I have heard of a strategy of combat in where you stare ferociously into your opponent’s eyes, as if to show your indomitable fighting spirit. But this is not my way. First off, I have never been very worried about my opponent’s eyes hurting me. If you focus your attention towards the eyes, you are apt to miss the movements of the real weapons that can (and will) actually hurt you. Additionally, although I have never experienced this, by staring into the opponent’s eyes you run the chance of being drawn into the opponent. The term used to describe this is “the opponent steals your spirit.” In laymen’s terms your strategy backfires and it is you who gets psyched out. Some would argue – I’m a “Badass” and it is I who will psych my opponent out with this tactic. For my part I would rather concentrate on my opponent’s real weapons and leave the eye staring to all of the “Psyop” warriors out there. While they are attempting to psych me out by trying to stare into my eyes, I will be ignoring them. After all they are nothing but an obstacle to me. I choose the tactic of concealing my spirit and my intent.
I prefer directing my gaze at the opponent’s torso, about three or four inches over the solar plexus. The gaze is loose and almost hazy, relying on the peripheral vision (which is much faster than a direct stare) to pick up on any movement from the opponent. Much the same way as we keep our hands in a central guarded position in Wing Chun Kung Fu, focusing the eyes in this way we can react to a low, mid-level, or high attack with optimal combat efficiency.
Focusing the eyes at the opponent’s torso is not without its psychological advantages. I have tested this method not only in sparring situations but in real life close combat. Although I can’t attest to how my real world opponents psyche was affected, many of my students have told me that the way I gaze at their torso and ignore their attempts to make eye contact is unnerving and makes them wonder what I am thinking. They have descried it as if I was “staring straight through them.” Yes, that is what I want.
So in conclusion, there might be times when I would stare directly into my opponent’s eyes. Maybe it would be just as I deliver that final knockout or killing blow. In which case the gaze could be described as the wild man’s “Gaze of Death.” But otherwise I think that I will save my eye gazing techniques for the more intimate times in life that I share with my lady friend.
© Copyright Todd Taganashi 2017