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Old 02-06-2004, 06:52 PM   #1
AmyGilgan
Dojo: Suginami Aikikai
Location: San Francisco, CA
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Wearing glasses during ukemi?

I have recently started training at a dojo where taking off one's glasses before taking ukemi is advised. In the past, I had worn glasses with an elastic strap. Any thoughts on this? I am extremely nearsighted and unsure what the safest choice is.
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Old 02-07-2004, 12:35 AM   #2
Bronson
 
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I too need to wear my glasses. I'm so nearsigthted I literally can't read the namepatch on my own work shirt without my glasses.

I went with the elastic strap for awhile because my glasses would fly off. I guess I improved over time because I haven't had to wear the elastic strap for a few years now.

I'd say if the ukemi at your dojo is rather vigorous to definitely go with the strap. I really liked the Croakies type. They just slide on and have a flat neoprene strap with no hard parts to land on.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 02-07-2004, 04:36 AM   #3
wendyrowe
Dojo: Aikidog Aikikai
Location: Massachusetts
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I got disposable contact lenses so I could wear them in aikido class and not have to choose between missing details or possibly mashing glasses into my face during ukemi. They don't steam up like my glasses with their Croakies strap did in karate, so I wear them for all my MA classes. Since I'm only wearing them part time, each lense lasts two months. It was pretty expensive seeing the eye guy and buying the minimum "6 month supply," but they'll last me a year and then I can just buy a refill.
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Old 02-07-2004, 07:00 AM   #4
Hogan
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Amy - May I make a suggestion ? Don't wear glasses. Before I got lasik eye surgery (for reasons other than aikido), I regularly went without and my vision was horrible. Going without I found to be more beneficial in the long run: I was able to "feel" distance and spacing, and was able to see the movement as a whole, rather than focusing in on a small part as one would do with good vision. I was able to "sense" movement quicker and would react just as fast.
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Old 02-07-2004, 07:25 AM   #5
CatSienna
 
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Hi John,

Just curious: were you myopic and to what degree before lasik? I wear contact lenses during class and was thinking if I didn't, I'm so short sighted that I wouldn't be able to see what sensei was demonstrating especially the finer details.

I was thinking that your solution would only work if the vision impairment were mild at best for learning purposes unless a non visual method of teaching were included by the sensei. And that made me think, hmmm...it probably is possible to teach aikido to totally blind people but it would take a different method from the one usually used in my dojo. But that's a whole other thread I guess.
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Old 02-07-2004, 08:51 AM   #6
Larry Feldman
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If you want to continue with glasses, consider perscription 'goggles'.

They usually come with a lifetime guarantee. If people hit them in practice it is no big deal, they won't break or scratch your face.

If your perscription changes you can just replace the lenses.

Mine do fog up, but a sweat band has cured that.
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Old 02-07-2004, 10:25 AM   #7
AmyGilgan
Dojo: Suginami Aikikai
Location: San Francisco, CA
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Thanks so much for all of your suggestions! It has also been suggested to me that I wear my glasses when Sensei is demonstrating in front of the class, and take them off when I'm practicing with my partner. The folks at the dojo are concerned that wearing glasses could contribute to a broken nose. I will definitely consider contacts when I can afford them.

One thing that did occur to me is that in a street situation, glasses are very likely to be knocked off one's face. Perhaps John has something in regards to the benefit of training without them.

Thanks for the goggles suggestion, and I'll keep my strap handy as well.
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Old 02-07-2004, 04:37 PM   #8
Jeanne Shepard
 
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I wore contacts til my eyes got too dry.

I tried going without glasses, but got a headache from eyestrain, so had to wear them after all. I was afraid they'd break, constantly.

I ended up having lasik surgery and have no regrets.

Jeanne
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Old 02-07-2004, 08:15 PM   #9
William Boyd
Dojo: Aikido of Reno
Location: Reno, NV
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I wear glasses since I'm as blind as a bat without them. In class and have no problems wearing them. I haven't had them fly off or anything.
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Old 02-07-2004, 09:45 PM   #10
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
Location: Seattle
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I just wear mine. I told the optometrist that I did martial arts, and we picked out a really flexible frame so that if they get hit, they bend or fall off without breaking.

I've tried going without, but I feel strangely vague and stupid when everything I see is blurry, and it detracts a lot from my enjoyment.

I got hit in the glasses on Wednesday--they just bent a little bit. Then I got back to my room, took them off, and they fell apart (screw popped out). I don't know if the hit was to blame or just too-short screws. It's not the first time they've fallen apart. A glasses repair kit in your dojo bag might be helpful.

I might feel differently if my home dojo were as fond of atemi to the face as some I've seen, though. One of my training partners has prescription goggles, which would be a good alternative, I think. I don't tolerate contacts well.

Mary Kaye
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Old 02-08-2004, 02:57 AM   #11
Jeff Tibbetts
Dojo: Cedar River Aikikai
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It seems to me that not being able to see what's going on would be a bigger safety hazard than the glasses, but that's just based on my own dojo atmospehere. I wear my glasses all the time on the mat. I've only ever had to take them off just a few times, as a precaution if we're doing something with a breakfall, for instance. The only times they have a tendency to fly are during various front rolls, and I can tell they're slipping so it's usually possible to reach up and grab them just as they come off. No problem. The weirdest thing for me is that I now have shallow trenches in the soft area behind my ears from having the wires press into my head when I'm receiving a pin. It aches a bit if the earpiece gets pushed on at all, and I never noticed this before I started practicing. Probably no big deal, but I've considered getting the goggles with strap for that reason alone. Any other experiences like this?

If the Nightingale doesn't sing-
wait
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Old 02-08-2004, 07:46 AM   #12
Michael Karmon
Dojo: Aikido Jerusalem
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Re: Wearing glasses during ukemi?

Good question,

As a four-eyed guy I take off my glasses when the Waza involves contact to the head or face (Irimi-Nage and some Kokyo Nage). I will also take them off if the Waza involves seriouse highfalls and fast movement or Atemi to the face.

I am especially carefull if my partner is new and/or over excited. That is where accidents accure.

Eat, Sleep, Exercise and watch out for cars
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Old 02-08-2004, 06:19 PM   #13
Jamie Stokes
Dojo: Kenkyu Kai
Location: Australia
Join Date: Jan 2004
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HI alL,

I take my glasses off for two reasons.

One: to avoid havingbits of metal and plastic impact anywhere near my eyeball.

Two: I may lose them in an unexpected situation, so I feel its better to be able to deal with movements that are at my maximum disadvantage. After all, one cant always dictate when conflict will happen, can one?

However, if you do train on the mat, get plastics lenses rather than glass. Less likely to break, lighter, but will scratch more easily. (this is for spectacles, not contacs. No experience there, sorry)

As for frames, personal choice, lotsa good advice. One guy I know trains with an old pair and changes into his good pair after class.

warmest,

Jamie

Aikido: Love and compassion at one metre per second.
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Old 02-09-2004, 07:32 AM   #14
Hogan
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Quote:
Sharon Snodgrass (CatSienna) wrote:
Hi John,

Just curious: were you myopic and to what degree before lasik? I wear contact lenses during class and was thinking if I didn't, I'm so short sighted that I wouldn't be able to see what sensei was demonstrating especially the finer details.

I was thinking that your solution would only work if the vision impairment were mild at best for learning purposes unless a non visual method of teaching were included by the sensei. And that made me think, hmmm...it probably is possible to teach aikido to totally blind people but it would take a different method from the one usually used in my dojo. But that's a whole other thread I guess.
My vision was extremely nearsighted - after a few feet, it was nothing but blur.
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Old 02-09-2004, 08:26 AM   #15
Bronson
 
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Quote:
John Hogan (Hogan) wrote:
after a few feet, it was nothing but blur.
FEET!! Man you lucky dog. I can't read standard newsprint at a distance of 6 inches without my glasses.

Oh how I'd love to be able to see feet away unaided

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 02-09-2004, 08:34 AM   #16
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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I've done a couple different things. At one time I had the prescription gogles with a strap, they were pretty good, but I finally broke them, and never had them fixed. Then I tried with my regular glasses, but of course there are times when the sweat and ukemi make them very loose, and I can't afford to have to push them back on my nose during every breakfall. The best solution (unless I get the gogles fixed) seems to be wearing them to watch instruction, then taking them off for ukemi.

I too found doing technique without them to be kool, since you can't really focus anywhere, you start to use peripheral vision and feel to a greater extent. And I agree that when attacked, you're likely to loose them anyway.

Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 02-09-2004, 12:35 PM   #17
Nick P.
 
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I am like everyone here who can't see squat beyond 6 inchs. I started with glasses (worn since being 6 yrs old) tried the contacts I only wear when skiing, and have been going without for most of my 6 yrs of training.

Am considering laser surgery of some sort, but mostly for when I attend massive seminars when distance is a real factor and for skiing.

I have blown several pairs off of others, and have felt very bad about it, especially when trying very hard to avoid doing just that. Irimi-nage is the obvious culprit.

And like Ron mentions...it's kool.

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Old 02-09-2004, 01:30 PM   #18
Sharon Seymour
Dojo: AikidoKIDS! & Katsujinken Dojo, Prescott Arizona
Location: Arizona
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I invested in hingeless, titanium-frame glasses with plastic lenses. They are very lightweight and hold themselves on my face very comfortably. They are occasionally knocked awry by an iriminage or an atemi, but they have never fallen off during breakfalls or koshinage ... and I can see to train.

$.02

from Sharon

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There is more to balance than not falling over.
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Old 02-09-2004, 02:08 PM   #19
Larry Feldman
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Once the glasses come off, they are a potential hazard to those that may land on them, and are subject to futher damage from the landing.

Not a problem with the goggles.
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