Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The "Eyes" have it

Another important idea today...where are you looking??

In addition to all the other things that make our techniques work, the eyes are a vital component to putting it all together.

On a metaphysical level, our eyes/gaze , called metsuke in Japanese, are part of the way that we focus our energy and attention on the matter at hand. They should give uke pause, and show that shite is tuned into the moment. Some say you should focus on a point just at the top of uke's sternum, meaning not to look uke directly in their eyes, but it is a very subtle point.

At the practical level, we tend to move our head where our eyes are looking. If we look away, our head can turn, taking our strength and balance with it. Yet another reason why it is important to keep our eyes squarely on our opponent(s).

I would suggest putting your gaze in a central location on or about the chest of your opponent, with head slightly tilted to allow for better peripheral vision. In any case, it is important that your head/spine not be turned and be straight just as your back should be straight.

"see" what I mean?