Monday, March 8, 2010

Ferfal, Can you box / spar with Artisan Lense ?‏

Hi Ferfal,
First off: THANK YOU for writing the 'Surviving the Economic  
Collapse...' book. You wrote it very well and I am trying to learn as  
fast as I can. You first wrote: Fix yourself and thats just what I  
did. My eyes are very bad (- 13 so I can't even read the time on my  
own watch without glasses). Now I've got implant-lenses (Artiflex, a  
new foldable Artisan implant lens) and my vision is 110%. (I even  
noticed improved results on the shooting range).
But! Can you box with these? Can you take a punch to the eye? Could  
you tell me a bit about your experience? I'm not going to do cage- 
fights but am planning to spar and learn to throw a good punch at a  
boxing school... If I can with these lenses.
I'd love to hear from you.
Greetings from The Netherlands!

Hi Marco,

Your doctor can sure answer that question much better than I can! :-)
But since you asked … and I sort of know what you mean, because I had the same doubt when I got LASIK.
Your doctor will sure not recommend it.
“Doc, would it be ok if I practice a sport in which we hit each other in the head? Well, its not actually a sport, I’ll be doing self defense training, so maybe someone will just go for my eyes and try to poke them out or crush my wind pipe, maybe kick my testicles if I he can Oh! There’s also a class where we might be hitting each other with batons, how about that?”
Of course not.

When I got LASIK done the doctor warned me about the risk of losing the eye flap when practicing contact sports.
 “Doc, can I box? “
Reply I got:  “I wouldn’t recommend it”
The risk with eye implants is even greater. Now, what does this mean?

First, are you planning on becoming the next heavyweight world champion?
No, I wouldn’t go for that.
Spar 3 times a week intensely with serious amateurs?
No, I don’t think it’s a good idea either given the implant.
My advice would be:
Train a LOT, work the heavy bag, the pads with a partner,  and your feet work.  Only spar lightly (NOT full contact), so as to have a good idea of what its like, and only do so with someone you trust wont go for a KO blow during the occasional light sparring session.
 Talk with your instructor and explain the situation: You want to train, but you want to avoid hard punches to the head. 

Try finding a sparring partner that understands this too. If you find a good sparring partner you’ll benefit a lot from sparring without risking implant or retina detachment. A light punch to the face will make the point, without risking you eye.
Again, its important to find the right sparring partner, usually it will be someone that has a good amount of experience and can control the strength of his punches, concentrating on the sparring session, movement, cover, and only hitting lightly with no intent of hurting you. 
How about sparring on ground fighting and grappling without punches and kicks to the head? Again, you can do that and as long as you don’t receive blows to the head your doctor will be ok with it.

Instructor Jorge Baigorria said it best during one of the first classes I took with him: “Guys, if you want 0 risk, go golfing or learn ballet”.
There is a risk when you spar, there is a risk when you shoot real ammo with a bunch of people shooting ammo all around you.

If you want my opinion, Id’ say that the general health benefits of working out and training alone, the morale boost, not even mentioning actually needing it for self defense, the other health benefits alone out weight the risk if you do it carefully and avoid blows to the head as much as you can.



Anonymous said...

PRK (photorefractive keratectomy)is a more durable form of laser eye surgery with the Same Result as LASIK. It is slighty more expensive than Lasik and recovery is slightly longer. Mine get done in 2 days.

PRK is generally considered suitable for military or police candidates whereas LASIK is not.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you didn't mention eye protection? I train MMA and am getting LASIK in 2 weeks... I plan on taking 3 months off then using goggles and headgear. I will even use goggles when doing BJJ for incidental contact....

Marco said...

FerFAL, (Marco here) THANKS! Indeed my doctor looked at me like I was nuts. "Why would anyone want to do that to himself?" At the time I practised Krav Maga (civilian style, it's the only one allowd in the Netherands).

I want to work on my "punch" now. Krav Maga here is not "all about punches" but more about defense...

Like you said in the book: A street fight can be over and done with in a few seconds. I need a good combination of punches and kicks to 'reply' or move first. Punching the bag is good but I'd like to learn a few punching-techniques / combinations as well. Plus, I remembered when I first got hit in the head at Krav Maga (and my brain's reaction). I really learned something that day. I'd never been hit like THAT before. Now I know.

@ Anonymous: Will PRK work for really bad eyes like mine? -13... I understood the eye grows back in time and you need to do the procedure again.

@ Anonymous2: What kind of goggles/headgear are you planning to buy? I'd love to know the brand!

Anonymous said...

Intacs Corneal Implants sound similiar to what you have. From what my optometrist told me they don't move around.

Unlike Lasik and its derivatives, there is no corneal flap with insertable contact lenses, just a small incision to insert the lens.

Just wear some ballistic eyewear with an elastic strap and you should be fine.

Marco said...

Correct. They don't move around. There's no 'flap' or stitching. A very small cut is made to insert the lens and it's attached to the eye via 4 small 'arms' that are already on the lens.
I'm looking for good eyeware. It needs to be able to withstand a blow to the head and not break or snap.. Finding a good one is difficult. Ideally it would have a elastic band around my head and not metal/plastic arms...