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THE EYES AND SPACE, in Martial Arts


Most martial arts tell us something about how we should emulate the actions of animals. We should move like the spritely monkey or pounce like the tiger etc. But the most important of these is that we should have the eye of the eagle ready to strike. When we read this, we usually oversimplify it and just look harder or focus harder. But upon looking further into the Chinese way of the animals in kung-fu we see that the eagle has an unique seeing system which tells us exactly how we should be seeing when fighting.

The eagle has a way of literally locking onto his prey, not just the shape but the space that surrounds it.

We have three visions; spot focus, where we look directly at a smaller portion and focus upon it, average focus, where we use our total peripheral vision to see the whole subject and surrounding area, and small peripheral focus, where we lock onto the space that the object takes up in the universe. This is a very special technique and requires many hours of practice combined with breathing techniques.

In this way we are able to move with the opponent and not wait until he has moved. In other words, we do not see a series of 'pictures' as he moves closer and focus separately on to these images. But rather our sight moves as he moves and follow the space that he displaces. A body can only take up the same amount of space no matter what it is doing and in what shape so if we fight the space displacement then we cannot fail, we move when it moves because we are locked onto that space and so we adjust our own space accordingly and sub-consciously make the right moves to counter.