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GC_Chew
02-03-2004, 02:41 PM
Yeah they HURT!

O-sensei one said whatever stance you are don't look at his eyes you will fall into them, don't look at his eyes etc etc

I am not sure of the quote could someone post it.

My question is where do u look when u r in stance? I mean i know we are suppose to focus our mind and ki on the attacker but where you look you tend to focus. Evenmore so when the attacker is holding the boken and your eyes stray to it. Its not a wise tactical move as i found out after getting hit by fists when i focus on the boken too much.

Advise anyone? Where do i look? Also how do i focus so i can sense the attack?

Nick Simpson
02-03-2004, 03:03 PM
I tend not to focus on anything but rather to look behind uke if you will, therefore I can see his entire body and any movement he will make. Its kind of like using your peripheral vision. I think its called distant mountain viewing or something.

Jesse Lee
02-03-2004, 03:05 PM
Prior sensei of mine also taught us to avoid the eyes. He advised to always look at the sternum / upper chest area. He calls it the "information center" for the rest of the body, as applied to aikido anyway.

Lan Powers
02-03-2004, 05:37 PM
The chest was the focal point for european fencing as well. ( at least in the classes here in the states) As Jesse Lee pointed out, the movement of the chest shows where the body is actually going, as opposed to feints. Sort of a "soft focus thing" for using peripheral vision.

Lan

Don_Modesto
02-03-2004, 06:04 PM
My question is where do u look when u r in stance?

Advise anyone? Where do i look? Also how do i focus so i can sense the attack?
I tend to look at the sternum about nipple level in aikido, a practice I picked up unconsciously from a Saotome student named Suzuki Shigeru who used to teach in Chicago way back when. I think you could make the best of any practice, though. When I do karate, I look 'em in the eye. Some folk say you can better tell their intentions thus. Some sword folk recommend looking at the hands.

As to sensing the attack, I've found patience works best for me. I quiet myself and concentrate; UKE's intentions become obvious. The quiet seems to psyche 'em out some, too. Most aikido practice doesn't lend itself to picking up this skill, in my experience. Too often training is formulaic: My turn as UKE, attack four times, now I'm NAGE, etc. Karate's KUMITE will hone this for you.

Jesse Lee
02-03-2004, 06:14 PM
what is KUMITE, sounds cool....

Don_Modesto
02-03-2004, 06:40 PM
what is KUMITE
Free sparring.

Cool? Maybe.

Humbling? For sure.

Noel
02-03-2004, 07:44 PM
I was once told, "Focus on nothing, gaze at everything."

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
02-03-2004, 10:18 PM
I've heard look at their eyes, but see their entire body. Not getting lost in their gaze (so romantic!), but at their eyes.

John Boswell
02-03-2004, 10:31 PM
I know it's cliche' to talk about Bruce Lee, but he has a lot to teach.

In "Enter the Dragon", there are several good scenes where he is taking on more than one attacker. Look at his eyes. He is looking at the SPACE in front of him, not the individual attackers. This will train you to see your surroundings more than just the individual(s).

As far as one on one... when it comes to bokken work, I try to do the same. Feet, Hands, Hips, Chest, Weapon... all of it gives indications as to intent. My advice would be not to focus on any ONE thing and just be comfortable in yourself and your ability. Know how to get off line and what your action will be once you are there. Sounds simple but really... experience is the greatest teacher imho.

Good luck! Train hard!

boni tongson
02-04-2004, 02:38 AM
why not look at the eyes? by the way, being attack by the uke with a shinai or bokken is a very good practice. i enjoy it very much. actually what works for me is I directly look at the eyes before any attacks is yet to be delivered. for me I think that once your uke has the shinai or bokken and is attacking with no control, you should not remain passive. ;)

Jason Tonks
02-04-2004, 07:11 AM
I feel Nick alluded to the correct perception of an opponent. The ancient masters I believe called it "looking to the mountain and beyond." It applies to facing an unarmed opponent as well. The feeling is one of absorbing the opponent's spirit with your own and taking his mind. Your looking through him as if he is no threat. Difficult as with all these things to put into words; has to be felt.

All the best

Jason T

vanstretch
02-04-2004, 07:56 AM
hi all, I like the above posts and there seems to be a consensus that the upper chest and neck area is an "information center". this is so true and reminds me of the great poker player Texas Doyle "Dolly" Brunson. He says that every man has two things that he cannot hide; his eyes and his neck. The neck can show much and for aikido attacks can show when the opponent inhales(is weakest here),and most vulnerable. and the eyes rarely lie. any mother can tell you that.

Josh Bisker
02-04-2004, 09:22 AM
saw a movie called "sword of doom" where the protagonist is this murderous swordsman, who me and my friends called "crazy eyes" because of his crazy wide eyed blank seeming stare (also because we couldn't figure out what his name was. Ryunosuke, maybe?). i tried it out in class just to screw with my buddy, yet actually found that by opening my eyes a bit more than is casual and by abandoning the drive to focus on any one moving thing, but rather try to perceve all the motions around me, my awareness in training expended quite a bit. seeing instead of looking, you know? and this way my friends on the mat call me "crazy eyes."

John Boswell
02-04-2004, 11:32 AM
I found on a different website the quote that O'Sensei gives regarding where to look, etc.
Watch not his flashing blade;

Nothing can be seen there.

His fists will reveal where he intends to cut.

-- Morihei Ueshiba
Hope this helps. ;)

Ian Williams
02-04-2004, 08:56 PM
I tend not to focus on anything but rather to look behind uke if you will, therefore I can see his entire body and any movement he will make. Its kind of like using your peripheral vision. I think its called distant mountain viewing or something.
Averted Vision?

http://www.roboticobservatory.com/jeff/observing/averted.html

GC_Chew
02-05-2004, 01:39 AM
Watch not his flashing blade;

Nothing can be seen there.

His fists will reveal where he intends to cut.

-- Morihei Ueshiba

Naaaaa thanks John but i rem the thing saying something abt eyes.

Nick Simpson
02-05-2004, 12:11 PM
Erm, I dont think so Ian, that sounds a bit complicated to me and I stopped reading halfway through, sorry! Its nothing complicated, you just let your eyes go blank and dont focus on anything, because of this you can see anything that is moving in your field of vision e.g. uke.

James Giles
02-05-2004, 12:59 PM
I know this might be changing the subject a little bit. I have been practicing Aikido for only about 5 months now. Since our class is really small, there is no beginner class, so I am sort of pushed to learn things quickly (which I really don't mind at all).

We are presently practicing the bokken kumitachi for the ASU Nidan test (#6 - #12), which my Sensei is going to take soon. Up until last night all had been going well. I learned all of the bokken kumitachi #1 - #11, and had not been injured nor injured anyone else.

I was practicing the 8th kumitachi with my Sensei, and I cracked him on the top of the head with a Shomen strike by accident. Looking back, I don't even know how it all came about. I tried to pull back at the last instant, but I heard a loud *WHONK* and a very hurt look on his face.

I know this may sound crazy, but I felt so badly about it, that I went home and took my bokken and cracked myself on the head just to experience what he must have felt. I still have a headache this afternoon. Yes bokkens do hurt! But what hurts more is knowing that I hurt my Sensei, who I really respect a lot.

Has anyone else out there had to go through this?

James

happysod
02-05-2004, 01:32 PM
I know this may sound crazy, but I felt so badly about it, that I went home and took my bokken and cracked myself on the head just to experience what he must have felt

Yep, you're crazy, don't do that again! (visions of James committing sepuka for treading on sensei's hakama :rolleyes: )

One of the joys of teaching beginners is the interesting bruises and scars they sometimes leave, your sensei will know and expect such things, so don't take it to heart.

Don_Modesto
02-05-2004, 01:55 PM
I was practicing the 8th kumitachi with my Sensei, and I cracked him on the top of the head with a Shomen strike by accident. Looking back, I don't even know how it all came about. I tried to pull back at the last instant, but I heard a loud *WHONK* and a very hurt look on his face.

I know this may sound crazy, but I felt so badly about it, that I went home and took my bokken and cracked myself on the head just to experience what he must have felt.
It happens. I think most folk have the same reaction as you, they'd rather get hit than hit. But the trade off is choreography (instead of honest attacks.) I rather take a hit once in a while than just go through the motions. I'll bet your teacher feels the same.

Chin up.

Jesse Lee
02-05-2004, 02:41 PM
Your Sensei is a survivor; survey says he is going to make it through this one

Lan Powers
02-05-2004, 10:04 PM
Regarding the focus issue, the point of using the peripheral vision,as verses focused vision is the routing of optic nerves into the brain itself. As this was explained in the USAF (United States Fencing Association)

this means the signal from the main focal area of the back of the eyeball itself is routed more into the lobes of the brain. Edges of this area are routed deeper into the more primitive core or (reptillian brain).

Reflexes come from this area. more direct connection less re-routing =quicker reaction times.

I, myself, don't know for absolute fact on this...... just repeating what the fencing coaches curriculae contained.

I would appreciate it if anyone with more Read "any" :) anatomical knowledge would verify this?

After all the instructors in the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs may have disproved this as a no-longer-valid theory.
Twenty years have passed since I was taught this, so...

(And, no, I haven't fenced in the olympics...)

Fwiw Lan

Nick Simpson
02-06-2004, 06:10 AM
I cracked a mate on the head with my bokken a couple of weeks ago, I was really scared cos I heard the crack and then he dropped down out of shock. He was fine but I felt really crap all night, least it wasnt a live blade!

batemanb
02-06-2004, 06:41 AM
I

Looking back, I don't even know how it all came about. I tried to pull back at the last instant, but I heard a loud *WHONK* and a very hurt look on his face.
He didn't try to move of line?

Don't beat yourself up over this, it's his fault for not getting out of the way, not yours for hitting him, unless he had his back to you when you struck him ;). Even then it's still his fault because he should have been aware of you wherever you were, even more so when working with ken.

GC_Chew
02-06-2004, 02:47 PM
Has anyone here felt that Ki sensation where you attack before they do cause u know what they are going to do?

Jesse Lee
02-06-2004, 03:07 PM
I had the sensation you were going to ask that question, then you did

James Giles
02-06-2004, 06:15 PM
Hello everyone that responded to my earlier post (Ian, Don, Jesse, Nick,and Bryan) I really appreciate you all trying to cheer me up.

I still feel a little rotten about hitting my sensei, but my own self-inflicted head injury seems to be clearing up. At least I don't seem to be suffering from loss of concentration,loss oof conceeentration,loss of concentrationgrogaloga,looosso of concentragzep... or anything.

No Bryan(Bateman), I don't really know how it happened. The kumitachi are paired forms and we each have all our strikes and steps predetermined. I don't know if my own timing was off, or was his. Because I am a beginner, and he has 13 or so years of experience, I tend to want to believe the former- it was my fault.

If the kumitachi is performed correctly, I attack with a (mune?)tsuki (thrust to stomach), and he in turn blocks with a circular-style block which flings my blade up and over my left shoulder as I cross step to the left off-center with my right foot.

As he comes in with a shomen strike to my head, I pivot to my left on my right foot and simultaneously strike to his wrists. The problem was that when I pivoted and struck, his head was in the place where I was expecting his wrists to be, and my bokken was already in motion and moving fast.

Anyway, I appreciate you all responding. It has cheered me up substantially, and I don't feel so bad about going back to the dojo next Monday night and having to face everyone (especially sensei) after such a blunder!



Thanks, James

Berney Fulcher
06-02-2004, 08:35 PM
After all the instructors in the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs may have disproved this as a no-longer-valid theory.
Twenty years have passed since I was taught this, so...

(And, no, I haven't fenced in the olympics...)

My fencing coach was not Olympic caliber, and neither was I, but I was always told to observe the bell guard in foil fencing. You can see shifts there that telegraph what the blade will be doing. You care what the tip is doing, but it is too fast to follow.

This seems to parallel the watching of the hands on the Katana a bit.

NagaBaba
06-02-2004, 09:49 PM
I was practicing the 8th kumitachi with my Sensei, and I cracked him on the top of the head with a Shomen strike by accident. Looking back, I don't even know how it all came about. I tried to pull back at the last instant, but I heard a loud *WHONK* and a very hurt look on his face.

Has anyone else out there had to go through this?

James
He is practicing for nidan? You should hit him twice hard! At this level, no more mercy, no pulling back.......... It wasn't your fault at all. Hurt look? Surly, cos he knew he failed to defend himself in prearranged practice. So he imagined himself in spontanous practice and realized: "Oh, well, I'll test in 2010". :) Long way to nidan, isn't it....

Troy
06-02-2004, 11:02 PM
Look between the eyes, or at the forehead. Kinda blurr your vision a bit. This way, you are not being drawn into anything but the situation. This works for me.

Largo
06-04-2004, 12:13 AM
yup. they hurt. That's the whole point of using a weapon evileyes

As for where to look, my sensei says too look past the opponent. If you relax, you can see their whole body at once. There is something similar in go rin no sho where it musashi says something to the point of 'don't focus on one part, see everything. easier said that done :rolleyes:

Bronson
06-04-2004, 01:09 AM
I've been told to look at the center of the upper chest. Using your peripheral vision you should be able to see their feet.

I'm always trying to train myself to use my peripheral vision. Yesterday I was in a waiting room reading a book and was noticing the people's movement around me while still reading. It takes some practice but it's really not that hard, you just have to remember to do it when you have the opportunity.

This is something I started learning how to do when I learned to juggle. You can't watch each ball or you lose the other ones. You look through the center of your pattern and use your peripheral vision to adjust the position of your hands....which if you're good shouldn't be much :D

Bronson

bob_stra
06-04-2004, 02:02 AM
GC_Chew

I dunno. I kind look at the middle of the guys forehead, being sure to keep his shoulders with my peripheral vision. That way you can see if his shoulders, chest, hips etc move, without (1) Having to gaze into his eyes (hypnotic) (2) letting him know you're not gazing into his eyes (3) focusing on nothing in particular (soft eyes)

If I do the "soft eyes" thing - I tend to drift off / loose concentration.

SeiserL
06-04-2004, 08:50 AM
Me-tsuki: soft eye focus gets better use of periphery vision which picks up movement faster. It isn't really a matter of where you look, but how. If you focus on any one thing, you tend to miss everything else. Its about just looking and seeing. Also when your eyes see weapon, you mind sees fear.

Relax, breathe. Practice slowly at first. Look through the uke as if just gazing at the horizon. Some people say look through the eyes, others suggest looking through the chest.

Since most people are used to eye contact, looking through them is a disorienting experience. It make you look calm, so they feel the fear.

It just take practice.

Hope that helps in some small way.

justMe
06-04-2004, 11:05 AM
I try to focus on where I am moving. For exmple, if I am making a tenkan movement I first turn my head/eyes in the direction I want to go. That being said, I also what boxers call the soft gaze. That is not focusing on any one thing in particular, but trying to see as much at one time as possible.

Hope that is not too confusing

TexV2
06-04-2004, 11:47 AM
In Kenpo I was tought to focus on the shoulders. Eyes will lie to you shoulders will always project where the attack is going. Can't tell you how many times I would reel someone in to focusing on my eyes and project a head strike then get me a foot full of rib cage.Through training with my friend who was Aikidoka, and learning Breaking techniques. i.e. focusing through the object not on the object. I found that I had greater success in Free sparring (weapons and empty hands) when I focused on nothing in particular but kept everything in peripheral vision. If that makes any sense. Now that I am Aikidoka as well....I find that these principles are even more essential. The more I focus on any one thing the more jumbled I get in thought. Thought interferes with the natural progression of the technique.

Here is the quote you were looking for:
"Don't look at the opponent's eyes, or your mind will be drawn into his eyes. Don't look at his sword, or you will be slain with his sword. Don't look at him, or your spirit will be distracted. True budo is the cultivation of attraction with which to draw the whole opponent to you. All I have to do is keep standing this way."

- O Sensei


Respect to all

Tex http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/editpost.php?do=editpost&p=72422#

aikidoc
06-04-2004, 12:51 PM
Hitting someone with a bokken can be a little scary. While testing, during the kumitachi, the uke missed the block totally (they made me do them all over again since I was too aggressive-don't know how you can be too aggressive in a sword fight :). In any event, I have one of the middle weight Bujin bokkens (not light). I realized the guy was going to miss the block and managed to only lightly thump him on the cheek bone. When I did them over, he missed it again and I hit him again. Fortunately, it was not hard enough or loud enough for the test committee to hear. If I had not been able to stop the stike I would have shattered his cheek with the heavy bokken. I felt bad but the uke knew what was coming and should have made the block.