I have to admit that I am a little surprised at the outcome of this weeks poll sofar. I voted yes because I always look into my partners eyes while practising and it is the most natural thing for me, it tells me when my partner is going to attack or is ready to receive an attack. Up to know 50 % of the voters don't look their partner in the eyes and I was wondering why? and where do you look while practising aikido if not at your partner?
Just being curious.

Creature_of_the_id
10-30-2001, 01:16 AM
I have never really looked into ukes eyes. I dont really look anywhere whilst training or performing technique (where I do or do not look is difficult to explain, its more of a general focus than at a specific point, ther eyes are relaxed). for me it is easier to pick up on the subtle movements of the body that show when there is intent within the ukes mind to attack.

I also remember that there is a passage within the art of peace by o' sensei that deal with this

found it:
"Do not stare into the eyes of your opponent: he may mesmerize you. Do not fix your gaze on his sword: he may intimidate you. Do not focus on your opponent at all: he may absorb your energy. The essence of training is to bring your opponent completely into your sphere. Then you can stand where you like."

would love to hear other responses
Love
Kev

ze'ev erlich
10-30-2001, 01:57 AM
O-Sensei sais in 'The Essence of Aikido' p.113 not to look into your oponent's eyes. Also Miyamoto Musashi in 'Book of Five Rings' says that we must learn how to use the wide look. after training this way I must say that in large scale Randori it is the best way.

Please try to have a wide look not focused on anything. the gaze is at chest or hara level so you can easyly see the foot work and keep Maai.

Edward
10-30-2001, 02:36 AM
I usually find that trying to concentrate on any part of Uke or on achieving the wide look blocks or slows down my reaction time. I prefer not to stare at Uke directly but to look slightly to the side which I find allows me to view Uke's entire body as well. It works for me anyway.
Regards.

Mares
10-30-2001, 05:20 AM
I impliment the "wide look" or what my sensei refers to as peripheral vision. I don't focus on anything and you'll be amazed at how quickly you can pick up movement. It also allows you to pick up movement from around you not just from the attacker in front of you.

I've also noticed it gives you an eery look, which is almost frightening, like a zombie. I find it also helps to relax you body, because generally if your facial muscle tense up then your body tenses up. Employing the wide look tends to relax your facial muscles.

ian
10-30-2001, 05:24 AM
Musashi says to look at close things as if they are far away, and far away things as if they were close. He also said about not staring into someones eyes 'cos they'll take your spirit (I presume Ueshiba got his expression from a sword school).

Thing with the book of 5 rings (Musashi), is that you can only look back at it and think; Ah yes! you can't read it without prior knowledge and really understand it. I have found, just through lots of practise and randori, that I naturally don't look at someones eyes. You get caught up with their emotion (and if you've ever been attacked by someone out to kill you, you'll realise that you don't want to be caught up with their emotion - it paralises you with fear). However it does help blending for both uke and nage (when not doing randori).
[possibly you can have the reverse effect on a terrifying attacker, by passifying them with you kind eyes? - never been in a fighting situation where adrenalin and instinct hasn't taken over]

I have found the 'far away' stare comes naturally with randori. One way to do it, is just to be aware of the space directly in front of you, and that you blend with anything coming into that space. When you do this with randori you'll notice that you still have to look at people (with wide view) outside this space, but you only have to do technique when they enter your space.

You must train diligently*

Ian

*a joke for Musashi readers; after explaining everything he just tells you that you have to train hard to understand it - but I think it is entirely true!

aikilouis
10-30-2001, 06:17 AM
I've heard that not looking at the opponent is taught at high levels in some schools, while in our dojo (referring to Hikitsushi sensei), every beginner is taught that from the very beginning. This is even one of the three basic principles transmitted to Hikitsushi sensei by O Sensei.
If you look at O Sensei's pictures or films, he always keeps a peripheral vision.

Louis R Joseph

bcole23
10-30-2001, 09:21 AM
I have practiced sometimes where uke attacks from the side with any attack. Nage looks straight forward and must perceive what attack is coming and react. Very good for when you are just starting to get into randori and helps train your awareness in a controlled manner.

*note: easy to get knocked upside the head*

Richard Harnack
10-30-2001, 10:03 AM
Ace Atkinson, Sensei in my early training emphasized "soft focus" to help increase the peripheral visual field.

Unlike G.W. Bush who apparently has the ability to "read the soul" of the other person, I find myself needing to be aware of much more.

A rule of thumb I use is whether or not I can see my partner's feet. If I cannot, then I am too close for self-defense. Looking into their eyes usually prohibits this.

The only eyes I care to look into for any length are my wife's.;)

akiy
10-30-2001, 10:25 AM
Originally posted by Richard Harnack
A rule of thumb I use is whether or not I can see my partner's feet. If I cannot, then I am too close for self-defense. Looking into their eyes usually prohibits this.
Saotome sensei this weekend said that people need to have a wide enough vision to be able to see the whole picture. He said that nage should be able to see uke as a whole from their head to their feet...

-- Jun

Richard Harnack
10-30-2001, 02:26 PM
Originally posted by akiy

Saotome sensei this weekend said that people need to have a wide enough vision to be able to see the whole picture. He said that nage should be able to see uke as a whole from their head to their feet...

-- Jun

Jun -
At 6'2" I seldom have a problem with the head. :)

[Censored]
10-30-2001, 03:14 PM
Musashi says to look at close things as if they are far away, and far away things as if they were close. He also said about not staring into someones eyes 'cos they'll take your spirit.

Or, you may take their spirit.

Antony_Watson
10-30-2001, 03:47 PM
Being a motorcyclist and now Aikidoka I find where I look is where I go.

ie If I focus on Uke's face when I goto step forward and to the side I actually step closer to where I was looking.

Basically the body follows the head.

So I try to not to focus on whats in front of me rather focus on my whole field of view using perpipheral vision as well.

And as soon as Uke moves I point my head where I want to go!

Cheers
Antony

ian
11-01-2001, 06:43 AM
Originally posted by [Censored]
Or, you may take their spirit.

Definately true - I've never been able to develop that awesome presense that ueshiba was supposed to have and generally think that people won't be that intimidated by my stare! (especially since I tend to smile most of the time).

Ian

Nick P.
11-01-2001, 07:38 AM
So what happens when there is more than one uke?

When the ukes start flying, I find it "easier" to not look at any one thing or one.

Just reach out, with your center/hara, and try to feel all the other centers out there.

Failing that, crack a joke, and while uke is snickering...WHAM!

nikonl
11-01-2001, 09:47 PM
i guess all my answers i the above....generally not staring into uke's eyes but looking at him/her as a whole... :)