6 Eye Exercises For Martial Arts
How to Strengthen Your Eyes for Combat Fighting
- 1 How to Strengthen Your Eyes for Combat Fighting
- 1.1 Visual Reflex Training Starts By Exercising Your Eyes
- 1.2 1 – Stretches For Warming Up Your Eye Muscles Before Exercising
- 1.3 How To Do A Lateral Eye Stretch
- 1.4 How To Do A Vertical Eye Stretch
- 1.5 How To Do A Circular Eye Stretch
- 1.6 How To Correctly Do Eye Squeezes
- 1.7 How to Message Your Eyes
- 1.8 2 – How to Use Blink Control for Maximum Visual Reflexes
- 1.9 How to Overcome the Blink Challenge Drill
- 1.10 3 – How to Control Your Peripheral Vision
- 1.11 How to Create Public Awareness
- 1.12 Using Your Training Partners To Train Your Peripheral Vision
- 1.13 Have A Partner To Train Using the Alphabets
- 1.14 Increase Your Peripheral Vision by Sparring with Multiple Opponents
- 1.15 4 – How to Experience Retardation Velocity by Building Visual Stamina
- 1.16 Chi During Combat Pressure And Intense Moments
- 1.17 How To Control Your Adrenaline AKA Chi For Fighters
- 1.18 How to Track Fast Head, Hand, and Feet Movement
- 1.19 How to Increase Your Recognition Skills With Flash Cards
- 1.20 How to Shadow Fight Using a Point of Focus
- 1.21 5 – How to Develop Your Anticipation Skills
- 1.22 Using Camera Shots to increase Your Reflexive Skills
- 1.23 Using Traffic Lights to Develop Your Reflexes
- 1.24 How to Use Video Games to Enhance Your Reaction Speed
- 1.25 Let Your Pet Try to Snag a Rag Towel Out of Your Hand
- 1.26 Throwing Jabs to Increase Your Eye Response Time
- 1.27 6 – How to Find Your Focus Point During a Fight
- 1.28 Tips For Speed Training Before You Encounter an Opponent
- 1.29 Eye Exercises for Martial Arts Training Conclusion
Why are eye exercises for martial arts important? Martial arts can help you improve your endurance and strength, but it is also important to ensure that you protect your eyes. Doing eye exercises for martial arts are an easy way to do this. Doing these exercises will strengthen the blood vessels in the eyes, which will help protect them when they are overexerted during sparring sessions or when practicing kicks. They are also great for improving visual acuity.
So, you are a fighter and want to win every match? You want to put in your best work? Many people who participate in combat sports, including fighters, often neglect an important part of their training, training that involves their eyes.
While they are important for general day-to-day activities like driving and watching TV, fighters need to do more to improve the quality of their eyesight.
To be a great fighter, you need to be able to see well and detect movements faster than your opponent. When someone is under pressure and in a fight, these skills are more important than ever.
Not only does the ability to see things in fast motion improve your ability to react, but it also helps improve the way you understand how to fight.
Though most people might not be willing to call themselves a fighter, what is important to understand is that the visual skills of the fighter are what ultimately decide the outcome of the battle.
Fighters who have keen eyesight can see moves from the opponent and make good judgments on when to attack or not.
To help you get your eye speed up to the next level, I’ve put together some eye exercises that will help improve your vision and reaction speed. Eye exercises have been shown to improve one’s speed in visual recognition and tracking.
Eye movements are fundamental for how you process and understand what you are seeing. Developing this skill is important for fighters because you need to be able to react quickly in a fight. It provides you with a way to process information faster and react in a more efficient manner.
As a matter of fact, the type of eye training you decide to do will determine the type of fighter you become.
Wait a sec, we just wanted to let you know there’s more speed training to learn when you’re done here.
In this article, you will learn some exercises that will help you build your eye speed and responsiveness for competitive fighting. I will highlight how eye exercises can be done in a short amount of time and how they’re worth the effort for any fighter and why focusing on visual recognition and tracking as a foundational skill is important for fighters.
You will learn to strengthen your visual reflexes for both your offensive and your defensive modes.
While you’re on defense, you will be prepared to spot quick movements.
During your offensive mode you’ll be able to see openings and weaknesses in your opponent so you can attack.
Why would developing eye speed be to your advantage? Because you’re not going to be the best or even the fastest fighter on Earth. There’s always someone better, stronger, smarter, and faster. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, because it’s true.
If you do end up fighting an opponent who’s faster, then you can make up for your weakness by having quicker visual reflexes. In fact, whatever your weaknesses are as a fighter, then that’s what you need to improve on. And you should apply this to your everyday life as well.
Visual Reflex Training Starts By Exercising Your Eyes
Your eye muscles are no different from any other muscle in your body. They all get fatigued. It takes a lot of effort and work to keep them strong. It’s not always easy to keep your eyes active and alert, and even when you do they aren’t always strong.
Imagine being awake for over 24 hours, driving in a car, and it’s going to be at least an hour to get to your destination. The vibration of the car and road alone are enough to put a baby to sleep, let alone an adult.
I bet you could hardly keep your eyes open. I know I couldn’t and that’s dangerous. Just as dangerous as being in the ring with bad eye coordination or even worse, your eyes blinking and shutting when your opponent attacks.
If you’ve never competed, how do you think a fighter feels when he’s or she’s gone three or more rounds and at the point of exhaustion? Don’t you think his or her eye response time is also suffering? You have to think ahead and realize your whole body is on the line and your reaction time during a fight also depends on how strong your eye movement is.
Cautioning: The eye is a fragile organ. I encourage you to always stay alert while using these eye exercises. You should be mindful so as not to strain the eye or the eye muscles, or to push too hard on your eyelids.
Use these eye exercises in your training to stretch, strengthen, and relax your eyes.
1 – Stretches For Warming Up Your Eye Muscles Before Exercising
How To Do A Lateral Eye Stretch
The lateral eye stretch involves moving your eyes from right to left.
Step 1: Look straight in front of you while sitting in a comfortable position.
Step 2: Begin by looking to your right as far as you can without moving your head. You’re going to feel a tiny stretch in your eye muscles.
Step 3: Keep doing this stretch for five seconds.
Step 4: Bring your eyes back to your front and relax them for a second.
Step 5: Now stretch to your left just like you did for your right and then bring your focus back to your front and relax.
Step 6: You’ve completed 1 repetition, complete up to 10 repetitions.
How To Do A Vertical Eye Stretch
This is going to be similar to the lateral eye stretch, except you’ll be moving your eyes up and down.
Step 1: Look straight in front of you while sitting in a comfortable position.
Step 2: Begin by looking upward as far as you can without moving your head. You’re going to feel a tiny stretch in your eye muscles.
Step 3: Keep doing this stretch for five seconds.
Step 4: Bring your eyes back to your front and relax them for a second.
Step 5: Now stretch your eyes downward for 5 seconds and then bring your focus back to your front and relax.
Step 6: You’ve completed 1 repetition, complete up to 10 repetitions.
How To Do A Circular Eye Stretch
Step 1: Sit comfortably and look straight towards your front and think about how a clock’s second hand moves. Pretend your nose is at the center or “bullseye” of the clock, but this is a huge clock.
Step 2: You’re going to start at the 12 O’clock position and move towards the 1 O’clock pausing at each number for about 5 seconds and stretching to see the imaginary number until you come back all the way around to 12 O’clock.
Step 3: Relax after completing this first rotation for 5 – 10 seconds and then start again in the opposite direction, counterclockwise.
How To Correctly Do Eye Squeezes
Want to get rid of sunken-eyes? This exercise can help with that too. This exercise tones your entire eye.
Step 1: Slowly squeeze your eyes shut and count to five.
Step 2: Now open your eyes quickly and look to your right, center, left, and back without moving your head.
Step 3: Relax your eyes and repeat this exercise for 10 repetitions.
How to Message Your Eyes
Again I want to caution you: The eye is a fragile organ. I encourage you to always stay alert while using these eye exercises. You should be mindful so as not to strain the eye or the eye muscles, or to push too hard on your eyelids.
Step 1: Move your head forward as if in a sleeping position, relax your face and close your eyes.
Step 2: Lightly message your eye lids using your fingers with downward strokes by sliding your fingers from your eyebrows down to your cheekbones, applying slight pressure as your fingers touch your eyelids.
Step 3: Now, starting at your temples, slide your fingers across your eye sockets between your eyes and eyebrows. Apply slight pressure until your fingers touch above your eyelids.
I’m sure you’ve dared someone to not blink for as long as they could or you’ve been challenged to try it. For some it’s a game to see who can last the longest but for full-contact fighters it’s a mandatory skill for success.
During this exercise, what you’re doing is saying to your brain, “It’s time to stop blinking now. I’m in control.” You’re just waiting for the blink to happen but you’re going to control when it happens. To be able to see quickly you need to control your natural habit of blinking.
All great fighters in full-contact sports have learned blink control. It’s like a safety switch you turn on for full control of your visual reflexes, and during a fight it could mean the difference between winning and losing that fight.
Wouldn’t you rather see what’s thrown at you to defend yourself or wait to find out what was thrown at you after you get hit.
I blink naturally, you do too, and so does everyone else without a thought. But the thing we want to control is, NOT blinking when someone is attacking you. It’s all psychological.
Seriously, how many times have you faked someone out pretending you’re going to hit them jokingly? You’ve probably done it to a family member or friend. Or maybe someone has done it to you.
What’s the first thing everyone does? Their reflexes automatically cause them to blink and jerk back. This is what you want to control. You want to be able to see what’s coming with your eyes wide open under a strong sense of self-control.
Let’s be honest, how helpful is closing your eyes during a fight, especially when a punch, kick, or take-down is happening? Not at all.
Maybe you’re thinking I need to close my eyes in situations when someone is throwing something into them to temporarily blind you to attack. Okay that’s an exception, but do it smart and as quickly as possible to avoid real injury.
So let’s see how we can prevent uncontrollable eye blinking using the blink challenge.
Note: You should get a training partner for this drill.
Step 1: Stand with your hands at your sides with your partner around five feet in front of you.
Step 2: Your partner will look for your blinking point. This is how close he needs to get to cause you to blink using whatever technique he wants such as jumping at you, stomping, throwing punches, or coming as close as possible to make you blink.
Step 3: Make sure that your partner attempts these movements at a distance at first and not too close to your face, until you’re able to control your blinking.
Step 4: Then once you’ve improved, your partner can come at least an inch to your face to check your control. Just make sure that he or she is able to judge the distance to your face and not knock you out unintentionally. That would be embarrassing.
Step 5: Be extra cautious: Wear protective headgear. If you don’t have any, then buy protective headgear. Don’t take unnecessary risks and avoid injury, even while training.
You’ll feel the wind of the movements and attacks your partner makes. Some people will blink from that alone. Just focus on not blinking and gaining mastery over it.
You probably weren’t expecting this but there is a last step here and it involves your partner wearing boxing gloves and foot-pads. Oh oh, now are you getting worried?
The last step: Your partner is actually going to make contact, very light contact, not even enough for you to feel any discomfort. You’re just going to make sure that you don’t blink. You’re not going to defend either.
These are the steps for your blink control drills. When you’re able to handle the last step, then you can start light sparring against your partner to further develop your true mastery over your blinking.
Don’t overdo it when sparring. You and your partner want to be quick in movement and light in contact. This is not about anything else except blink control development. Your punches or kicks should not be rhythmic either, you want to be unpredictable. You also want to focus on the exercise you’re currently working on, no matter what it is. This way, you’ll develop yourself much faster.
Do not mix and match your training. Work and focus on the drill at hand.
Now it’s time to move on to peripheral vision for your martial arts eye speed training.
3 – How to Control Your Peripheral Vision
If you’re in a hurry, then here’s a way to help you improve your visual reflexes really quickly. Just focus your vision on a large area.
Not to side track, but this is a skill that people growing up in rough neighborhoods have mastered. That’s because you have to be ready for almost anything. In the streets a lot can happen, and I’m telling you because I’m speaking from experience.
You HAVE to know your surroundings and you have to stay alert. That happens when you’re able to diffuse your vision from small to big.
It’s something that some of us have learned to develop naturally. I mean, if you’re in a state of constant threat, then you’re going to be on the watch. It’s sad, but that’s how it is. Moving on.
Your reaction time and speed depend on how well you’re using your peripheral vision field (“visual field can be defined as the entire area that can be seen when an eye is fixed straight at a point”, as defined by Wikipedia).
This makes sense because when you’re giving fewer choices, you naturally react faster. When you’re provided with too many choices, you’re going to react much slower, and this is how your vision skills work as well.
So, your eye response time works best when your focus shifts from smaller details to larger details, and eventually to the whole without consideration for its parts.
When you’re able to do this, you’re going to greatly decrease your lag time between you body, hand eye coordination, and eye response times against your visual targets. If it’s one thing you do, that’s going to be developing a habit of observing your surroundings.
It’s funny because you might start feeling like you’re paranoid, you’re not. All you’re doing is being aware, don’t take it any further than that. Don’t study it like an exam, it’s not.
To be a great fighter or just a good fighter, you’ve got to do things other fighters aren’t willing to do. So, create a focal point to make sure you’re training is at maximum but keep your mind detached from the overall exercise.
Here’s some exercises for you to do to train your peripheral vision field.
How to Create Public Awareness
Find a focal point as we discussed earlier. Something like a large object, a building, a tower, or whatever is around your area. When you do, concentrate on diffusing your vision.
Now you can see the main object of your focus and you can see everything around it. Everything that surrounds it is not going to be clearly seen like the object of focus, but that’s okay.
Your goal is to watch out for anything that’s moving in your peripheral field and try to see what’s going on.
An easy example is a bus makes a stop, three people get out, two walk away out of your eye of sight, and the other waits at the bus stop and has a seat as he looks at his watch.
So, you’re doing this while you’re still focusing on the object you’ve chosen as your focal point from the start.
Using Your Training Partners To Train Your Peripheral Vision
Have your training partners stand in a straight line in front of you. Tell them to spread out away from each other enough to where your focal point is on one of them but you can still see the others in your peripheral field.
At the same time, you should be a good distance away from them, say about 15 feet. What you’re going to do is similar to what you practiced in the public awareness drill. You’re going to diffuse your vision by choosing one of them to focus on, but you’ll still be able to see the rest.
Have them move their arms or legs, turn their heads, or anything else so that you can spot their movement and call them out.
Have A Partner To Train Using the Alphabets
I know, I know. The alphabet, am I taking you for a ride here or what? Well I’m not because this is actually not the alphabet game you know.
Here’s how the drill goes:
Have your training partner stand in front of you just like in the last drill before this. About 15 feet away from you here too. Now you’re going to have him or her draw any letter they wish in the air using a finger and you’re going to figure out what it is.
If this is too easy, then tell your partner to move and change their direction to your right or left. Your focal point remains the same and this is going to make it harder for you to spot the imaginary letter.
Increase Your Peripheral Vision by Sparring with Multiple Opponents
Oh boy, can you handle this? I mean, most people have a hard time against one opponent. Now I’m asking you to fight multiple opponents? Hollywood, makes it look great doesn’t it.
Well, when your vision skills improve and you get better at using your peripheral vision field, you’re going to up the game and work on handling more than one sparring partner. If you don’t have anyone else to spar against other than one partner, well I tried.
Actually, this is going to be a great way for you to improve hand eye coordination. By sparring against multiple visual targets in your peripheral field you’re going to get better in your competitions and in your self-defense overall, even if you don’t do competitions.
You’ve got two choices here when sparring against more than one opponent. You can either do very light training without wearing protective gear, or you can fight full contact wearing full protective gear. At this point, I recommend that you stay safe and wear your gear. Again if you don’t have any, you should buy full protective gear.
4 – How to Experience Retardation Velocity by Building Visual Stamina
First of all, what the heck is visual stamina? You know what stamina is, but what with the visual part. Well it’s about you having to quickly focus on an object and to do it for a lengthy period of time using a lot of intense concentration throughout.
How’s this going to benefit your fighting skills? It’s going to benefit your fighting skills because it’s going to cause you to gain retardation. Don’t get scared. This is retardation velocity I’m talking about here and all it is, is just the ability to see the fastest punches or kicks moving thrown at you in slow motion. Cool right?
Quick Note: Retardation is just physics. Retardation means negative acceleration. It is the rate of decrease of velocity with time. We’re taking this idea and applying it to fighting and self-defense. And no, you don’t need to study physics to learn it.
What I’m talking about building here is a skill that takes a fast punch for example, and turns it’s velocity or speed, into negative acceleration as seen through your eyes. That’s important to understand.
Read this related article on speed training.
Here’s another cool thing. You as the combat fighter who’s been trained in combat speed eye exercises will see punches and kicks at different speeds than someone who’s eyes are not trained to. Meaning, fans in the crowd might say something like, “that was the fastest punch I’ve seen”. Naturally, you as a fighter will think otherwise because you’ve got the trained eagle eye.
This same punch or kick will appear to be at different speeds to different people and as I’ve mentioned already, because of whether or not your eye is trained to do so.
Maybe you’ve already felt what retardation velocity feels like. We’ve all been under stress pumping adrenaline, heart pounding with the butterfly stomach feeling, That’s when retardation velocity usually happens.
We’ve heard the stories about someone lifting a vehicle to save someone underneath and other amazing things. You’ve seen a professional match where a fighter goes through something incredible during a fight and it seems like no one else can do it. Their minds have gone into a state of retardation velocity in split seconds.
If you’re thinking that kind of thing has never happened to me, you might be right. It doesn’t happen for everyone. Not everyone is put under that kind of stress. But I’ll tell you what. It definitely happens in street fights. I don’t know how many times I’ve been shocked to find out that my fights lasted seconds or minutes.
Since I’m the one that was fighting, I experienced the retardation, the fighter’s movements in front of me were like slow motion to the point it almost seemed like he was frozen. That’s real!
What’s the difference between being relaxed and combat adrenaline rush mode? The difference is interesting. Believe it or not, it’s all about how intense your concentration becomes during these two states of mind.
Think about this for a moment. How often are you distracted when you’re relaxed? How many thoughts and ideas play in your mind when your mind is in a comfortable zone?
Now think about this. How much would you think about when you’re in a threatening situation? I’m not betting, but I’m 100% sure you’re going to be completely focused on what’s in front of you and only that.
Your whole body and mind becomes dedicated to only that situation. You’re not thinking about anything else or being distracted by anything else during this intense state.
I’ve got a question for you that’s pretty important, because I hope by now you’ve realized the importance of eye exercises in your training regime.
You should also know that waiting for an intense combative situation for your adrenaline to be released is not a good thing to do. You want to use it like a tool when you’re ready. To do that, you have to train your focus and concentration.
Mastering your adrenaline rush means having the ability to release it when you need it and more importantly, control over it. Your goal is to be able to turn on and off at will, just like a light switch. Can you imagine the advantage of this skill in your training, competitions, fights, and self-defense?
Chi During Combat Pressure And Intense Moments
As the one on the outside, you have a pretty good view of your opponent. You can see his movement, where he’s taking cover, his speed, and his tendencies to counter, run or duck. You can tell when he’s afraid and when he’s not. You can tell if he’s trying to hit you or not. You can tell if he’s holding back or if he’s ready to fight.
You can tell if he’s gripping his weapon, or if he’s covering his face, trying to escape or hide, or is just looking at you. You know what his next move is and you can do it yourself. All this information comes at you in rapid succession. You enter a mind and body climax that’s just killer instinct level.
To some, they believe this adrenaline rush of energy during this state is none other than your body’s chi. I believe that you can call it whatever you want. It’s base will never change and the bottom line is, it’s source is within your body and it’s your life energy.
This is my opinion, you have the right to believe otherwise , and where you use and direct this energy is up to you.
I know I’m talking about how great this skill is and how it’s such an advantage, but what about the disadvantages.
Are there really any disadvantages when you undergo an adrenaline rush? And if it’s not used properly or without training, can an adrenaline rush or your chi affect your health in a bad way? Let me explain. I’ll use myself as an example.
I’m going to answer this from my own personal experiences because I feel that’s important for me to do right now. I want to relate to you first hand what happens from someone who’s gone through this.
I’m naturally aggressive but I’m not someone who looks to bully someone or looks for confrontations. Even though this is me, I can’t control what others do. I’m sure some of you can relate.
Sometimes, you can talk others down out of physical altercations and sometimes, there are just idiots who aren’t going to cooperate. It seems like a brick wall will listen to you better than they will.
In the event that I’m pushed to the point of escalation, I’m prepared to take it to the next level. I’m willing to hand someone his “bottom” (I’m working on not using bad language here). What naturally happens is that a huge amount of energy builds up throughout my body, aka “the adrenaline rush” or “chi”.
I’ll tell you something else, I believe an opponent can “sense” this buildup of power. If he was originally never up for the challenge and was just bark and no bite, then he’s going to back down really fast.
What do you think happens to all my energy at this point? If nothing happens and in most cases it won’t, my energy gets no outlet and no way of escaping my body. This all happens instantly, it’s not a slow process.
What happens is that the high intensity of this rush backfires on me. For me, my energy gets trapped in my body, but I can especially feel it in my lower back for the most part, my stomach, my hands and legs as well. It’s like a tightening of my body but not your usual pain. I also get a slight headache. It’s like a heavy buildup of pressure.
Where I actually feel physical pain is in my lower back and believe me it hurts. This is what happens when you don’t have control over your adrenaline.
I don’t think I need to explain how bad this is for your health. I’ve been put in these situations many times and even before I found out that there’s actual training to control this, I knew I had to get a handle on this. My body would be thrown off balance and go into a sort of withdrawal.
If you know anything about drug abusers, then you know that when they have withdrawal symptoms, it could be very dangerous depending on the drug they’re using.
I’m here to tell you, adrenaline is nothing to play with. It’s a natural hormone created by your body. Here’s the official Oxford definition: “a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, especially in conditions of stress, increasing rates of blood circulation, breathing, and carbohydrate metabolism and preparing muscles for exertion.”
You get my point right? Just this definition alone tells you how much of an effect it has on your body.
I think I’ve made my point on how important it is to control your adrenaline and I’m going to teach you how to control it.
How To Control Your Adrenaline AKA Chi For Fighters
To switch on your Chi follow these steps:
Step 1: First of all, relax yourself.
Step 2: Begin taking in slow, deep breaths with your eyes open as wide as you can.
Step 3: Concentrate on the energy that is flowing in your body (work on really feeling this).
Eye opener: The key is oxygen. This is what is supplying or powering your energy (adrenaline).
Step 4: Breath faster, keeping your breaths deep.
Step 5: Think of really good or bad things that have happened to you.
Note: Your brain will begin to transmit electric signals enough to cause you to experience an adrenaline rush.
To switch off your Chi follow these steps:
Step 1: Relax your mind and body.
Step 2: Close your eyes.
Step 3: Breath slowly and deeply, just like if you were meditating.
Step 4: Think of things or someone that really makes you happy.
Your adrenaline rush should have stopped. If it doesn’t and you’re having trouble controlling it at the beginning, then get down and do some pushups, sit-ups, or do anything physical with some intensity to release your energy.
On a positive note. When you’re able to control your adrenaline rush, you’re able to control yourself. If you ever get into a situation and you need to use it, you’ll be able to turn it off during a fight so that you don’t overdo it and cause your attacker unnecessary injury.
Fighting isn’t about controlling your body as much as it is about controlling your mind and emotions. At this point you should understand the importance of focus and concentration and their roles in your success as a fighter or in self-defense.
It’s your job to always get better, to stay motivated, and to use this knowledge for your benefit.
The next set of drills will help you identify and track fast head, hand, and feet movements. You’ll also get to work on increasing your concentration time frame.
Remember this: Your mind is what decides how much physical stamina you have. If your mind gives up first, your body can’t go on. If your mind doesn’t give out first, your body will continue until it can’t.
How to Track Fast Head, Hand, and Feet Movement
Use a turntable with records as a speed training tool for your eye exercises. How do you do that? Practice the following drill for a couple of minutes. Here’s the drill:
Step 1: Set the record revolutions per minute to 33 rpm.
Step 2: Play a record and practice reading the label while it’s spinning.
Step 3: Increase the speed of rpm when you’ve become better at this.
Step 4: Try reading other information on the record label.
Step 5: Mix the records without knowing which one is playing. Don’t keep playing something you know or have already read. Don’t cheat yourself.
How to Increase Your Recognition Skills With Flash Cards
If you’ve ever gone to the eye doctor for a checkup, then you know the drill you’re giving to read the different lines on the wall. Only in this drill you’re going to transfer everything over to a large drawing paper roll.
You can choose whatever you want to use, numbers or the alphabet, except this time you’re not using your finger in the air to write imaginary letters.
Here’s how to increase your recognition skills:
Step 1: Start by writing down three letters or numbers per line for up to twenty lines.
Step 2: Use another piece of paper that can hide up to at least five lines.
Step 3: Slide the paper to reveal the first line only, long enough to get a quick look at the numbers or letters. Cover them up again.
Step 4: Recall the numbers out loud and check if you’re right.
Step 5: Continue down the list doing the same.
Step 6: If you’re getting a lot incorrect, then give yourself more time at glimpsing. Don’t overdo it.
Step 7: Change the numbers so you don’t start using memory in the drill.
Step 8: Increase the line size from three to four to five to six to seven numbers or letters.
How to Shadow Fight Using a Point of Focus
Grab another roll of paper and draw a bunch of dots about a half inch (.5″) apart from each other. Place the roll on the wall and pick a dot to focus on from about six feet away.
You’re going to shadow fight while keeping your focus on that dot you’ve chosen. Yes, you’re going to punch, kick, dodge, etc, without losing eye contact with your dot. If six feet away is too easy, then move farther away.
Note: Do not use full power. Don’t injure yourself for no reason. Use full power on actual targets.
5 – How to Develop Your Anticipation Skills
To develop your anticipation skills, you learn to predict where your opponent will move next. You do this by watching the patterns in his body language and watching for his movements. That’s why professional fighters and trainers watch video recordings of their opponents. They’re breaking down patterns that their next opponent uses, which may also turn out to be their weakness.
Check out the following drills and use them to develop your skills.
Using Camera Shots to increase Your Reflexive Skills
Just like in the shadow fight drill, you’re going to throw kicks, punches, knees, elbows, etc, but you’re not going to do this with full power. Not against the air. Use your full power against body bags or against an opponent.
This is going to require your TV or large screen. If you’re wondering, this drill works on your reflexive skills.
Step 1: Make sure the volume is off.
Step 2: Go ahead and stand away from the screen about eight feet or so.
Step 3: Put on something with a lot of action. It can be whatever you want.
Step 4: Begin from your starting stance position.
Step 5: Stay relaxed and your movements smooth.
Step 6: As you watch the action, the camera shots will change. Every time the shot changes you will throw a punch, kick, or dodge an attack as fast as possible.
Step 7: Return to your starting stance after each time.
Step 8: Continue reacting each time the picture changes in the action movie.
Step 9: Do not anticipate. Don’t overthink it. Just react and work on reducing lag time between you and the camera change until you’re moving harmoniously with each change.
Step 10: If you’re tired, rest. Sloppy training doesn’t yield any improvement.
Using Traffic Lights to Develop Your Reflexes
You’re going to use traffic lights to develop your anticipation skills. You are not going to do this drill while driving.
Warning before you do this drill: Teach to Fight will not take any responsibility for misuse of this information. Practice responsibly!!
Step 1: Find a place to park and turn your vehicle off.
Step 2: Do not anticipate the changing traffic light. Just react to the change.
Step 3: When the light changes to green, hit your gas pedal. ** Remember, your car is OFF **.
This drill is used by professional race car drivers to develop their reflex skills for fast starts.
How to Use Video Games to Enhance Your Reaction Speed
If you don’t have any video game consoles or you don’t play video games, then skip this drill.
If you do like games, then choose or buy a game you like to test your reaction speed. This drill is used by pro athletes, so don’t think this is just a game.
Let Your Pet Try to Snag a Rag Towel Out of Your Hand
In this exercise you can get your pet to help you out. Use a toy or towel to train your reaction speed by playing with your cat or dog. Do this by waiving it in front of them and then quickly snatching it away when they’re about to bite on to it. If you think your reaction time is too slow, start further away and move closer when you’ve improved.
Don’t do this with a strange animal.
Throwing Jabs to Increase Your Eye Response Time
In this drill you’ve got two options. Use boxing focus pads or your hands. I recommend you use the focus pads because if you’re going to strike your partner with full power, you’re going to hurt each other. If you’re going to use your hands then make sure you don’t strike using all your force.
If you don’t have focus pads, then you need to buy some. You’re going to benefit a whole lot more from this drill by using the focus pads.
Here’s how you carry out this drill:
Try Variation 1.
Step 1: Put on one of the focus pads.
Note 1: Your partner should work on speed and not power.
Step 2: Have your partner stand relaxed and throw a jab to hit the pad before you can remove it.
Note 2: Your partner can not throw fake shots just to hit the pad. This is not the aim of the drill.
Step 4: After each jab, return to your starting positions.
Step 5: Increase the difficulty level for the one wearing the pad by having your partner’s hands constantly moving like a boxer before jabbing.
Note 3: If your partner is able to hit the pad repeatedly, move back until your response time gets better, then move closer again.
Try Variation 2.
Step 1: Let your partner try to get close to the pad without punching or kicking.
Step 2: Try to dodge your partner so as to not let him or her close.
Note 1: Use footwork to distance yourself. You’re using your anticipation skills to out maneuver your partner.
Step 2: Do not fake, either of you.
Step 3: Go back to your original starting positions after each attempt.
These two variations will help you reduce your response time against your opponent’s attacks. You’ll be ahead of your opponent before he or she knows what hit them.
6 – How to Find Your Focus Point During a Fight
Just like the drills where you chose to have your focus point, you need a focus point during your fights or competitions. Along with having control over your adrenaline energy, your focus point is going to raise your Chi to its highest level.
Where should your focus point be when facing an opponent? The best and quickest way to see where an attack is coming from is to focus on your opponent’s eyes. The best place after that is to use your opponent’s torso as your focus point. Their torso reveals which direction they’re attacking from.
Which focus point is best for long distance fighting? For long distance fighting use the eyes as your focal point.
Which focal point is best for close combat fighting or grappling? You should use the torso as your focal point in this situation.
The more intense your concentration level is, the better you are at reading your opponent’s movements. To prove this point, go back to the focus pad drill and focus on your partner’s arms, legs, or whatever you want except for the eyes and torso.
You’ll immediately see how slow your eye response time has become. Now repeat the same drill, but this time use your partner’s eyes as your focus point, turn on your adrenaline, and watch what happens.
Your anticipation skills will break down your partner’s moves very quickly.
Tips For Speed Training Before You Encounter an Opponent
If you have multiple partners to spar with, then try these tips before you’re ever faced with a real threatening situation.
Tip 1: Use your peripheral vision field from the start to track all movement.
Tip 2: Focus on the eyes of the opponent that you’re currently fighting to maximize your speed and how effective you are.
Remember: When you move to your next opponent, you’re now focusing on his or her eyes to keep up the same level of efficiency. You’re keeping an eye on all your visual targets using your visual field.
Eye Exercises for Martial Arts Training Conclusion
You can practice these drills as a warm up before going to the dojo, during your practice session or before a competition, to keep your head sharp and your senses sharp.
You can include as many of these drills into your training or all of them. Just as a reminder, they are:
- Blink controls
- Peripheral vision
- Visual stamina
- Adrenaline rush
- Focus points