Friday, July 7, 2023

The Gaze Of The Samurai


Let's take a moment to discuss the beginning of the match, be it in the Boxing ring, the Wrestling ring, the MMA ring, various forms of the Octagon, what have you, the first and appropriate attack is psychological and begins with the Gaze.  The Gaze is that steely eyed gun fighter look that every fighter of whatever tries to master in order to psychologically unbalance their opponents.  The lazer beams shot from the orbs.

You can see it at the beginning of any match.  The two gladiators meet in the middle touch gloves, slap hands, high five, or what have you then proceed to gaze into each other's eyes.  This is the actual beginning of the bout.  We, the observer, will not know what is actually going on in the mind of the contestants, but you can bet that the fighter that falters first will lose the bout.  He has been defeated in his own mind already the inevitable is just in the outcome. 

In the Japanese classic, "The Seven Samurai" by Akira Kurosawa, there is a scene where one of the Seven is chopping wood and is challenged to a dual by one of the local clan.  They each grab a wooden branch to use as a Katana and set to proceed with the match.  Two onlookers, main characters in the movie, both know before the proceeding of the bout who will be the winner, "It's obvious." is the comment from the leader of the Seven.  He was basing his observation on what he was seeing in the Gaze coming from the two opponents. His experience and mastery has given him the ability to see the outcome before it happened.  

After the two went to blows with the branches both onlookers knew who the victor was, however the challenger had a differing opinion and began an onslaught of verbal assaults and insults.  The Wood Chopper did not want to proceed, but also did not want to loose face.  They both took to the Katana.  Our two watchers knew what would happen, "It's a shame, it is so obvious." Our hero the Wood Chopper took a back stance and waited, it was obvious.  The aggressor attacked, there was the standard Japanese movie spurt of blood.  The challenger dropped to his knees and died.  Our friend the Wood Chopper was not happy, not amused and did not want to discuss the victory.  If only the Gaze had dissuaded the challenge in the beginning.

Years ago there was an interview with Hulk Hogan on the Mike Douglas show.  Mike asked Hulk about the Gaze and wanted him to do the stare on national television.  Hulk Hogan chuckled and said, "NO, you wouldn't be able to handle it."  The perfect answer.  This is after all the purpose for the Gaze at the beginning of each fight, to unsettle and unbalance the opponent into making a mistake.  To overcome them with your superior threat.  

I Gaze at you deeply, with a smile on my face and a twinkle in my eye...

Peace and Balance,


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