«How to learn not to close your eyes in a fight or sparring and not to blink for punches or kicks?»

► When there is a sports fight or street fight, novice fighters very often miss punches or kicks, because they do not see them because of the deceptive actions of the opponent. This affects boxers, kickboxers, Thai boxers, wrestlers, MMA fighters and other fighting styles. The fighter closes his eyes and misses a punch or kick. This should not be allowed.

Below are effective exercises that will allow you to get rid of blinking your eyes at the time of sparring or a street fight, as well as when practicing defensive techniques or conducting your own attacking actions.

1. For the first exercise, we will need a tennis ball and the help of a partner.

You stand with your back to the wall. The partner becomes at a distance of 3-4 meters from You. At the beginning, we make the distance more, and gradually reduce it over time. The partner throws a tennis ball at Your head. The movement should resemble a hand strike.


You move away from the ball sideways, simulating protection from a hand strike. The shorter your movements are, the better. Don’t blink or close your eyes. Keep your partner in sight at all times. You can leave with your hands down , or holding your hands to your jaw. The ball bounces off the wall and returns to the partner. Do the exercise for 2-3 minutes . With this exercise, you can quickly get rid of blinking eyes at the time of practicing punches or kicks, or protection from them.


2. The next exercise involves the help of a partner. A partner in a Boxing glove strikes you lightly on the forehead. You try not to close your eyes and always keep your opponent in sight. In the beginning, the blows are applied slowly, in the future you can gradually increase their speed. All punches should be light. The main thing is to learn to react calmly to them , without panic and confusion.

3. The ball on the elastic band also helps to get rid of blinking of the eyes when applying punches and when protecting from them, as well as from any sudden actions of the opponent in a fight.

4. After that, you can move on to practicing protection against punches with your partner. We use Boxing gloves and, if possible, Boxing helmets. The partner applies single jabs to the head area. You use the types of defenses you know and protect yourself from these punches. Try not to close your eyes and constantly keep your partner in sight in order to react to his subsequent actions in time.


At the beginning, the partner strikes slowly with his hands. In subsequent training, the speed of punches should be gradually increased. You also need to use not only jabs, but also hooks and uppercuts. This will allow you to work out protection against all punches and learn not to close your eyes at the same time. In the beginning, work out the protection on the spot, in the future , do it in motion. If necessary, similarly practiced protection from kicks.

5. After carefully working out defenses against punches (and kicks), you can gradually move on to training sparring. And in the future – to real fights. Always try to keep your eyes open. This will allow you to see the kick or deceptive action of the opponent in time and react to it in the right way.

Free courses for fighters will help you in training.

I wish you success in training and good luck in the fight!

Sincerely, Alex Lee – master of martial arts and author
of training lessons on martial arts, stretching and sports.