The aim of this text is to give an insight into the possibilities of perception in fighting.

Who sees better, fights safer.
Those who see better, move better.

When fighting, everyone should always have full vision (glasses, contact lenses), this avoids accidents and fatigue.

The normal line of sight in combat is usually about 30° downwards.

Here we always speak of both eyes together.

Schematic representation: angle of the field of vision from above and from the side

Left: Horizontal plane. Right: Vertical plane.

Concentrated gaze is the area where we have sharp colour perception and also full pattern recognition. Concentrated gaze is relatively slow with a frequency of about 4-15 Hz. The angles given here refer to the range of full matching colour perception.(Both eyes perceive the same thing). On the horizontal plane up to 50°. On the vertical plane upwards approx. 15° and downwards approx. 20°. The vertical plane is restricted by the nose. Helmets often also restrict the view (nasal). It is therefore necessary to wear helmets beforehand during training if they are to be worn during battles.

Peripheral vision is the term used to describe the area outside the concentrated field of vision. Peripheral vision is much faster with a frequency of up to 100 Hz. However, vision is only blurred and only light/dark differences are seen. On the horizontal plane, the angle of vision is: up to 200°, with eye movement up to 270°, with head movement up to 360°. On the vertical plane, the angle of vision upwards is about 60° and downwards about 70°; these angles start from the line of sight. Sometimes the view upwards is additionally limited by eyebrows or helmet, and in the case of goggle helmets there is a blind area in the middle lower field of vision (in the case of swordsmen, this area is usually in the area of the opponent's thighs). Helmets also always limit the view and therefore it is necessary, if a helmet is worn during battles, to wear it beforehand during training.

Movements are seen in two ways: By image migration: the object moves through the field of view without the eye following, this can detect very fast movement but only out of focus. If the object is lost from the field of vision, the eye tries to recapture this by gaze jumps. By following with the eyes: This allows very sharp perception; however, this perception is limited by the speed of movement of the eyes to up to 100°/s.

For fencing, eye tracking is particularly important because it can perceive faster movements and functions in peripheral vision. Finally, for fighting, it is necessary to perceive movements early in order to react to them, especially when fighting against several opponents. Concentrated vision is often rather useless for fighting. Sight perception can be trained through continuous use.

Colour blindness

Among men there are 8% colour blindness, among women the percentage is 0.5%.
Colour blindness leads to a significantly worse orientation on the playing field, as crests and symbols are not recognised as quickly.


Latent strabismus is the case in about 70% of all people. This then only becomes apparent in the case of overtiredness, stress or illness.
Fighters who are latently cross-eyed occasionally have difficulty aligning themselves because their field of vision is partially restricted.


Single-eyedness primarily restricts the field of vision. Three-dimensional vision is relatively well regained and compensated for by head movements after a certain period (about 1/2 year) of one-eyedness. Even if the single eye has a good field of vision, the field of vision is clearly restricted by the nose and any nasal helmets worn, irrespective of the lack of expansion of the second eye. This can be compensated for in part consciously and also unconsciously by turning the head. However, this leads to increased strain on the neck.

In combat, do not look at the opponent or his weapon, but look into space to concentrate on peripheral perception and thus also on image migration. As a beginner, anyone can find a point on the opponent and then look roughly in that direction. The sternum is ideal for this, as the head is normally in a relaxed position at this point, the point is easy to find and the peripheral field of vision is well aligned to see everything.

As an advanced first line fighter, it is possible to expand one's perception through controlled gaze jumps in such a way that, on the one hand, one's sense of line coherence is reinforced and, on the other hand, possible flank breaks are detected early.

As an advanced long weapon or second line fighter, peripheral vision can be extended by means of gaze jumps, supported by head movements, to such an extent that a 360° danger assessment is achieved. This enables everyone to achieve a suitable overall picture of what is happening. Everyone should exercise caution, because firstly, the neck muscles are not well trained for this (especially with a helmet) and secondly, the fields of vision no longer overlap in some cases due to the movement and so a continuous picture is no longer put together (this is then quite irritating).

Feeling, the perception of one's own skin, is important for registering hits at all. It also tells us what kind of pressure we exert with our hands.

The surface of the shield is like a large sensor field. Humans are able to estimate quite accurately where and with what pressure the shield is touched. If we have learned to interpret this and have suitable reactions at our disposal, we are able to increase the speed of the fight considerably. The eye is always slower than feeling and perceiving through the shield.

What is true for the shield is also true for the weapon: whenever the weapon is touched, we know where it is touched and with what pressure it is done.

Only when we are trained to sense the pressure of our shield and our weapon are we also able to place the hits precisely. This means both placing them in the first place and avoiding bruising the opponent in the process. Only those who accept and announce even light hits can expect that the opponent will not increase to the point of giving bruises.

The sense of balance is especially necessary for controlled movement. How is one's weapon to be safely guided if the body itself does not provide a stable sense to slow down the mass of the weapon? How is a runner supposed to run sharp turns, or jump over obstacles, if there is no good feeling for the position and inertia of one's own body? Only with such awareness can one's movement be adjusted accordingly.

Hearing belongs to the group, it is the only open and accessible sense through which the group can coordinate without the individual being limited in their awareness of the fight.

It is important to train the independence of this sense. Especially with beginners, acoustic irritations have a devastating effect and lead to gross mistakes in fighting. For example, when a beginner is asked how the weekend was or which foot he prefers to have in front when attacking. The actual irritation arises less from the perception itself and more from the fact that the beginner does not succeed in processing it. This is not only a beginner's problem, however, because with many experienced fighters it is often the case that they do not react at all to the response. This is very problematic when it comes to exchanging commands or other important information. A good fighter can also exchange information with others during the fight (e.g. „Attention dangerous spear on the right) and is responsive in the command structure (e.g. „retreat“ or „now push more on the left“).

Tasting and smelling are not really involved in fighting and cannot be used.

If you have a bitter or metallic taste in your mouth after long fights or during particularly strenuous activities, take a break. The blood flow to your lungs and bronchial tubes is very high and some blood is released, which shows through your breath in your taste. It is likely that your circulation or anything else in your body will soon go into overdrive if you continue to exert yourself. Make sure you are not alone and that you do not pause too abruptly (no huddling!).

Close your nose or you'll notice the gambeson.

  • en/theoretisches/wahrnehmen.txt
  • Zuletzt geändert: 2023-12-19 13:27
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