About The Following Blog

The following blog has been written purely for those wanting a first hand knowledge of what it is like to step into the dojo for the first time as a complete beginner as a Martial Artist. Through practising a Martial Art, you will gain many things such as self-confidence, self-respect and life-long and good friends. I hope this helps you to see into an amazing world of which you have never seen before and that I have had the privilege of belonging to and knowing.
Although I have not put my name or any name to this blog, it does deserve a dedication- a dedication to those who help people to train, who teach, reassure and most important of all- those who never give up, no matter how many times they hit the ground or a mental brick wall, with themselves or others. But above all- those who are ready to begin their own journey, it begins with one step….

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Chapter 24: Should you train with glasses, contact lenses, or neither if you're short-sighted?

There is one thing that has been at the back of my mind since summer school (well apart from it was really really cool!) is that I'm sure many people who do martial arts need to wear glasses, so do they wear glasses or contacts when training? I saw a couple of people wearing glasses off the mat and wearing them at the end of the session so I've often wondered since then if there is any benefit to not wearing either glasses or contacts when you train.
When I first started aikido, I wore glasses as I couldn't stand the thought of 'poking' my eyes around trying to get contacts in. But I found that when breakfalling or doing tanto work it was not uncommon for my glasses to 'fly' across the dojo. Since I only had the one pair, I opted for contact lenses and found it was slightly easier. However, I sometimes wonder whether I should occasionally not wear either in training, stupid idea perhaps?
Given that I first started Aikido for self-defence, I suppose if (heaven forbid) I was grabbed in the street, the glasses would be the first thing to go, and I'm not sure how I would cope without my glasses seeing as I can't see (no pun intended-honest) anything without them as I'm very badly short-sighted. But I guess another argument is if I've trained well, surely I should have some form of 'awareness' and be able to defend myself. But I don't know. Sometimes I find aiki hard enough work actually being able to see the instructors never mind trying to see them without my glasses. Perhaps I should try it one day...


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Josh said...

I've wondered the same thing about glasses vs. contacts. I've trained with contacts for the first year of training. This fall I started wearing an older pair of glasses. My current pair of regular glasses would fall off way too easily, and they are too delicate.

I started wearing the older pair for the same reason that you are considering wearing no pair. I wouldn't have the opportunity to put in my contacts in a 'martial situation' (the preferred euphemism for getting attacked at our dojo).

But actually, I think the real problem we both face is the fact that our regular day glasses fall off too easily. I often wonder if this is essentially a martial liability. You may want to consider finding a pair of comfortable regular glasses that can be relied upon to stay on your face at aikido g-forces. Most of the glasses wearers in our dojo just wear their regular glasses, and maybe take them off if they are taking ukemi during iriminage. (In my experience, breakfalls don't create enough centrifugal force to knock my practice glasses off.)

OK, more than you probably wanted to know about my glasses and practice and so on. But I've been wondering about this myself.



Anonymous said...

Several people at my dojo wear glasses, though one guy sometimes takes them off, depending on the technique we're practicing.

There's a sandan who has one of those rubber tubes connecting the ends of his glasses behind his head, but I've never seen it go taut.

Scott Zrubek said...

A Yondan at my dojo is legally blind, so glasses are pointless. That said, he can see shadows and big color differences, but great vision is not a necessity for learning or teaching aikido.