Practical Martial Arts Tactic

Great Martial Arts Tactic

Just Pretend!

Stu wrote in the other day. We were thinking along the same lines. Here’s what he wrote:

“I’ve thought of a way to confuse your enemy. If you are fighting a boxer, adopt a boxing stance, and suddenly kick him in the shin, and follow up with some other techniques. Try it.

I don’t know if it works, but it makes sense.”

Great thinking Stu. Yes, it does work — sometimes.


Let’s talk about this tactic:

You can definitely give the wrong impression by pretending. Here are just a few of the ways you can fake out your opponent:

Pretend you are trained in a differnt style. As Stu said, effect a boxing stance, then kick the boxer when he is in range.

I often adopt a stance from a particular style when I have no intention of doing anything else form that style.

I pretend I have reached my limit, when I have something in reserve. In other words, I pretend they have seen my full speed, when I still have a lot more left in me. I fake that I have extended to my full range, when I have three or four inches of extension left. I pretend I am out of breath (OK, this one is closer to the truth), when I have a few more bursts of energy left in me.

Pretend you don’t notice your own telegraphing, when you are really trying to get your opponent to react. Sucker him or her!

Pretend you don’t see their technique coming, when you really know way in advance from their own telegraphing. Surprise your opponent.

You can even pretend you are injured.

Major Warning — especially with pretending you are injured …

Most folks are lousy actors, myself included.

Some of us couldn’t pretend our way out of a box.


Our tendency is to over-act

Over-acting is one big telegraph of your intent. The key to making any of this work is to be subtle.

This tactic isn’t for everyone. It just won’t work if your attacker can figure out your intent.

And don’t go by actors on TV or in the movies who are pretending to be hurt, before the final sequence in the last confrontation. Keep in mind, the are actors who are acting the part of someone acting the part of an injured person.

They are over-acting on purpose, so you contrast it with their normal screen behavior.

We have to be much more sly than that.

End note: I guess when Quinn, my four yr. old daughter, comes up to me and says “Pop, let’s just close our eyes and pretend,” I’ll take her game more seriously.

Although, I am not sure I’ll close my eyes — unless I am practicing chi sao (sticky hands).