Martial Arts and the Meaning of the Blind Master
Later, while training under Charles Gracie (Raph's brother) as a blue belt Charles would sometimes have us spar, blindfolded. We would start in the closed guard, but on our blindfolds and begin guard pass drills. As we would spar Charles would repeat to all of us "You must believe in your technique. You must believe in your jiu-jitsu." Every person felt like Charles was talking directly to them. It was a huge confidence builder. It was also the time I realized on a personal level that I did not need my eyes to defend myself.
I finally understood the work of the self-taught swordmaster and scholar, Miyamoto Musashi, when he wrote that one must be able to "perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye."