Evolution Martial Arts & Fitness Academy

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The eyes are said to be the doorway to the soul.

And for a good reason, they are one of humanities greatest assets.

Without our eyes, we would not have evolved as a race, avoided predators and been able to grow our civilisation.

Now I will say this, having sight is not necessary for combat skill.

I have trained/ been beaten up by numerous visually impaired Judo players, however having eyesight is a definite asset, and we rarely talk about how to maximise that asset.

And in this post, I am going to teach 5 critical things about the eyes that every self-defence student and Martial artist must know.

1. Target Locking

The first aspect of the eyes to look out for is the fixed glare or what I call target locking.

This happens when a person wants to attack another.

It can happen from across the room; it can happen from across the street, it can happen from a house or a car.

This quote from Hannibal Lecter in the film and book ‘The Silence of The Lambs’ sums up target locking perfectly:

Hannibal Lecter: First principles, Clarice. Simplicity. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature? What does he do, this man you seek?

Clarice Starling: He kills women…

Hannibal Lecter: No. That is incidental. What is the first and principal thing he does? What needs does he serve by killing?

Clarice Starling: Anger, um, social acceptance, and, huh, sexual frustrations, sir…

Hannibal Lecter: No! He covets. That is his nature. And how do we begin to covet, Clarice? Do we seek out things to covet? Make an effort to answer now.

Clarice Starling: No. We just…

Hannibal Lecter: No. We begin by coveting what we see every day. Don’t you feel eyes moving over your body, Clarice? And don’t your eyes seek out the things you want?

When someone stares at you, they do so for a reason, and it might be hate, desire, envy, lust or anger.

But spotting what I call target locking is key to detecting a potential attacker early.

2. The Look Away

The look away is a telltale sign of imminent attack.

If you are in a situation where you argue with someone, and they turn their eyes and or head away, they might be preparing for an attack.

They do this because it is a distraction. They want you to lower your guard.

And when the turn back to face you, they will attack.

They sometimes look at the floor, they sometimes look away, they sometimes look at another person and even talk to them, but it is a warning sign!

3. The Up And Down

The dreaded look ‘up and down’ is key to figuring the intention of an attacker.

Men and women both look prospective partners ‘up and down.’

And so do men and women who are about to attack a person.

We call this ‘sizing up’.

When this happens, they are looking to see if they could win a fight against you.

So if you see someone’s eyes go up and down they might want to kiss you or punch you, I think you are intelligent enough to work out which.

4. Dilated Pupils

The eyes are as funny because they give a lot away.

Dilated pupils basically means your pupils are enlarged, and it happens so that the eye can receive more light.

But it is also a sign that your attacker is high on drink or drugs.

This is excellent information to possess because it allows you to make a decision.

Because if they are high on drink or drugs they can be stronger, impervious to pain and you might need to take additional action or alter your tactics.

5. No One Likes Being Punched In The Eyes

Our final aspect that you need to know about is often missed by many.

When we train, we are taught to go for the chin, the neck, the head, the nose but……rarely the eyes.

Yet a punch to the eye is really painful, it causes blurred vision and often forces an attacker to give up.

Our eyes are very vulnerable and other than the odd poke we rarely hurt them, so when a fist smashes into them at force, it can be a very shocking experience.

How To Use This Information

So you have this information, what are you going to do with it?

The simple answer is it depends on what happens to you.

Just be aware of this information when you are dealing with people who might be aggressive towards you.

Because small insights like these would have helped me years ago when I was a fresh-faced police officer.


Of course no amount of ‘eye knowledge’ will help you if you lack the skills to protect yourself.

That is the factor you can control.

Evolution Martial Arts and Fitness Academy is dedicated to helping people to learn to protect themselves.

The choice is yours.

Learn the skills that can keep both yourself and your loved ones safe.

Thanks for reading.

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