After my last blog post, Danger said that in the picture of my RNC it looks like I’m trying to go for an eye gouge. I kind of wish that was the case, because at least that would make sense, but that’s not really how we gouge eyes in Goju.
Roseberry-Shihan’s Karate teacher, Master Seikichi Toguchi, was a big fan of attacking the eyes. He would say things like “Why do I need to punch the makawari to make my knuckles hard when I can just stick my thumbs in your eyes?” Eye striking and gouging are an integral part of our system. A Judoka who observed one of our kata said that it looked like we were plucking fruit off of trees, and he was 100% right…if you substitute people for trees, and eyeballs for fruit.
Shihan talks about a Martial Artist he once knew (I believe he practiced Aikido) who said that he thought Karate was undignified because we utilize techniques such as eye-gouging. That same mindset might be what’s behind the hesitation I’ve seen from some of the new Karateka when they think about actually attacking someone’s eyes. It seems as though female students especially have a distaste for the ick factor of it. I’m sorry, but if someone is trying to rape and/or kill you, that’s not really the time to be lady-like.
If I was to ever resort to something like gouging eyes, it would definitely be in defense of my life and body, and I’m certainly not going to be a bit concerned with whether I’m being dignified at that point. I will use any tool that I can to defend myself. If I didn’t, it would be like carrying a gun for self-defense but not being willing to actually shoot someone if you had to. You can bet that if the need ever arises, I will not hesitate to grab that sucker’s head like a bowling ball and throw it down the gutter.