Sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. From the day we are born, all of us are intimately familiar with the five basic senses, so much so that it is more than a little easy to take having all five of them for granted. If we are ever unfortunate enough to lose one of our senses, it is said that the ones that remain become significantly heightened, but only after we learn to adapt to the loss of one sense and the increased strength that the others now have. Martial arts offers an avenue through which to bring all five senses together, so that if one is taken from us, we can rely on the others with great ease. The most valued of all the senses, sight, is also the one that we must be the most prepared to do without in actual combat, but while challenging, it’s just one of the seemingly impossible feats that can be accomplished with training. Demonstrations made by blind martial arts masters have been done since time immemorial, testimony to the true power of martial arts in unifying the five senses in the same way that they bring mind, body, and spirit together.
Master Ken, founder of the impenetrable modern art of Ameri-Do-Te, knows this well. He makes sure that every Ameri-Do-Te student’s training curriculum involves plenty of training and sparring while blindfolded. He calls it “Stepping into the darkness”, and it’s a training technique that is sorely lacking in many martial arts schools across the planet. Yet it is absolutely invaluable for every martial arts students in reaching their true potential. For as Master Ken himself observes, the tiger emits a radar sense that enables it to navigate in dark surroundings, and training while blindfolded enables students of Ameri-Do-Te to do the same.