Martial arts require elite level body control, reaction time, and focus, especially at the higher levels of the sport. Improving these skills can lead to significant performance increases that will enable a fighter to compete at more elite levels.
While there are a number of vision skills that are important for martial artists, some are more crucial to performance than others.
Core vision skills for martial artists include:
Hand-Eye Coordination: Hand-eye coordination is obviously a vital skill for a martial artist. Improved coordination will give a martial artist increased ability to coordinate his attacking and defensive moves.
Peripheral Awareness: During a martial arts bout, it’s important to remain aware not only of where one’s opponent is, but where his hands and legs are as he attacks. Even just an extra split second of awareness of an incoming strike can be vital.
Visual Boundaries: During a martial arts bout, the combatants are in a relatively small area. As a fighter engages with his opponent, it’s important that he also remains aware of the space in which he can operate. Improving this vision skill can help a fighter be better aware of his surroundings, and be able to focus better on the fight itself.
Visual Reaction Time and Response Timing: Fast reaction times are vital when you have an opponent trying his hardest to hit you. Improved reaction time can mean the difference between making a great block or redirection, or taking a hard hit to the face.
Secondary visual skills for martial artists aren’t necessarily any less important than core visual skills, though they are not quite as central to what is needed for a martial artist to be successful.
Visual Concentration: There is a lot that can distract a fighter during a bout, between his opponent, the crowd watching, and more. Improving visual concentration means a better ability to remain focused on what matters: the opponent you’re trying to beat.
Anticipation Timing: Anticipation is another visual skill that can be extremely important for a tough fight, as it is how the body processes the “where” and “when” of key actions like blocking an oncoming strike or making your own attack. Even a small improvement of this skill can yield massive impact during a fight.