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Old 05-11-2005, 01:13 AM   #1
BenDuckett
Dojo: Shinryukan, Auckland
Location: Auckland
Join Date: May 2005
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New Zealand
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Contact Lenses vs Glasses

Hi,
I'm new to Aikido and was wondering about other people's experiences about the different types of contact lenses and glasses (spectacles). Does anyone use hard lenses and if so have they fallen out on the mat? Do people wear glasses on the mat? Any Aikido opticians out there?
Many thanks,
Ben
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Old 05-11-2005, 02:08 AM   #2
Kyudos
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 13
United Kingdom
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

Ben,

I've tried everything. Hard lenses, soft, daily disposables and glasses. With lenses, I never had any particular problems except with irimi nage, which seemed remarkably good for whipping out one lense (only happened a few times though).

As for glasses, I purposefully bought expensive 'memory-metal' ones to train in. They were supposed to be very tough - almost indestructible if you believe the hype.

However, after breaking two very expensive pairs of glasses on the mat I got my eyes lasered and haven't looked back since (no pun intended).
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Old 05-11-2005, 02:15 AM   #3
Hrvoje
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 23
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

Hey Ben!
from my experience, most people have found glasses to be a problem on occasion during rigorous training and ukemi. they fall off and may get stood on. i know a number of people who use contact lenses as its less restrictive on hard training, not too sure about hard lenses though, the soft disposables are probably less dangerous if stood on. Good luck with your training you've really got some awesome teachers up there, really great people, see ya next year when i move up there for university!
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Old 05-11-2005, 02:23 AM   #4
miratim
Dojo: Albuquerque Aikido Kokikai
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

Hi Ben -

I started training without glasses, which was fine initially, but after a while got tired because of depth perception problems (I'm near-sighted). I then discovered the joys of racquetball / sports glasses - you can get them at almost eye glass shop - puts a prescription lens (non-glass based, scratch resistant) into thick rubber framing, with a headband to keep them on for more vigorous falls. Took a couple days to get used to them, but I love them - never worry about them falling off, or the frame breaking, or a lens popping out. And they aren't expensive frames either.

Only downside is look dorky, but hey, it's for seeing, so it's worth it!
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Old 05-11-2005, 03:29 AM   #5
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
Location: Sheffield, UK
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

I've found wearing my glasses while practicing technique is just a non starter. My eyes aren't too bad (short sight, about -3.5), so I generally just take my glasses off and leave them at the side of the mat while I'm practicing techniques, I find being able to see the overall shape of my partner is enough, no need for details.
Lately I've been using daily disposable (soft) contacts for other things, and I've found they're pretty good for aikido. Once or twice a contact has been knocked out and lost, but they're disposable so thats not a problem.

Sean
x
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Old 05-11-2005, 03:43 AM   #6
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

I train in glasses and so do several of my classmates including the shodan-to-be. One student likes to take his off before a particularly intense technique. I've come to feel quite apprehensive when he does this; it's like rolling up your sleeves before plunging into a fight....

The acting Head Instructor wears contacts; I never noticed before tonight, when she got a bit of grit under one of them.

Tried doing without the glasses (I'm very nearsighted) and it's okay for technique but makes following the instructor's demo nearly impossible. Plus, blurry vision makes me feel stupid, and I'm stupid enough already without that. I have springy frames and haven't broken a pair yet, though a screw did come loose (a few hours after training, oddly). But our style is fairly soft.

Mary Kaye
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Old 05-11-2005, 04:14 AM   #7
Michael Meister
Dojo: South Hetton
Join Date: Aug 2004
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United Kingdom
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

I'm training with glasses, though I'm considering contact lenses for some time. Training without my glasses is definitely an experience, but even my Uke is no much than a fuzzy white blurr then, following an instructor is just impossible. Except for irimi nage, I didn't have major problems with my glasses sofar.
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Old 05-11-2005, 05:13 AM   #8
ruthmc
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
Location: Reading, UK
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

I don't wear my glasses on the mat, but then my eyesight isn't too bad. I think if you can get away with it, ie see what the instructor is doing well enough, and avoid throwing your partner into walls / other people, then training without eyesight correction is fine. If necessary I ask the instructor to show me the technique again at close quarters so I don't miss anything.

Glasses tend to get broken - one of my friends had a pair that got separated by a well-aimed shomen-uchi. However, she carried on with the technique (Iriminage IIRC) and uke landed on the mat at the same time as the two halves of her specs

Contact lenses are safer, but the soft kind arther than the hard kind, which will hurt of you accidentally get hit in the eye!

Ruth
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Old 05-11-2005, 05:53 AM   #9
Karen Wolek
Dojo: Kingston Aikido
Location: New York
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

I am extremely near-sighted (20/700). When I started aikido, I wore glasses. I couldn't take them off because my sight is so bad, so they'd get knocked around. Also, I'd end up turning my head a lot to protect them from getting hit. Not a good thing. So, about three months into training, I got disposable soft contact lenses. They are awesome! I wear them all the time now, not just in class. 2 1/2 years later, I have never had any problems with them at all...and I study a fairly "hard" style.

Karen
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
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Old 05-11-2005, 06:00 AM   #10
makuchg
 
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

I've worn disposable contacts with no problems for over 5 years. Good luck.

Gregory Makuch
Wandering Ronin
Chesapeake, VA
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Old 05-11-2005, 06:04 AM   #11
Bronson
 
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

I wear glasses. When I first started they used to fly off all the time...it is now a rare occurence.

Thinking about getting some of these PERFORMANCE ENHANCING CONTACTS though

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 05-11-2005, 08:40 AM   #12
AikiSean!
 
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

I still wear glassses they never use to fall off! Now however they've started every now and again to fly off during randori. I generally take them off when we do a technique requiring a head pin. I think they just need some tigthening.
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Old 05-11-2005, 08:55 AM   #13
Larry Feldman
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

I'm with Tim, the goggles come with a lifetime guarantee, and manage to protect your eyes. Not expensive either.
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Old 05-11-2005, 09:04 AM   #14
Jeremy Young
Dojo: Tatsumaki Dojo/Springdale, AR
Location: Springdale,AR
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

just a a quick note:
I wear glasses during trainging and as Bronson-sensei said when i started they were always falling off. Even the glasses i use now are not the same pair as i started with. Now they almost never come off, which is really a surprise to most people. As i got more of a feel for the training, i have started just taking them off ( and i have VERY bad vision). My thinking was that if i were in a real confrontation they would probably come off at some point in the fight anyways so maybe i could get to go learn the techniques without relying on perfect vision. (this is just an idea of mine, and should not be taken as advice!) I have noticed people sometimes lose their contacts while taking ukemi. And while i have never tried wearing the goggles, my instructor has recommended it several times and it may be a good idea. Anyways, just some scattered thoughts.
Jeremy
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Old 05-11-2005, 09:12 AM   #15
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

I wore contacts for my frst 14 years of training with no problems. Korea, however, is just too dusty so I switched to glasses and must have had them bent a zillion times over the last ten years. Recently, I got some trendy-bendy glasses (a friend who got lasered gave them me) - they just bend right back even if bent double and they rarely come off as the ends curl back around my ears. They are perfect.

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Old 05-11-2005, 11:15 AM   #16
MatthewJones
Location: Washington State
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

Quote:
My thinking was that if i were in a real confrontation they would probably come off at some point in the fight anyways so maybe i could get to go learn the techniques without relying on perfect vision. (this is just an idea of mine, and should not be taken as advice!)
Amen! I kept waiting for someone to say this... a bump in the face and your glasses are gone in a real altercation. Also taking a punch in the eyes with glasses on will not be fun. I wear glasses during the day but take them off to train. I have told myself that if I have time I will take off my glasses in a fight.
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Old 05-11-2005, 11:25 AM   #17
samurai_kenshin
 
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

wishing I could get laser surgery...Sadly, It doesn't work for stigmatisms (sp?). I must wear my glasses because if I don't my eyes will get worse and worse (but then, whose won't?). It's hard to roll in them at first, but after a while you get used to it. Our uchi-deshi got contacts and a few days ago, during rondori one got kocked out. He also hit his head on the mat (a very dense part of the mat) and can't remember the contact flying out...I'm worried about that...

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
-Barry LePatner
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Old 05-11-2005, 11:26 AM   #18
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Dojo: Jiki Shin Kan Utrecht
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Netherlands
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

I trained with glasses for the first 5 years or so but in the last year I'm almost completely switched to training without. I guess intensity has just gone up a bit and it feels safer not to wear them.

It felt scary at first to not see completely clearly (to read without glasses I have to hold a book a palm-width away, that's how short-sighted I am) but after a while I started to pay more attention to what I could see and discovered that it was quite a lot actually! Only problem is if sensei demonstrates an intricate wrist lock or something like that. Nowadays I find training without perfect vision is no big deal really. It even feels relaxing for my eyes.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 05-11-2005, 01:06 PM   #19
Bronson
 
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Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

Quote:
Jeremy Young wrote:
I wear glasses during trainging and as Bronson-sensei said when i started they were always falling off.
Hey Jeremy...Bronson will do just fine

I take them off for randori and since Seidokan doesn't have any "official" head control techniques we don't do them very often. I've learned to kind of ukemi around my glasses...turning my head slightly and what not to avoid having them smashed into my face.

When I as fencing the glasses I had would touch my fencing mask, drove me crazy. Not to mention they would fog up and I couldn't see anyway. I started fencing without them and I learned a lot about not focusing on the opponents weapon (because I couldn't). I had to base my attack/defense on the large body movements of shouder, arm, and center. Seemed to work ok.

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 05-11-2005, 01:13 PM   #20
Amendes
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

I take my glasses off if I am going to do a technique which interferes with them. Otherwise I leave them on so I can see what Shihan is actually doing when hes showing us something and then take them off again for the particular technique. Yeah its a pain. I also perform techniques with my eyes closed on occasion, and sometimes I find it easier to do techniques without site. Just make sure there is nobody around that you are going to throw anyone onto.
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Old 05-11-2005, 04:25 PM   #21
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

I have "old guy's eyes" and need reading glasses. I can count the feathers on an eagle's tail from two miles away, but couldn't tell you if it was a duck or an eagle sitting on my chest without reading lens. I started wearing one soft contact for close work and train with it in routinely without problem.

On the issue of losing your glasses in a fight....my first training officer was a huge guy; 6-5 and 275. He wore clear lens glasses on duty and would remove them when things started to get testy. It was a non-verbal suggestion that he was ready to fight if necessary, but would still give the other guy a graceful out. I just had to get a pair myself and it worked wonderfully to keep things from getting real western.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 05-11-2005, 04:33 PM   #22
Janet Rosen
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

I started wearing glasses at age 4 and so considered it "normal"--never considered alternatives--until almost 40 yrs later when I was several months into aikido training and as my rolls got bigger, my glasses would go one way and me another! Another student recommended contacts and I love them. I use the soft ones that you take out every night and can use for 14 days (less in allergy season...).

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 05-12-2005, 02:32 AM   #23
BenDuckett
Dojo: Shinryukan, Auckland
Location: Auckland
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New Zealand
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

Hi,
Thanks for all the replies. I have been using soft contact lenses, but with my eyes the best option is hard lenses. Apparently these are more likely to fly out, I just wondered what other people had found.
Anyway, time to go and train
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Old 05-12-2005, 03:10 AM   #24
awh
 
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

Quote:
James Matarrese wrote:
wishing I could get laser surgery...Sadly, It doesn't work for stigmatisms (sp?).
How bad is your astigmatism? I had a very mild astigmatism (about -0.25 diopters) and the laser surgery took care of it.

-Drew
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Old 05-12-2005, 07:58 AM   #25
Jeremy Young
Dojo: Tatsumaki Dojo/Springdale, AR
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Re: Contact Lenses vs Glasses

Andrew:

Do you know if that surgery works for near-sighted people. Like VERY near-sighted people?
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