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DBMA Martial Arts Forum => Martial Arts Topics => Topic started by: Crafty_Dog on February 24, 2008, 07:49:21 AM

Title: Living, Training, and Fighting with Eyeglasses
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 24, 2008, 07:49:21 AM
Woof All:

At my wife's urging I finally got around to something I should have done many years ago-- I went to the eye doctor.

Apparently I am 20/70 for near range and 20/30 for far range.  I now have blended bi-focals for my desk, aorund the house, and another pair that are for out and about (beyond arm's length).

My wife had me get silver frames "to go with my hair" (Ouch!   )

Anyway, its a whole new world-- things are much sharper!

So as I start this chapter, and figuring out how to live with glasses (e.g. developing habits so that I don't lose them--the
f@#$%ng things are expensive!) it occurs to me that there are issues regarding fighting, training etc. 

Any tips?

Crafty Dog
Title: Re: Living, Training, and Fighting with Eyeglasses
Post by: Maxx on February 24, 2008, 09:21:08 AM
Welcome my friend to the wonderful world of glasses. lol! The only simple advice I can give you is this. I take them off when I train for anything. Conditioning or fighting.....I figure if it goes down my glasses are gonna get knocked off my face anyways so I should probably be ready for it...

Glasses are man enemy  :lol: When I put them on they seem to fade away all my tatooes and make any outfit I am wearing less cool..But when I take them off, I become awesome again!!! LOL!

My last advice is that if you still feel like you need to wear them while training or teaching someone, I suggest getting those Sport glasses that baseketball players wear. They are made of protect plastic or something and they hug to your face so they wont fall off...And they are pretty expensive as well.

Hope this helps!
Title: Re: Living, Training, and Fighting with Eyeglasses
Post by: maija on February 24, 2008, 01:31:55 PM
I've worn glasses since I was a teenager, and though I am near sighted, so really do not need them at blade sparring range, I find if I take them off, I lose track of them.
I get the higher end lenses with built in polarization so they double as sunglasses, and preferably the frames that bend without breaking in case they get knocked off. For training they have actually protected my eyes on many occasions from stray training blade and stick tips.
Anything close contact however with grappling or throwing, you are screwed. They just don't cut it. I keep some daily wear contact lenses for those days. I guess I'd wear them more, but I'm getting to the astigmatism age also, so I STILL need glasses for close stuff while I'm wearing the contacts :-P. I much prefer peering over my glasses I guess....
My only trick for keeping track of them if you take them off, is to clip your keys to them.
I guess it's best to train with AND without them, like the old Eskrimadors who would train in low light conditions outside at night, candle light etc. However it is also nice to see the subtleties in focus sometimes to sharpen your angles.
Hey, perhaps you could bring out a new range of glasses that could double as weapons, you know, nice steel frames ..... :-D
Title: Re: Living, Training, and Fighting with Eyeglasses
Post by: grimel on February 24, 2008, 01:39:33 PM
I wore glasses from about 10 until about 32 when my mother started needing glasses and realized how much of a pain it was for me all day everyday.  I quite literally couldn't see the big E on the chart without my glasses (that's worse than 20/400).  She paid for RK surgery for my birthday and Christmas gifts.  Best gift ever!

As for what to do, I trained with and without.  I learned that the only things I could do without glasses were gross activities unless I had contact.  That pretty much made me into a close range gross movement type of person - I did caveman-fu because I couldn't see to do anything else.  Contacts helped for football/basketball, but, didn't quite make it for karate/boxing.
Title: Re: Living, Training, and Fighting with Eyeglasses
Post by: michael on February 24, 2008, 03:53:00 PM
I've worn glasses since I was about 15. The biggest irritation is getting water spots when it rains---I hate water spots! I never take mine off, except when I train or workout. I usually wear them while shooting, but can shoot equally well without them, and when I do combatives training, sometimes I wear them and sometimes I don't. No big deal really, I just don't want to have to depend upon having them, and want to be able to fight or shoot without them if need be. Train both ways, IMO.
Title: Re: Living, Training, and Fighting with Eyeglasses
Post by: Seeing-Eye Dog on February 24, 2008, 07:17:56 PM
Woof Crafty,
I have 20/200 in my right eye., 20/400 in my left eye, fortunately correctable to 20/20 in both.  In addition, I've had retina detatchment surgery in my left eye and lost 20-25% in my field of vision in that eye, fortunately it is in the periphery and not in the center.  That being said, my vision has not hampered my ability to participate in the last six Gatherings.  I have to take special care in training and especially in fighting at the Gatherings. 

Here are some things that I do to adjust. Training in pure grappling should not pose any problem, seeing opportunities while grappling is not as important as "feeling" them.  In striking/mma training (i.e. boxing, MT, etc.), I still train without any glasses/goggles.  Because I see the world as one giant blur, I have taught myself to recognize what strikes look like when they come at you and to keep my hands up.  Similarly when striking a target,  I taught myself to strike where I think my target is.  For example,  if I want to punch someone in the nose, I aim about one third down from the blur that is the opponent's head.  In stickfighting is where I wear the goggles.  The sticks are coming in too hard and fast not to see.   

I say, if you need 'em, use 'em.  If not, then don't.
Title: Re: Living, Training, and Fighting with Eyeglasses
Post by: Guard Dog on February 25, 2008, 05:07:08 PM
Seeing-Eye Dog,
  I assume your spec goggles you wear at the gathering are prescription?  I have always meant to ask you this but have never gotten the chance.


Title: Re: Living, Training, and Fighting with Eyeglasses
Post by: AussieJon on March 17, 2008, 02:44:03 AM
I work in the wholesale side of optics in Australia, I'm not an eyedoctor and my own eyesight is good but I have talked to a few people about this kind of thing and the same points usually come up, as some of these guys have already stated not too many people worry about glasses when grappling and its probably a good idea to train with and without them on the one hand there is a good chance you will loose them at some stage in any sort of altercation but it is equally likely that you may be wearing them when an altercation begins and not have a chance to take them off so I think its a good idea to mix it up where practical.

There are some things worth considering when it comes to frames and lenses

 safety goggle type frames are the best thing for hardcore stuff unfortunately most of the ones I've seen tend to be pretty bulky and can slip around quite a bit, for every day use or training and teaching I have seen some soft plastic frames where the arms don't have hinges they just flex, again there may be issues with keeping them on but this kind of frame would be very unlikely to cause injury to the wearer.

safety glasses usually have lenses made from polycarbonate and while this material is generally inferior optically it has one important property that people here might appreciate - impact resistance, the lenses will still be scratched and damaged and may need replacing but they are much less likely to break into pieces with sharp edges, polycarbonate lenses can be put into almost any normal frame not just safety frames.

if your lenses are a little thick and protrude behind your frame make sure the edge has been taken off as this can be quite sharp, this is normally done anyway when the lenses are fitted but if you are having a pair made for training ect. it might be worth mentioning this.

with regards to Michaels problem with water spots a good anti-reflective coating may help by encouraging the water to bead and run off (it'll probably still be pretty irritating though)

and finally if you're travelling overseas its worth taking a copy of your perscription with you because you may be able to pick up a spare pair of glasses very cheap !
Title: Re: Living, Training, and Fighting with Eyeglasses
Post by: grizzly on March 17, 2008, 05:22:10 AM
I should wear my glasses all the time but tend to keep them only for times when I need to read. The biggest change I have noticed is your perseption of distance and timing changes.

After many years of training without wearing any corrective eyewear I got contacts to try out. I found that my skills instantly went to a whole new level as my focus was sharper I could see the tell tale signs of a strike coming earlier, judge the distance and timing better and as a result get hit less and land more effective accurate strikes.

Though the majority of the time I perfer to train without them for similar reasons to above posts but also because I have to work harder to get techniques correct to not get hit. So that when I do wear corrective eyewear it is like gaining an instant advantage.  :-D

Title: Re: Living, Training, and Fighting with Eyeglasses
Post by: Karsk on March 17, 2008, 09:43:05 AM
I have also worn glasses since I was a kid.   

Horn rim glasses (plastic frames) are bad if you get hit on them.  They tend to shatter nicely.   In a way thats a good thing because shattering takes energy that would otherwise be applied to your face.  If you get hit or hit someone on the corner of the frame it will tend to put pressure on the joint of the glasses and on the bridge of the nose.  Frames that have the spring loaded joints are better because they tend not to just snap, but I have had a few of those break as well.  Any energy that is not taken up exploding the glasses tends to get transferred to your face somewhere. 

The only sports glasses that seem to have any merit at all for martial arts are the really geeky looking black horned rims with a kind of rubber bridge.  Sports glasses like the kind that you wear to play racket sports like squash are REALLY BAD.   The ones that I am talking about have a solid wide plastic frame and elastic to hold the whole thing on.  This type of frame sits on your nose and nowhere else.  If you get struck straight on or from just about any angle the force transfers right to the bridge of your nose.   I broke my nose in about 20 pieces that way.  The glasses made a nice little mold of themselves in my nose.   If you want to ever see just how much a nose can bleed...well  this is one way to do that.

Incidentally, when that happened I reacted as I often do when something is chewed up on me. Without a lot of forethought I instinctively do something about it. In this case, I felt the compressed bones, saw all the blood, and thought gee I better do something to put all those bones back in place.   I held my nostrils together and blew to create back pressure.  This re-inflated the crushed area with a nice sound like chewing on a life saver and did in fact save me some time and money later since the nose did not need resetting.  Afterwards the doctor stared at me when I told him and he quietly suggested that it was a good way to get infected.  Instead its probably better to let them go in and manually push it back out. It bled a lot too.

Sorry for the graphic nature of that but I thought it would be useful to describe what can happen as a result of getting hit on the glasses. 

My favorite type of glasses are metal wire rims.  If you have a strong prescription (thick glasses) the smaller the lens size the better because larger frames will weigh more and have larger and more sharp edges.  Modern steel frames can be made of a variety of alloys and one popular material these days is titanium.  Titanium is supposed to be really flexible as far as metals go.  I have found that titanium frames are extremely light and comfortable which I really like.  They do seem to be pretty flexible compared to my older frames.  But they tend to fatigue around stress points and will suddenly just snap in two sometimes without notice.  That is if subject your glasses to whomping like I have on occasion in the past.  Keep in mind that the kind of stresses I put my glasses under are things like grappling with them and repeatedly smashing them into someone's side or having someone roll over them on your face .   Metal frames bend back. Plastic ones don't.

And if you are over 50 as I know some of us are, you can also have the fun of dealing with bifocals.  Some people get dizzy or disoriented when first wearing them because your field of vision warps when move your head back and forth.  It seems to be one of those thing that you can simply get used to though. 

As far as preparing for trouble goes, I think practicing under all possible scenarios with glasses is a good idea.  If you don't then you will not be ready for some of the things that might happen.  For example, if you are wearing them and you suddenly find them gone you can learn to just deal with it instead of being disoriented (much).  If you get hit in the glasses and they have an edge expect to get cut.  Even light hits can cut you.  Harder hits can lay you wide open and its possible that the lens or a piece of the frame could slip into your eye.   I am not sure if wearing glasses makes you better at getting your head out of the way because of all the negative reinforcement you get. More likely it makes your friends more wary of hitting you there and so you get biased practicing happening.  Taking shots with gloves would be dumb.

If I loose my glasses my vision of course goes from 20/20 or there abouts to seeing vague blurs where the opponent's head should be.  I seem to err on the side of extension.  8-)   I noticed that I tended to follow through more rather than less in that situation. quite naturally.  But you loose a lot of sensitivity and you have to rely on other things.  ARe some ranges better than others when you cannot see so well?

At this point, I use contacts most of the time.  Contacts actually give some protection to the eye but they can also be swiped or rubbed and get displaced.  Having a contact go missing is also a freaky thing. You can then have the situation where one eye is focused and one isn't. We all have dominant eyes.  If the dominant eye is the one that looses the contact its a little more disorienting than the other way around.


Title: Re: Living, Training, and Fighting with Eyeglasses
Post by: Guide Dog on March 17, 2008, 11:17:02 AM
I echo Karsk's comments about contacts.  I love mine, but after 10 years of lenses, I am thinking about some laser surgery.  One thing I really enjoy about having bad vision: sparring with no corrective lenses.  When I spar, I take my contacts out and spar with my sad, nearsighted eyes just the way they are.  It really forces me to adjust and feel.
Title: Re: Living, Training, and Fighting with Eyeglasses
Post by: jonbroster on March 17, 2008, 02:35:54 PM

There is a real upside to wearing glasses.

My eyesight is bad enough that I can see where other people's eyes are, but I can't actually see the eyes (-4 diopta (they don't use all the 20/whatever stuff over here in England)).

People have commented to me in the past that it has really freaked them out when we have been sparring, the way I just stare unemtionally at them!  8-)

I read once that there was an Aussie Rules (football) player who used to give the officials a few pairs of glasses at the start of each game, so that he could replace them as and when they were smashed off!!

As for correction, I am always a little concerned about the potential for loss of structural integrity of the eyeball when they laser off a big chunk at the front. I do not like the idea of feeling my vitreous humour running down my cheek after I get punched in the face and my eye bursts  :-o
Contact lenses are a pain for any contact sport - they just fall out and get torn.
Try metal / wire rimmed glasses, so you can bend them back into shape if they get wrecked and don't wear them for training!

Title: Re: Living, Training, and Fighting with Eyeglasses
Post by: AussieJon on March 31, 2008, 03:24:38 AM
I heard that with laser correction they do one eye at a time, just in case...