Watching your opponent


White Belt
Jul 14, 2005
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I find that as i put my head down to tuk my chin in, my eyes tend to follow the angle and i end up facing my opponents chest or, more often, looking at my opponents chin.

Are there any drills that i could use that may help me watch my opponent when sparring? For example, I know of an excercise to keep your chin in, which is to place a tennis ball underneath your chin and sparr while attempting to keep it in position.

Im fairly new to stand-up and so would appreciate any help i could get to keep my eyes up and to look for openings. What kinds of things could anyone on this forum suggest that i could do to keep my eyes up, watch for openings and capitalizing on them?

Would appreciate any sort of help! Thanks in advance
I dont now why you should look higher eey contact is by no mean neccasary, if you opponent is good he wont look where he is striking anyway,
I agree that you are better off looking at the body than the face. It lets you see more of the overall person. Also, the torso will be more likely to give away a motion than the head. It is impossible to punch or kick without moving your torso so any offensive movement your opponent makes will be more evident. The eyes, on the other hand, can deceive.
I'm a boxer, so this may not be relevant to kicking arts, but I find it best to watch the middle of their chest. Don't stare too intently, but keep your eyes there. Your peripheral vision will pick up any movement of their shoulders and hips. Less experienced guys might even telegraph their punches even more, but even if they don't, if you pick up which shoulder is moving you can easily spot from which side their punch is coming from and even what punch they're throwing at a glance. If you're fighting more experienced guys, all the more reason, because I know there have been many times where the feint that froze me wasn't from the guys hands, but from his eyes.

Good luck, train hard
bdweezil6998 said:
are you shorter than the guys you spar? Just wondering.

well i'm 5'9 so i reckon i am short in general in comparison to other fighters. I've sparred with my brother a couple times, who is about an inch shorter than me.

but no matter the size of my opponent, i find that i don't see shots coming at me, be it punches or legs. Would this come with time?

The thing is that if im looking at the chest area, i find that i neglect looking for openings in terms of dropped guard/dropped hand. Is the chest area the best place to keep my eyes in order to look for shots or should i be looking at my opponents face to look for punches coming at me as well as openings?
Brandon is right, even if you are using kicks, keeping your eyes generally on their torso will help in picking up punches and kicks. When I first started I would look at the eyes and get rocked. The problem you are having with openings with dropped hands may be from staring too intently.
dont watch their anything!!!! You need to focus of their whole body not one section. Do not concentrate on the one place, you need to look at their body and take everything in.
You can counter very effectively using the method I described. You'll learn, for example, that when they jab at you, you follow their hand immediately with a jab of your own. You can parry, block or slip shots easier when you see it coming from the shoulder/hip movement and then follow their extended arm back with a punch of your own.

Of course, when you're on the offensive, you need to be looking for openings and looking where you're punching, but it's very easy to glance up, take in your opponent's guard, launch a flurry and glance down to catch any telegraphing from the hip/shoulder when you're anticipating them to come at you.
dont watch their anything!!!! You need to focus of their whole body not one section. Do not concentrate on the one place, you need to look at their body and take everything in.

Physiologically impossible. Eye-reflexes will force you to focus on whatever bodypart you get hit the most by if you continuously get hit with the same move. So one of the only ways to counter that natural reflex is to do what Brandon says and focus on a point where your peripherals pick up any movement. Otherwise you stand a greater risk of getting hit by a surprise attack. Ironically enough this would equate to watching their everything, just perihperal vision is an absolute necessity in training this process.