A fighter does not care about the color of a hand protector or what is written upon it; the fighter is only concerned about when the protector moves and in what direction it moves. Therefore, a fighter needs to use the lenses of the eyes to direct the incoming light from the pupils of the eyes over the entire retina rather than just at the center of the retina; this action is called divergent focus. It occurs when you look beyond the opponent, which causes the opponent to be slightly out of focus but any movement of the opponent may be detected over a greater area.
Movement is perceived by the eyes by two means. They detect movement when they detect changes in an object’s size as the object’s range changes. They also detect movement by occlusion, which is when an object blocks or occludes images in the field behind it as it moves across the field. By defocusing the eyes, the background field becomes more prominent, making objects moving in front of the field easier to track. Baseball fielders use this technique to catch fly balls. If their focus is on the ball, they only see a stationary ball against a moving background. If they defocus their eyes, they see the ball moving over a stationary background, which allows them to judge the trajectory and velocity ball and calculate where they must be to catch the ball.
When applied to sparring, looking beyond means you should slightly defocus your eyes and look through, not at, your opponent so that details will be blurry but movement is more noticeable. When you defocus, do not cross your eyes, just relax them. Look toward and beyond your opponent’s upper chest. You will then be able to detect any movement of the opponent’s body, including the eyes, whose movements may indicate the opponent’s intentions before an actual movement of the body occurs. When the opponent looks at your face, you will appear to be lost in thought or dazed, and not concentrating on the fight. However, in fact, you will be acutely aware of the opponent and everything around you.