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Forum Home > General Discussion > Where to look?

Posts: 32

One of my training parters asked me the other day what he should look at when doing the form?

Interesting question. When I'm doing mine, and also in drills, I apply the teachings I learned from performance motorcycling, when reaction time is compressed into very small increments, basically trying to keep my field of view as wide as possible, not 'looking at' anything, trying to see everything!

On a bike, everything is about flow, and staring at any one thing means being unable to assimilate other things, the path to target fixation...  focusing on what I don't want to happen (ie hitting the barriers/following another guy into the gravel)... and crashing!

In a fight... dunno. Never had one.

Any thoughts?




July 24, 2010 at 1:04 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Rush J.
Posts: 9

In a fight I would say your spot on, not focusing on one thing more taking in the whole of your opponants mass (which in turn allows you to notice subtle telegraphing). A famous example would be Bruce Lees '5 mile stare'...where he stares rather psychotically at what appears to be the ground in front of him. Hes trying to use as much of his peripheral as he can, and not focus on one aspect of his opponant (or in his case, one of many) in case he A. gets faked out or B. misses other subtle tells (because hes concentrating on one part too much).

The motorbike analogy is a good one, a habit that will work well for you in my opinion. Speeding along round tight corners and defending against rapid blows or attackers both require that kind of relaxed peripheral, taking it all in whilst "fuzzing out" your vision. This is a technique used in hunting a bit too, if I faze out my vision at the whole mountain I am more likely to notice small darting objects than if I focus on one part.

In the form though its different. Sigung Chu once said "[When doing your form] if you see a spider crawl across the wall and your eyes follow it, start again". Im not that harsh on myself (or id be starting again a lot!) but I still try and focus on one point intently. The reason being is during the form I am trying to teach myself to focus all my intent, all my triangles and structure, all at my opponents core (or in the case of doing the form, a static spot on the wall for example).

I am trying to get everything focused to one point so that when it comes to me actually getting into a fight my strikes are precise and go into (or through) my attackers core. Also so that my eyes arent everywhere, causing me to miss those subtle tells, other attackers sneaking up or causing me to fall victim to fakes my assailant might make.

July 27, 2010 at 12:21 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 32

Thanks man, that's a really interesting response. I'll be thinking / discussing with my boys and see where it leads!




July 27, 2010 at 5:32 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 13

I remember there was a good chapter in Unweaving the Rainbow by Richard Dawkin that describes how our brain uses our senses to construct a model of reality rather than giving us a camera to the actual reality. To me this illustrates how we should be more worried about where our consciousness is looking than where our eyes are looking. I can be doing the form and find myself focusing on the 'spider on the wall' yet my eyes are still dead center.

Our brains seem to suffer from bandwidth problems. Researchers in Japan have shown that some kinds of monkey and human children are able to outperform adult humans in memory games. The theory is that as our brains develop more capabilities there is a trade off in processing speed.

However, it is also known that a lot of decision making is made before we are conscious. I think one of the primary reasons we need to do so much chi sau and form work is that we are building a network of neurons in our preconsciousness that is able to react to a vast range of combat situations. By quietening our conciousness perhaps we are freeing up bandwidth for this system.

Theres plenty of speculation on my part here but I was told from the beginning that Wing Chun was a scientific system. I think it's important to remember that.

August 1, 2010 at 3:15 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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