For the offence in Rugby union, see Eye-gouging (rugby union).
Eye-gouging using the thumb

Eye-gouging is the act of pressing or tearing the eye using the fingers or instruments. Eye-gouging involves a very high risk of eye injury, such as eye loss or blindness.

Eye-gouging as a fighting style was once a popular form of sport fighting in the back-country United States, primarily in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Eye-gouging is prohibited in modern sports. It is a serious offence in rugby football codes where it occurs rarely. It is prohibited in combat sports, but some self-defense systems teach it.[1] Training in eye-gouging can involve extensive grappling training to establish control, the eye-gouging itself being practiced with the opponent wearing eye protection such as swimming goggles.[2] Yuki Nakai went on to win a bout in the Vale Tudo Japan 1995 tournament after his opponent performed an illegal gouge that blinded him in his right eye.[3]

See also


  1. Hosey, Timothy; Michael Klaybor (October 1984). "Common Sense Self-Defense: For the Woman Who Doesn't Have the Time to Train". Black Belt. 22 (10). p. 110. ISSN 0277-3066.
  2. Vunak, Paul; Erin Vunak (March 2001). "Biting and Eye Gouging: Why You Need to Know the Philippine Art of Kino Mutai". Black Belt. 39 (10). p. 69. ISSN 0277-3066.
  3. Jason Nowe and Stephen Martinez (February 14, 2006). "Nakai talks Vale Tudo, SHOOTO and Rickson". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2008-11-03.

Further reading

External links

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