Monday, May 01, 2006

Eye on the Prize

How often do you actually look when fighting on the ground? I mean really use your eyes and try to see what is going on? As a product of the Nintendo generation, I thought my hand eye coordination was pretty good. Well, as it turns out, my hand eye coordination is not that good when put under fatigue, stress, and duress of a roll.

Sure, I rely on feeling what is going on as it is happening. But is that enough? Sometimes "as it is happening" is too late. And not only that, if you do not have the ability to use your eyes, you are probably in a bad position; being able to effectively "see" means you are most likely in a good position with good posture. And as Martha Stewart learned from her fights in prison, seeing what is coming "is a good thing".

But is it enough to simply be able to "see"? Seeing is only one part of a sequence of internal events that must take place in order to apply your will. First you must "see". Then you must "interpret". Then you must "respond" to what you have seen. The more you can see, and the more time you have for interpretation (unless you are a fast thinker or have lots of body memory), the better your response should be.

Using your eyes is just another tool that, I think, can be developed in addition to body memory. (Body memory is interpretation without seeing). Interpretation comes from skills developed in class and materials consumed off the mat like videos, pictures, articles, etc.

So, if you are put in a position where you can't see, try to get back to a place where you can. Because, again, if you are in a place where you can see what is going on, you will have a much easier time determining where you are supposed to be going.