Women Fighting/Eye Contact

A place to share ideas, concerns, questions, and thoughts about women and the martial arts.

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Postby MikeK » Mon Jul 09, 2007 5:20 pm

mhosea wrote:I think he means to put on a disarmingly pleasant countenance. Wonder if you can do that reliably under stress, however. A fake-looking disarmingly pleasant countenance would be creepy.

Which could work also.

One instructor I had worked as a bouncer and if he needed to eject someone who hadn't yet gotten physical he'd approach them with his hand out, a smile on his face and introduce himself by saying "Hello my friend, I'm Steve so and so". According to him most of the time the person he was about the eject was would get a puzzled look on his face as he reoriented his thoughts, which was enough to get control of the guy without much hassle.

JimHawkins wrote:I also have used what you could call angry eyes thing... Over the years I have wondered if using the opposite kind of emotional switch would be better though...in order to cultivate a loosening rather than a tightening of the mind and body...

Interesting thought for both parties. The Vlad Vasiliev of Systema fame talks about smiling a lot. If I'm relaxed I can move faster and less telegraphically, if the other guy is relaxed I can make certain techniques work easier.
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Postby JimHawkins » Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:22 pm

Chris McKaskell wrote:
Over the years I have wondered if using the opposite kind of emotional switch would be better though...in order to cultivate a loosening rather than a tightening of the mind and body...

Hey Jim,

Can you elaborate a little?


I created my 'angry eyes' or scowl in Karate and found it useful for helping me focus and energizing me etc...

However, my Wing Chun teacher advocated a more relaxed expression, like smiling.. When you smile it releases certain chemicals into the brain that tell it to relax and loosen up.. In WCK we ideally want to be loose, not tight..both mentally and physically.. One of the senior teachers did this with great success and was known for his BIG smile when inviting challengers/weirdos into the 'other room' and doing his thing..

The opposite <tightening> I would guess is the case for 'angry eyes' and scowls, etc.. in terms of what it tells the body. I have never fully made the conversion in sparring <yet> but have used it with success on the street when faced with angry/aggressive folks.. They had no idea what to make of it..and appeared very disarmed.. I would smile and think to myself 'I'm going to kick your arse...' :D
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Postby mikex1337 » Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:18 pm

Chris McKaskell wrote:Rats, I posted a reply yesterday, but it seems to be gone. Oh well, I'll try again:

Hi Norm,

Chris, you said that you are helped by remembering to fight with "angry eyes." Could you tell me what you mean by that and how you pull yourself back into the fight situation?

I'll try to explain: I sometimes feel very small and weak when I'm fighting. It's like the urge to flee or hide kicks in making it difficult to confront the threat. I'm sure we all feel this way from time to time (when having a bad day, or working with a parntner/opponent who ouclasses you, or whatever) and it probably springs from any number of different sources - we can leave that to more qualified thinkers.

The key is, I find, to recognize I'm allowing myself to be small and then to use my imagination to fill myself up. I start at my centre/dantien and imagine energy coursing up through my body and out my eyes. Very much like preparing for Sanchin testing, but on the move. The sensation that follows is one of immense strength and capability and while it doesn't always win the fight the effect is, well.....um, effective: I have noticed that my opponent often notices it - like a switch has been turned on and they had better watch -out.

An excercise I like to do with my class is to have one person stand in a fixed position with angry eyes while their attacker/partner targets/flicks/slaps/pats/pushes/punches(lightly) the face. if the subject can maintain their energy they seem to experience a clarity and aren't put off by the attack. Likewise, if the subject lets the energy drop they tend to flinch. I've got no empirical evidence here, but I've often wondered if there is some kind of balace between the effort invested by the subject and the energy of the attack.

I'm no master, but I'm certain this excersice helps because I've seen improvement in students who perform it - both male and female. It also seems to help the class to discuss what they do with their energy/effort, especially when the discussion is held in the framework of energy as an imangined material they can manipulate with their thoughts - like a theatre/acting excercise instead of a martial arts excercise (not that there necessarily needs to be a difference).

That exercise works great. It's a test of courage and self-discipline.
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