Monday, March 20, 2006

The Eyes Have It

It is said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Many traditional cultures and certain religions (Islam and Greek Orthodox) have stories regarding the power to influence people via eye-to-eye contact. Sokaku Takeda, an early twentieth century Daito-ryu jiu-jitsu master said, "The to overpower the opponent mentally at a glance and to win without fighting (italics mine)." Rasputin, Charles Manson, and others intuitively knew of the power of the "evil eye".

Set your gaze wide said Musashi concerning combat. Looking directly into the eyes of your opponent during a fight will naturally draw your attention away from whatever weapons are being wielded. Prizefighters in particular are infamous for their stare down with one another at center ring prior to their bouts. Observe an ordinary housecat about to pounce on its prey (whether it's a mouse or a string doesn't really matter) to witness the intensity of this primordial stare. (Realize that the tiger and the leopard have been the inspiration for various styles of Chinese chuan fa.) Of course, there are limitations to its use. Being able to "psych out" your adversary with an icy look might prove highly effective with some; others could find it merely innocuous, or worse, inflammatory.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

A hahhh. I stare you right in the eyes:



4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, you visited my Kendo Iaido blog once, I traced back to your blog and I found it interesting, can I link you?

10:30 PM  
Blogger John Vesia said...

Thanks for the link-back Eddie. You'll need to edit your profile, your blog's not listed.


1:54 AM  
Blogger Mathieu said...

Set your gaze wide.

I try to apply that everyday.

Thank you, Musashi.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Mir said...

I agree.. the eyes control the strike too. So if you are looking away from the direction of your target, you will find that you will have hardly any power to your technique. However, you don't want to look directly at the target.. so "set your eyes wide" just fits the whole feeling of it all.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Stephen Irwin said...

I've been on the receiving end of people who "have the look" - lucky for me it was in a training environment, but when they mean it it's there.

I call it the "Paddington Stare" after the children's storybook character "Paddington Bear". He has a special stare for those "don't do it again" moments.

Another take on vision - don't look at the person, but perceive the area they occupy. Erle Montaigue calls it Eagle Vision.

6:31 AM  

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