Tag Archives: kumite training

Focusing the Eyes in the Martial Arts

Newsletter 841

Blinking Unnaturally in the Martial Arts

Happy Thanksgiving!
I give thanks that I am able
to do Martial Arts.

monkey boxing martial art

Click here to go to: MonkeyBoxingNow.com!

I just had a rather interesting conversation.
It took place in the comments section
of the blog site,

I don’t usually talk in comments,
I much prefer email,
but this fellow wrote in on an article
that mentioned blinking.
In the article I had described natural methods of blinking,
which is to cleanse the eye,
the body takes care of it,
you don’t do much.
And then there was unnatural blinking,
which is when you blink as part of a flinch,
or the product of some distraction.

This fellow had a really tough time with this concept.
I guess he blinks a lot,
and he suddenly realized all his blinking was unnatural,
but what the heck can he do about it?

He got frustrated,
and kept demanding straight answers.

So I gave him the answers,
but he just had more and more tough times.
He wasn’t,
you see,
a martial artist.

No wonder he was having a tough time!
He didn’t have any discipline!
He had no reality,
no way of understanding from experience,
and he was stuck,
blinking and blinking,
and chewing on himself for blinking unnaturally.
of course,
he reached the stage
where he told me I was basically wrong.
No such thing as unnatural blinking.

After the communication ran its course,
I decided I should tell you guys.
Maybe there’s a couple of unnatural blinkers
that I can mess with.

So here’s the straight goods.

Blinking is to cleanse the eye.
It moistens it,
washes debris,
and is something the body does naturally.
You don’t have to worry about it,
think about it,
or anything.

Unnatural blinking is not to cleanse the eyes,
but is a reaction to a distraction.
Somebody punches at your face,
you blink.
you might flinch and duck.
Instead of cooly and calmly handling the punch.

As you do martial arts
you learn to handle the distraction of the punch,
of the fellow jumping out and screaming boo,
of the mugger who suddenly threatens you.

You don’t blink,
at least not unnaturally,
but rather open your eyes and watch,
assessing the potential impact of the situation.
You don’t turn away,
you become more aware,
and this is what the martial arts does.
It makes you more aware.

All that time staring at an opponent,
waiting for him to make a wrong move,
to blink,
to do something that indicates…
that he has gone unconscious.

When somebody blinks they are stopping looking out,
and, no matter how momentarily,
looking inwards.

Not facing the situation,
but turning inward,
and therefore unconscious, to a degree,
and potentially running.

Here is the key:
If you are watching, aware,
you will end up blinking naturally.
Hard to fool somebody who is aware like this.

If you blink,
then you are
and this results in things like unnatural blinks,
or flinches or and so on.

If you are a hunter
you want to watch your prey,
never a blink,
or he gets away.
And if you are not a hunter,
then you are hunted.

That is all there is to it,
are you looking outward?
Watching the world for potential distractions?
Undoing them as they come close to you?
Or are you distracted,
looking inward,
away from the threat,
as if that could make it disappear.

maybe you understand why this fellow
was having such a rough time.
He was face to face with his unconsciousness,
and had no discipline
to help him handle it.
on the other hand,
should be able to handle it.
You stand in freestyle,
locked gaze,
waiting for the flinch,
the blink,
the momentary unfocusing of the eyes
to indicate that your prey has stopped looking outward,
and is no longer capable of seeing you incoming,
and no way of handling you.

The discipline of the martial arts.
A way to be a hunter in a universe.
A way to be more aware.
A way to be in charge,
when everybody else is distracted,
running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

Want a great art to help you focus?
Try Blinding Steel.
It is the weapons portion of Monkey Boxing.
There is lots of motion,
and you have to stay focused
to handle the swing of the weapon.
It will really help you stop blinking unnaturally,
and remain focused and aware
in a universe that is so full of mindless distractions.



and have a great work out!




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Martial Arts Training Tips and How To Run the Freestyle Gauntlet

When it comes to Martial Arts Training Tips I have to recommend a couple of freestyle exercises. Freestyle, of course, is where you get to fight. You learn good control, but you still get to let it all hang out.

martial arts training tipsThere are two particular Martial Arts freestyle Drills that should be done in class. The first one deals with freestyle specifically, the second deals with a more street oriented, or self defense, type of fight. Both should be done so as to become a well rounded fighter.

The first is the old standard, you take your place at the head of a line, and the people in line take turns attacking you. This is great stuff, as you don’t have time to think, you just learn to accept the situations as they develop, and do what you have to. A few times through the line and you learn how to survive in the simplest fashion.

The second drill, and one that isn’t done as often, is to set up a gauntlet. This is not going to be a set and gunfight type of fight. It is going to be a much more natural situation which actually duplicates what you might encounter in a real live street fight.

I learned this one many years ago, in Kenpo class, and we used to love doing it. The teacher would set up a gauntlet, ten guys in two lines facing each other. The fellow who was to run the gauntlet would turn away, and the teacher would point at three people.

The karateka would be given the command, and he would turn and saunter slowly between the lines. When he passed one of the fellows who had been pointed at, they would leap into an attack. He would never know when the attack would come (they might even come after he had passed), and he would never know from who.

Attacks would be a taken to winning a point. Thus, the fellow who walked the gauntlet could get three points max, but, if he was successfully ‘mugged’ three times, he might not get any. First person to reach seven points was declared the winner.

Guaranteed, this type of training teaches you to relax and yet be ready at all times. It is also a great work out, designed to sharpen you up like nothing else. What I liked about it the most, however, was that it did get us out of the ‘gunfighter mentality’ of set and explode, and into situations that one might encounter on the street, and this makes this gauntlet exercise one of the best martial arts training tips you will ever find.

Drop by Monster Martial Arts for more more martial arts training tips. Pick up a free book on the home page.