Silat – Sleepy Eye, Wide Eye and Looking Down

Sleepy Eye, Wide Eye and Looking Down are 3 different types of vision methods that are taught in Clear’s Silat that can be used as part of your fighting arsenal.

Sleepy Eye

Sleepy eye is an old Shaolin method used to conserve energy and relax the body.

It has the benefit of making you move faster and also when you relax the eyes you can see more around you including the floor, ceiling (if inside) and more to the left and right.

Your view is a bit unfocused but you actually perceive motion faster and objects that are close such as an incoming fist do not look nearly as large allowing you a much better ability to move without getting overly fixated on the close object.

Sleepy eye is also a great way to survey your surroundings while you appear not to be looking at anyone or thing around you.

To practice sleepy eye let your eyelids droop about half way. If you have astigmatism then you may have to hold your eyes slightly differently and I have taught folks where the vision that they normally have is sleepy eye due to the astigmatism they have. Corrective lens glasses correct this and to do sleepy eye when wearing glasses you will still normally do it the way that I have described here.

Wide Eye

Wide eye is a method of looking whereby you open your eyes as much as you can. For most people this will elevate and ramp up your fighting mood while typically causing you to defocus a bit even though once again you can see much more of what is around you.

Wide eye typically will put you in a fight or flight mindset.

Wide eye will also tend to make you hyper respond to any incoming stimulus. It can be easier to do wide eye if you tilt your head forward and look through your eyebrows.

Looking Down

If you look down at the floor at about a 90 degree angle ( \ ) with your eyes open you will notice that your ability to see what is around you is improved while you look like you are looking at the floor.

This is great to use for multiple attackers or if you think there might be multiple attackers so that you can see where everyone is at relative to you and your position. You will be able to get 180 degree view around you simply be taking one step forward. If you start with your left arm / side in front of you and then you step so that your right arm side is in front of you then you get the complete view.

A simple benefit is knowing when someone is close enough that they can reach you and being able to respond while they still think that you do not realize how close they are.

Sleepy Eye, Wide Eye and Looking Down are 3 of our beginning visual training methods. As you continue through our Clear’s Silat program you will learn other visual methods for use in self defense.

Good training to you.
Until next time.


  1. Did you know there is a town called Sleepy Eye?