In The Karate Kid, Mr. Miyagi admonishes Daniel-san for not looking him in the eyes. In Enter the Dragon, Bruce Lee points to the moon and tells his student not to concentrate on the finger or he will lose all the heavenly glory. Some martial artists, however, spend a lot of time working on their basics, polishing their forms, but little or no time developing proper eye contact and focus. Why are the eyes important in martial arts training?
The eyes are a declaration of your fighting spirit. What kind of self-confidence do you exude if you can’t look your attacker in the eye? Is your sparring opponent going to take you seriously? Are you looking away? Are you looking down? Look him right in the eye at the start. This type of body language says you mean business! This is particularly important in self-defense situations on the street. The eyes can be weak or hold the intimidation factor you will need to defend yourself.
The eyes show respect and gratitude. When bowing to our opponents, we maintain eye contact as a courtesy. When we shake hands before and after sparring or working on self-defense, we thank our partners for their participation in our growth as martial artists. That technique you had to use on the street was honed in a school with the help of a partner willing to practice with you. Look him or her in the eye and thank them for being there. There are no second chances or “do over’s” with that attacker on the street.
The eyes tell you where the attack is coming from. The boxer has to worry about two hands. Martial artists are concerned with four limbs and a variety of attacks. It is important to maintain your eyes on the centerline, drawing your focus on the upper chest or collarbone. This will give you a good scan of the entire body. Developing good peripheral vision is also important. Practice looking out of the “corner of your eye.” This may help you avoid that roundhouse kick headed for your skull!
The eyes can “telegraph” your next move. Don’t look at the target or you might as well tell your opponent where you’re going to hit him so he’s good and ready for you!
The eyes can trick your opponent by looking in one direction and striking at another. “Fake” a glance at his thigh and strike at the head instead. Bruce Lee, for example, deceived his opponent by looking him straight in the eye and dropping him to the ground with his famous foot sweep. They never saw it coming!
So remember, next time you’re in class working on sparring or practicing with a classmates, don’t neglect the eyes. Applying these principles will add a new dimension to your training.
What kind of background must you have to benefit?
It doesn’t matter what you background is, Calasanz has worked and continues to work with people of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and experiences. From beginners at the dawn of their athletic experience, to professional athletes, seasoned martial artists from any and all disciplines, the physically challenged, athletes of all sports transitioning to (or supplementing their training with) the martial arts, Calasanz can help everyone!
If you study Karate (soft or hard style), Kung Fu (Northern or Southern style), Tae Kwon Do, Ninjitsu, Calasanz can help you improve. If you are into competitive contact martial arts; Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Boxing, MMA, Brazilian Jujitsu, point fighters, Calasanz can help both strikers and submission specialists sharpen their fighting skills. If you’re a performance martial artist (wushu, kata or breaking competitor), dancer, gymnast, or acrobat, Calasanz can help make your form and style more beautiful. If you are in law enforcement, the armed services, fire fighter, body guard, bouncer, or are just looking to defend yourself in the street, Calasanz will improve your self defense skills. If your looking to get in great shape or you’re an athlete (basketball, football, baseball, hockey, tennis, soccer, golf, lacrosse, or body building) looking for superior conditioning, Calasanz has the formula to increase your strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, speed, body awareness, and athletic prowess.