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Lesson of the Month

April 2000

Glen Doyle teaches at
Céad Bua Fighting Arts Centre
in Milton, Ontario

Previous Lessons




The EYES Have It

By Sifu Glen Doyle

I have always believed that a great student is a student that asks a lot of questions (re: technique, training, etc.). But many times, students fall into a couple of classroom pitfalls; The 'what if' question trap, and the 'robotic' application.

These two pitfalls are very common no matter what style you study. When dealing with these areas I fall back on the teachings of my Sifu, Lore King Hong.

'What if's' usually happen when an instructor is teaching a technique (for this instance let's say a blocking technique). The class will be in full swing, and then it happens… "What if he steps to the side?", "what if he sees the kick?", "what if there are two other people there?"

The 'robotic' applications too have their instances, you're teaching a multiple attack scenario which require a two punch finish... then it happens, "which hand do I punch with first?", "Do I step in with the punch?"... etc.

When these instances found their way into the classes taught by my Sifu, his answer was simple and straightforward.

Sifu always says, your eyes will tell you everything. There are no rules in martial arts with regards to technique. Just because you were taught punch, punch, kick, punch in class, a real combative situation may require a sudden kick, punch, punch, punch.

Simply stated; the techniques you learn in your style are suggested movements in response to a general idea, but in actual fighting, nothing is certain and the numerous variables within the combat situation may require you to change the learned technique into an improvisational replica of said movements.

Your eyes will give you any info needed with regards to your fight... distance, number of attackers, weapon options, and numerous other bits of information that will lead you to the proper technique for the moment of truth.

Now that this has been discussed, we can look to our instructors, styles, and classmates as building blocks to the martial artist we are to become... and no matter what, we will be ourselves.

All in favour, say 'EYE'.


G. Doyle

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