During the recent Midwest Haidong Gumdo seminar featuring Senior Chief Master Marshall Parnell, he talked about making sure that we “look” for the bad guys while doing gumbub (sword forms), He said that most of us look odd when doing it, though. I will agree! The problem is that most modern martial artists aren’t trained for actual combat. His Marine training may have provided some additional insight to this.

He explained a method to increase situational awareness by using a vision technique (“Eye Trick”). This trick can extend your vision from 180 degrees to about 270 degrees with very minimal movement. I first had this method described when Rory Miller and Randy King did their seminar  as part of the RandRory Tour. They just call it the “Eye Trick” and it comes from Yanagi-ryu training.

Rurouni Kenshin 2012 (I do not own the copyright)

The way to practice it goes like this.

  1. Stand shoulder to shoulder with a person on each side of you.
  2. Your vision forward as normal, have them slowly move backward until they are out of your peripheral vision. Tell them to stop.
  3. Change your vision down to a spot on the floor about 4 feet away.
  4. Check your peripheral vision. Can you see them again?

Just like Rurouni Kenshin, now you know why your favorite hero tilts their vision down during the fight. Well, it does make them look a bit cooler too.

Author: Master Robert Frankovich

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