Invisible Attackers

by Keith Pascal

Invisibility would be ever so cool, if you didn’t have to take of your clothes to become transparent. Brrrr.

Alternatively, it might be nice to have the ability of a ninja and fade into the shadows, vanishing from sight.

You wouldn’t actually be “invisible,” but you’d have the ability to vanish from the attention of anyone you chose.

For all practical purposes, you could turn invisible, at will.

Whoosh. You’re gone….

Well, that’s what I had on the brain the last time my wife and I were out in the crowds.

(We had to go shopping at a giant supermarket, and we also wanted to pick up a new shower curtain at a department store.)

While I waited for my wife to get coffee, I people watched.

My imagined premise was how to escape notice from someone. Where would I step, to vanish behind a corner, the instant the person looked away?

Where would someone expect me to go?

How would I “buck the norm,” and hide in an unexpected place?

And this got me thinking….

Each person I observed for any length of time had a dominant  looking direction, and they had a blindspot.

In fact, I don’t even have to be out in public….

I’ve long since noticed a strong example of this phenomenon in my best friend, my wife.

We spend so much time together that I noticed that she bumps into people and things “behind” her.

She’s a very aware martial artist, but during the day, when out and about, she has a definite  “klutz zone.”

She’s almost like a housefly … when flies start to move, they back up a bit as they take off. It’s the same with my lady.

She moves a hair backwards, when she starts off in a direction.

And no, I’m not picking on her. I want her to be more aware, for her sake.

And she’s not the only one….

One of our favorite stores in the building where we work has an owner with a blindspot.

He doesn’t notice “stuff” to his left, as much. I’ve done magic for him, to test it out. Also, I have handed him papers and envelopes from either side, making note of his reactions. (And no, he doesn’t have a glass eye.)

To me, this gazing stuff is fascinating!

As a magician, you can get away with all sorts of moves, by concerning yourself with your spectator’s stare.

But as a martial artist?

Wow … the possibilities!

  1.  You can notice the gaze and blindspots of others. This gives you a definite advantage in the world, and in self-defense.
  2. You can work to eliminate your own “infrequently-scanned areas.” This automatically increases your awareness skills.
  3. You can make observations — for example, when someone takes a lead, that puts one eye further away from you. That eye doesn’t pick up as much input as the dominant, forward eye. (Try it.)
  4. You can apply attention tips from other disciplines to the world of martial arts — for example, beginning and bad teachers teach to what’s called a “teacher’s T.” They pay more attention to the front row, and the row in front of which they are standing. The pockets of students in between, often get ignored.

I titled this article “Invisible Attackers.”

And we talked about blindspots.

Hmm.

Something to think about.

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