Vision during sparring

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Azulx, May 24, 2016.

  1. Ironbear24

    Ironbear24 Senior Master

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    I guess I've been sparring agaisnt too many newbies and not enough very experienced people lately. When I advance a couple belts in Shou Shu they will let me spar them.

    Then these poor habits will break.
     
  2. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Maybe. There is always a possibility that they look at the eyes too. If so then pretend to glance down at their feet and punch them in the face and maybe their bad habits will break lol.

    One way to quickly tell if someone is reading your eyes is to squint yours just enough to make it difficult for them to see what's going on with your eyes and throw a few punches at their face. If they seem to respond slower then it's because they are reading your eyes.
    If they respond at the same speed then it's because you are telegraphing and they aren't reading your eyes.
     
  3. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Agree!

    When your opponent

    - look up, he is going to sweep your leg.
    - look down, he is going to punch your head.
    - look at your right, he is going to attack your right.
    - ...

    The only thing that your opponent can't cheat is he has to shift weight onto his leading leg in order to punch you.
     

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  4. Stac3y

    Stac3y Master Black Belt

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    Center mass, soft focus using peripheral vision to see extremities. You can't lie with your center mass--you go where it goes, no matter what.
     
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  5. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    My instructor says to look straight ahead into the eyes of your opponent, but at the same time use your peripheral vision to view the entire area.
     
  6. Balrog

    Balrog Master of Arts

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    This. I learned, and I teach my students, to look at the upper chest, just under the jugular notch. When you stop and think about it, nothing happens without that part of the body being involved. So when you start to see it move, you know your opponent is doing something. That way, you're not falling for eye fakes, etc.
     
  7. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    Center of chest if double weapons (empty hand, two knives/sticks/swords/etc, shoulder of weapon hand if single weapon.
     
  8. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    If you are not used to look at your opponent's leading leg, you can look at his shoulders. All punches require the shoulder to move first.
     
  9. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    It depends.
     
  10. lansao

    lansao Purple Belt

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    When I started trained in eye placement the focus was on the elbows and knees as they telegraphed linear versus radial strikes (up jab, out hook). After a year or so of training the correct response to the elbow and knee movement, I trusted that my peripheral was informed with a high resolution signal of how to respond to shifts in elbow and knee, and started focusing on the core/entirety. This seeking was helped by placing vision on the core/body.

    The only difference I'm seeing was training eye placement/len gong in multiple stages. You could start with a partner throwing jabs, then hooks focusing on the elbow. Do the same with knees and kicks. Then after practicing those separately, bring it all together with peripheral focus trusting you've trained a healthy automated response.

    This is also where serious meditation becomes really practical (even necessary). It's really really hard to stare at a boring rock for 10 minutes straight without thinking about bills or getting distracted. The better you get at this, the harder it will be to distract you and break your focus when sparring.

    Separately, good eye care is helpful. Here's a great article with len gong exercises:



    ~ Alan
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2016
  11. Grange

    Grange White Belt

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    My sensei says to focus on the "dragon", which basically means somewhere around the chest.
     
  12. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Grandmaster

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    You are really over thinking this I think. Look in front of you, tuck your chin, roll your shoulders and don't focus on anything in particular.

    Put it in a different situation, where do you look when driving? You don't focus on a specific spot, you'd crash because you need to take in the whole picture, not just a piece of it.
     
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  13. thanson02

    thanson02 Blue Belt

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    In addition to this, keeping your awareness (soft focus) on the torso will also help you identify gaps in their defenses. The subtle movements of their shoulders and hips actually conveys a lot more information than some people realize and nothing is more annoying than sparring somebody who smacks you every time you move.

    Sent from my XT1096 using Tapatalk
     
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  14. King Kobra

    King Kobra White Belt

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    This.
     
  15. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    When I'm working I look at the face, periphery and background, but constantly watch the hands. Always the hands.

    When I'm sparring, I look at, and watch, the feet. I've been reading feet for a long time.

    When I'm fighting I watch for a way out, an alibi and my attorney's phone number.
     
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  16. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    No one has ever punched me with their eyeballs. So I do not look at them. They hit me with their hands and feet. So I keep my gaze where I can see both with relative ease.
     
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  17. mograph

    mograph Master Black Belt

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    This is interesting -- I've actually studied a bit of this in visual cognition (VC), a sub-field of psychology.

    Basically, a lot of VC researchers study stuff that captures our attention, but it's usually with the aim of keeping our attention on one spot and avoiding distraction.

    But that's not our goal here, right? We want to be distracted by those limbs coming at our head. We want them to capture our attention, so we can respond to them in time.

    Long story short? If we focus on one spot, like the opponent's eyes, we reduce the ability of the opponent's attacking limbs to capture our attention, leading to a delay in responding to them. We don't want that delay.

    So, if we want to respond more quickly to those limbs, we need them to capture our attention. To do this, we need diffused or unfocused attention. Or as they say in the field, we need to expand our "attentional window" to include the limbs that are likely to attack us. This is because the limbs are so far apart.

    I wouldn't specify a point of focus (e.g. the dan tien), because that would defeat the purpose. We don't want to focus on one point, we want a diffused, unfocused attention on the whole person in order to be able to respond to those limbs that are spaced far apart. (... which agrees with what some of you guys are saying.)

    Now, should we only expand the window to include the shoulders? Well, if you're certain that shoulder moves indicate a punch, then maybe so. However, a smaller, more focused window makes it difficult to switch focus to a leg ... or maybe if we saw the left shoulder move, we would focus on it, which would shift our attention away from the right side, leaving us open to an attack from the right. I still think that going as wide and as unfocused as we can is best, as long as we train to be able to respond to subtle cues (e.g. shoulder) within that window. Learning to respond to subtle cues requires more training, to my mind.

    I hope that makes sense.

    (In VC terms, the attacking limbs might be called "abrupt onsets" and "exogenous cues," while the eyes might be an "endogenous cue" if we had chosen to focus on them.)
    (Here's a link. Look at the bottom half of the page that starts with "spotlight.")
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
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  18. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I agree. I don't 'focus' on the midsection. I 'aim' my eyes in that direction and then do the 'thousand yard stare'. It's a valuable distinction, thanks for pointing that out. I want to think about peripheral vision and movement detection. Just unfocus and let it happen. Mind stays in the game, but you let your subconscious do the processing. You do not have time to think about it.

    Kind of like baseball or table tennis or whatever. You cannot actively focus on the incoming fastball or you will never hit or catch it. You need to know it's coming and let your trained subconscious deal with it from that point on.
     
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  19. mograph

    mograph Master Black Belt

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    Yeah -- good analogy.
     
  20. KangTsai

    KangTsai 2nd Black Belt

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    I stare deeply into their hearts. Literally, I keep eyes on the midsection so I can see signs of loading up and movement.
     
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