Q&A: Boyd and fighting, post-Fade

After Fade/ICoS finished, some readers had questions about Boyd and how well he could fight following the series. I thought I had already done a post on this but in retrospect, I don’t think I did; I think I just answered people here and there on the topic.

The specific question and the answer are both behind a cut below due to a major spoiler for Fade.

Specifically, below are some of the different variations of the question I’ve seen:

Can Boyd fight now that he only has one eye? Could he ever be Hsin’s partner again? Does he need to get a bionic eye to fight alongside Hsin? Would he not be able to fight if he were back at the Agency?

The concern from the readers is in part due to this line in the epilogue of Fade:

He knew it was the same for Boyd, who often watched from the balcony for Sin’s return from work and mourned that he could not be Sin’s partner anymore.

We got several questions about that–which in retrospect I can see how confusing that was, but that wasn’t meant to be a final commentary on Boyd’s abilities. His fighting was partially addressed in 1/27 where you see Boyd able to fight an enemy, but he also does have some drawbacks. One of the more recent people to ask the question was in email, and what I had written her at the time was this:

Boyd can still be Hsin’s partner even now. The line in Fade’s epilogue about how Boyd couldn’t be Hsin’s partner was referring to in the civilian world, militaries and law enforcement and those types of careers don’t allow someone with one eye to join. So that’s why he couldn’t be Hsin’s partner in the civilian world. But as far as them just being the two of them going around, he can be. He can still fight, he just has a blind spot and certain things are much more difficult. (Like, grappling-type martial arts isn’t really a problem, but something which requires quick response and full depth perception is difficult). But he can still shoot just as easily, and so on. I think I wrote a post about that at one point but I can’t find it now… if you’re interested, I can dig it up and link you 🙂

However, when I tried to find that post I couldn’t find it anywhere. I realized that I might have been thinking of the notes I’d written myself– and maybe I never released the specific information as a post at all. If that’s the case, then see below for about half of the notes I had for myself for the 1/27 scene. I did research on what sort of fighting would be possible for someone with monocular vision. Below are my notes on some specific real-life martial artists I found in my research, and then at the bottom are several links to specific forum threads where I read what other people said was the case for them in their own lives. I actually did excerpt the forum threads into my note document but it would make this post WAY too long so I’m only linking you now in case any of you want to go read more specifics.

But just to be clear: the comment was only about CIVILIAN requirements. If Boyd were in any sort of organization like the Agency or anything else that wasn’t operating on the same rules as civilian law enforcement or military, he could fight if he wanted to. It’s just that civilian law dictates that people with monocular vision are not allowed into certain realms.

Everything below is a direct paste of my note file for 1/27:04. So some of it literally contains notes to self.

(Also if anyone remembers me making a post about Boyd and fighting before, can you let me know where you remember seeing it? I tried searching here and at my Goodreads blog but didn’t find it which is why I’m now doubting if I ever wrote it…)



Note to self: Prominent fighters who are blind in one eye

Mauricio Amaral, Brazilian boxer, supermiddleweight. He was a boxer for 15 years, a regional champion who fought mosly in Brazil, and who had 26 victories by knockout. He was the third-ranked contender in both the World Boxing Association and the International Boxing Federation and was ranked 9th by the World Boxing Council, by 1998. But that same year, it was discovered right before a fight with Eric Lucas that he was blind in his right eye. No one knew this but he had been half-blind all along. They canceled his fight. His last fight was April 7, 1998. He chose to resign boxing rather than get corrective surgery. I can’t find what happened to him after that.

Video of him fighting: http://youtu.be/r8qu5zOBFP0

Note that he tends to keep his left side toward his opponent and keeps his glove up by his right eye. However, this is not uncommon for boxers so interestingly, you really can’t tell he’s half-blind just by watching him. Probably why no one knew for so long.

Yuki Nakai, Japanese shooto practitioner and mixed martial artist. Yuki was the Shooto welterweight champion in 1995. In Vale Tudo Japan 1995, his opponent Gerard Gordeau illegally eye-gouged him, which left him blind in his right eye for the rest of the fight. Despite that, he went on to win that fight and two others that same night. He kept his monocular vision a secret at first to protect MMA’s reputation but it forced him to retire from MMA competition. One of his opponents that night had been Rickson Gracie, whose techniques impressed him (and who beat him), so he took up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He became the first person in Japan to hold a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and is the president of the Japanese Confederation of Jiu-Jitsu. He later went on to fight some of Japan’s top fighters, including Shinya Aoki.

Notes from the Yuki Nakai interview linked below: (BJ/BJJ = Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; JJ=Jiu Jitsu)

He opened his MMA gym in 1997. —they fought April 1995. his first BJJ tournament was autumn 1996. he still wanted to fight in MMA. he was looking for treatment for eye and working as staff at MMA shows. he thought he’d never do BJ. but summer 96 asahi noboru lost to royler gracie, he thought he should try to beat jiu jiitsu fighters, he thought to get tougher and fight hem. (thats the jean git) took a year to get around to it. trained a few times with machado. didnt think he’d do it for long. just showing his face. wanted to beat jj fighters at their own game. he was a judo fighter. it was a challenge. learned from enson inoue. now people see him as a JJ fighter but that’s how it started.

you have to work on your weak points as well as building up your favorite moves. its not all about techniques. you have to train your spirit, too.

you could say submissions from the ground are a Japanese technique — on how they have a unique ground-fighting style.

kakutougi is their original thing. [NOTE 2/1/15: I had commented here “some sort of martial art” because I didn’t know exactly what Yuki Nakai was referencing, however I looked it up now and it basically means combative sports like judo, etc.]

the gi was made by Japanese. “our culture is going out to the world.i think even Japanese dont realize how strong our roots are. i want them to realize it themselves.”

“in martial arts what is most important is to develop yourself. there are different ways of thinking, of doing things… there’s no set way. it might seem someone has the right way of doing things, but if you follow them you’ll just end up a copy of them. i just give hints and guidance. they interpret them in their own way. i teach them basics but i want them to make their own style. and ultimately, improve their lives. of course its important for them to become better fighters, but for me, i want to help them become better people. that’s the most important thing.”


Contact sports seem to be preferred and even can be tailored to blind/visual impairment, particularly:

  • grappling sports–
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • Judo
  • NTS:
    • would aikido work?
    • what about Capoeira? <– I’m guessing that’s too hard without good depth perception

Other sports are said to be avoided:

  • boxing
  • wrestling
  • full contact martial arts
  • any sort of striking art

HOWEVER, Mauricio Amaral was a successful boxer for years with one eye. Yuki Nakai was never allowed back in MMA so unknown if he could have made it. And one guy said his wrestling coach is blind and was great.


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