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Metsuke

Metsuke

Metsuke is the eye focal point (the point where your eyes focus). It is important that the bugeisha become aware of the strength and weaknesses of the senses. The eyes do not see equally well in all parts of the visual field. The focus point is where we can best read, see color and direct our conscious thought. The peripheral vision is less sharp with no color, but is more sensitive to motion and low light conditions, and is also more connected to your subconscious mind.

The bugeisha uses the knowledge of the human body to his advantage. To see motion better, defocus, or soften your eyes. Do not focus your eyes on the incoming strike, nor the target you wish to hit. Instead keep the eyes soft and see everything.

Looking at the place you want to strike telegraphs your intentions; it limits your awareness of any incoming attack from a different angle. Similarly, looking at an oncoming attack will slow reaction time and expose you to other angles of attack (remember peripheral vision is more attuned to motion).

While some schools may encourage you to look the opponent in the eye during a confrontation, this is generally not a good idea for most practitioners. Instead look at the attacker’s chest and beyond with defocused eyes. You will notice you can see the attacker’s whole body. You may hear .“keep your eyes on the horizon,.” which is the same idea. Practice this when doing kata or drilling self-defense. In multiple attacker situations you might look slightly down as well, so your peripheral vision will be greater.