From Al Case at Matrix Martial Arts…
Blinking Unnaturally in the Martial Arts
I give thanks that I am able
to do Martial Arts.
I just had a rather interesting conversation.
It took place in the comments section
of the blog site,
I don’t usually talk in comments,
I much prefer email,
but this fellow wrote in on an article
that mentioned blinking.
In the article I had described natural methods of blinking,
which is to cleanse the eye,
the body takes care of it,
you don’t do much.
And then there was unnatural blinking,
which is when you blink as part of a flinch,
or the product of some distraction.
This fellow had a really tough time with this concept.
I guess he blinks a lot,
and he suddenly realized all his blinking was unnatural,
but what the heck can he do about it?
He got frustrated,
and kept demanding straight answers.
So I gave him the answers,
but he just had more and more tough times.
a martial artist.
No wonder he was having a tough time!
He didn’t have any discipline!
He had no reality,
no way of understanding from experience,
and he was stuck,
blinking and blinking,
and chewing on himself for blinking unnaturally.
he reached the stage
where he told me I was basically wrong.
No such thing as unnatural blinking.
After the communication ran its course,
I decided I should tell you guys.
Maybe there’s a couple of unnatural blinkers
that I can mess with.
So here’s the straight goods.
Blinking is to cleanse the eye.
It moistens it,
and is something the body does naturally.
You don’t have to worry about it,
think about it,
Unnatural blinking is not to cleanse the eyes,
but is a reaction to a distraction.
Somebody punches at your face,
you might flinch and duck.
Instead of cooly and calmly handling the punch.
As you do martial arts
you learn to handle the distraction of the punch,
of the fellow jumping out and screaming boo,
of the mugger who suddenly threatens you.
You don’t blink,
at least not unnaturally,
but rather open your eyes and watch,
assessing the potential impact of the situation.
You don’t turn away,
you become more aware,
and this is what the martial arts does.
It makes you more aware.
All that time staring at an opponent,
waiting for him to make a wrong move,
to do something that indicates…
that he has gone unconscious.
When somebody blinks they are stopping looking out,
and, no matter how momentarily,
Not facing the situation,
but turning inward,
and therefore unconscious, to a degree,
and potentially running.
Here is the key:
If you are watching, aware,
FOCUSING YOUR ATTENTION OUTWARD,
you will end up blinking naturally.
Hard to fool somebody who is aware like this.
If you blink,
then you are
FOCUSING YOUR ATTENTION INWARD,
and this results in things like unnatural blinks,
or flinches or and so on.
If you are a hunter
you want to watch your prey,
never a blink,
or he gets away.
And if you are not a hunter,
then you are hunted.
That is all there is to it,
are you looking outward?
Watching the world for potential distractions?
Undoing them as they come close to you?
Or are you distracted,
away from the threat,
as if that could make it disappear.
maybe you understand why this fellow
was having such a rough time.
He was face to face with his unconsciousness,
and had no discipline
to help him handle it.
on the other hand,
should be able to handle it.
You stand in freestyle,
waiting for the flinch,
the momentary unfocusing of the eyes
to indicate that your prey has stopped looking outward,
and is no longer capable of seeing you incoming,
and no way of handling you.
The discipline of the martial arts.
A way to be a hunter in a universe.
A way to be more aware.
A way to be in charge,
when everybody else is distracted,
running around like chickens with their heads cut off.
Want a great art to help you focus?
Try Blinding Steel.
It is the weapons portion of Monkey Boxing.
There is lots of motion,
and you have to stay focused
to handle the swing of the weapon.
It will really help you stop blinking unnaturally,
and remain focused and aware
in a universe that is so full of mindless distractions.
and have a great work out!
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