"Focus":  Mentioned often, but still misunderstood!

November 2004

Volume 7 Issue 11

Aibudo Kanji
Picture of Shihan

How do you know what your "void" tools are?  Are your "void" tools any good?

     Finding out what your void tools are and whether what you have is any good or not, depends a lot on forced trust. First off, you have to depend on perception rather than sight. As I said before, this comes from a focus which is no where and everywhere at the same time. If you find yourself looking at a particular spot on your opponent and that's all you "see", then you're depending on sight. If you "focus up" on your opponent and see all of them and some amount of area around them, you will function out of a developed perception. If you can "force" yourself to "focus" on the "situation" in front of you rather than the specifics of the opponent, you are on your way to functioning from perception.  Once "situational focus" is acquired,  you will then have the ability to check your void tools. Working out of perception alone, "wait" and "force" allow your subconscious to control your body and it's actions. Have someone make note of your reactions to an opponents attack. Was/were the actions good technique or just some amount of worthless movement. If there was the semblance an actual "technique, but it wasn't correct, then you need to spend more time working on the technique as it should have been. There is no easy or simple way to develop perception movement other than through the guidance of a competent instructor. They will have the ability to monitor correct focus, distance, movement and technique, all at the same time. Generally, only master instructors are able to do this as they themselves are able to do so, when one-on-one.

The Martial Arts

(My Opinion)

It takes only a step through a door to begin, but a lifetime to learn.  It's ironic, that the most apprehensive and difficult class everyone attends, is the very first one.  Generally, the "fear of the unknown" is what prevents most individuals, who would really like to learn the arts, from taking that first step.  Pride is what prevents many others.  This is a failing, which is specifically prevalent with the male species, in that the "man" never chooses to admit.  "Heaven forbid", that they might be vulnerable or inferior to another human being.  That makes the "very first step through the door", the most difficult "class" of their martial arts lifetime.  The second most difficult class is the "lifetime class" that it takes to master.  The dedication and humility of the "lifetime class" is not attainable by most.  It takes a very "special" person to complete.  They must be an individualist and stand apart from the "team player".  The "team player" depends on others for their success, while as the individualist depends on no one other than himself.  They are extremely stubborn individuals who would do anything but admit defeat and will do whatever to prevent it.  Those who in their adolescent years, voluntarily participate in "team sports", seem never to have what it takes to complete the "lifetime class" of the martial arts.  They appear to never overcome the "fear" of having to fend for themselves.  The "individualist's", who were "driven" by their parents during their adolescent years to participate in team sports but never enjoyed them as they felt they were supposed to, turn out to be the best martial artist's.  "We" are a rare breed of which I am very proud.  "Bowing" is common place within many of the arts, but for the true martial artist, "bowing down" to others is not.  In your eyes, I may not be as worthy as you, but you will never "defeat" me!  "Defeat" is not in the martial artist's heart, dictionary or vocabulary.  You may have yours, but the aforementioned is my definition of the true martial artist.


The "Visual" Part

     "Focus" is "yelled" out regularly within the martial arts arena, but what is it. Focus where? Focus how? How do you "learn" focus? 

     To the last question, you "learn" it by "living" it, over and over and over…… "Focus where" is actually, no where, but everywhere at the same time. One thing, with regards to where, is always up. Any where but up and there is no true focus. It may appear to be focus, look like focus and appear to be focus, but it's not. You've surely all heard the statement that; "Sight is weak and Perception is strong"? Well, true focus develops from perception, not sight. Utilizing sight alone for your offenses/defenses is a losing strategy. Sight is too slow for the combat arena. Only perception will give you the "winning strategies" that true martial artists desire. By focusing "up" and "no where" you will eventually develop movement and tools from the "void" that is fast, in place, on target and effective. "Perception" allows you time to react, whereas "Sight" takes up the time required to react.

     In the arts, perception is pretty much worthless though, if your "void" toolbox is "empty" or contains only ineffective "tools". The only way to develop effective "tools" is by working your basic movements over and over, correctly.  Working them over and over incorrectly, is more than worthless.  Fixing a tool that is developed wrong, takes much more time to correct, than if it was built right in the first place.  Utilizing perception, not sight and having effective tools in your "void" tool box, is the only way to "win"!