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Old 06-30-2004, 03:14 PM   #26
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
Re: to look at opponent's eyes or not?

Actually, I was taught by a high ranking Kendo instructor to look in his his left eye; this has to do with effecting the right hemishpere of the brain.
Hi George, my instructor gave us some advanced lessons on just this topic! Interesting...


Ron Tisdale
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 06-30-2004, 03:56 PM   #27
Jill N
Dojo: K-W Ki Aikido (Kitchener, Ont)
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 119
Re: to look at opponent's eyes or not?

I like the "soft eyes" approach. I find the opponent is less intimidating and i get a quicker warning of attack if I am looking in the area of the upper chest, and allow the focus to soften. I can get this easily be removing my glasses, as I am unable to focus without them. Then what I get is more of a feeling of change and intention rather than distracting myself by looking for something specific.

e ya later.
Jill N.
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Old 07-01-2004, 05:28 AM   #28
Geoff Flather
Dojo: Life Centre, Exeter, Devon
Location: Devon England, UK.
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 26
Smile Re: to look at opponent's eyes or not?

Hello George,

I read the actual quote some years ago. I have at present difficulty in locating the book, as they are packed up, because I am about to move to a another house. Plus I am also preparing for our own Summer School, this comming Saturday, so I am short of time, as normal, and I also have to pack for that event.

I will not forget your querie, and I shall get back to you later concerning the quote. At the time of reading it, I thought it was quite strange, at least as far I am concerned and it was different from the similar quote I had read previously. It may of course, have been the authors translation. However I will look for it when we are resettled.

Thank you for your comments re "Tunnel vision".... I enjoy reading your comments when they appear, and find them instructive.

Last edited by Geoff Flather : 07-01-2004 at 05:31 AM.
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Old 07-01-2004, 11:37 AM   #29
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 495
Re: to look at opponent's eyes or not?

"The eyes are the mirror to the soul".
Hidy Ochiai (Washin ryu) taught this and I have always followed since. With practice you can read your attackers intent and catch his timing when they "fall asleep" for just a second. Boxers are normally taught to look at the shoulders but the body can lie - the eyes don't. And yes, many times the weaker person can not look you back in the eyes. Eye contact makes a greater connection in my opinion.
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Old 07-01-2004, 12:12 PM   #30
Ghost Fox
Dojo: Jikishinkan Dojo
Location: New York City (Brooklyn)
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 219
Re: to look at opponent's eyes or not?

Does where you differ when dealing with Randori situation as oppose to dealing with one on one practice?

For me initially, when we are standing in hamni before the attack, I like to push my mind and awareness through the person, so that my mind does not get attached to the individual. I feel my awareness extend to the whole dojo that way, kind of like trying to fill the dojo with my mind. It also lets me consume my uke, kinda of like what George was talking about when he say O Sensei used to trap other with his eyes. It's very difficult and requires me to pump out a lot of energy, kinda like an active sonar as oppose passive sonar. Once the Uke attacks 95% of my total energy/mind becomes focused like a laser guide to the current uke while 5% is used for tracking the other uke and the enviornment. I like to use these anologies to help visualize the situation, and keep my mind focus. Atleast that is what I try to do anyway, as it requires a lot of pschic (mental) energy.
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Old 07-04-2004, 12:58 PM   #31
Michael Young
Michael Young's Avatar
Dojo: Alamo City Aikido
Location: San Antonio, TX
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 133
Re: to look at opponent's eyes or not?

Just an interesting anectdote that some may or may not find pertinent to this thread. While visiting Hikitsuchi Sensei's dojo in Shingu, Japan in 1998, I had the opportunity to train with a blind Aikido practioner. I think his rank was 3rd or 4th dan. During one class, the attack shown was tsuki (punch to the midsection), and I was partnered with the blind gentleman. At first I was timid about attacking him at the normal speed, but he communicated to me (mostly through gestures, he spoke no English and my Japanese was pretty bad) that he wanted me to attack full speed. I figured "O.K. you asked for it" and went ahead and punched at the normal pace, and immediately found myself flat on the mat as usual . It was a completely amazing experience. This guy could sense my timing, spacing, and intent without being able to see. He obviously doesn't have to worry about where to place his vision...of course, the rest of us are handicapped with the problem though .

Another interesting story involving the same person... He was a masseuse by profession. During class one of my fellow American friends, who was also practicing, hurt his toe by catching it in between the tatami mats. After class was over, the blind masseuse came over to my friend and pointed down towards his foot. No one had told him that my friend had hurt himself, and they were not practicing together at the time the injury occured. The masseuse, of course, went right to the toe that was hurt without being told which one...he did his massage thing...and my friend stated that his toe felt much better after. FWIW cool story, maybe with a lesson or two about preconceptions and how we limit ourselves to just the visible world.

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Old 07-04-2004, 02:32 PM   #32
Dojo: Kyushinkan
Location: Roswell,GA
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 123
Re: to look at opponent's eyes or not?

who was that blind master on kung-fu? ehehehe
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Old 07-04-2004, 04:25 PM   #33
Location: Germany
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 219
Re: to look at opponent's eyes or not?

Zatoichi !

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Old 07-04-2004, 08:42 PM   #34
Rupert Atkinson
Rupert Atkinson's Avatar
Dojo: Wherever I am.
Location: New Zealand
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 995
United Kingdom
Re: to look at opponent's eyes or not?

My cousins' neighbour in the UK has about 20 dogs and I usually pass through his garden to make a shortcut to my cousin's house. The dogs range from great dane to terrier in size. Last summer I must have riled them as I jumped over the fence unannounced - I was surrounded and barked at by the whole lot at once but just kept moving, keeping the larger ones in view - peripheral vision. Little did I know the smallest of the lot sneaked up behind me and bit me hard on the leg! As I turned it scarpered.

Last weekend, as I was walking home I spied three dogs nearby, then lost sight of them. Suddenly, I sensed something behind me and everything came together in an instant - I jumped around and stamped my feet on the floor simultaneously shouting and starring one of the three in the eyes. I have never seen a dog run so scared. It's feet were moving so fast to get away they were slipping on the ground! The thing is, I don't know why I did it. I wasn't scared of them at all. I just reacted - maybe it was to do with getting bitten last year.
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