Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Art of Trickery and Deception

The Art of Trickery and Deception: An Educated Introduction

What does a fighter learn different in a real match that doesn’t come from sparring? More appropriately, what does the average martial arts enthusiast learn from actual sparring that doesn’t come from the classroom’s curriculum based, interaction drills?

Such questions would make many practitioners uncomfortable by compelling them to figure out how do you develop inner resources or test ones deepest courage if you never fight or at least spar? Often a smart instructor can provide the student with some challenging skills such as exercising feinting and drawing movements which could help bypass the importance of the above questions.

“It’s not the one who walks in with the best technique; it’s the one with the best training.”

Here is a short video I did some years ago on “Indirect Angular Attack”

Feinting or faking movements are decoys used to force an opponent to adjust his defense, and therefore allowing one the advantage of any openings created. Secondly, a practitioner may use a feint just to discover what his opponent’s reaction may be.

Most opponents have the same general reaction tendency to each feint exercised and therefore give the initiator the foreknowledge of what openings are going to be created by a specific feint. For example, a lead leg hip fake downstairs would most often draw an opponent’s attention downward to intercept a low kick thus leaving his head open for a cranial shot.

Good fighters and experienced sparring practitioners will know in advance what openings will be available before he feints, and he can use this foreknowledge for his follow-up actions even before the opening appears.

There are a number of good feinting movements a practitioner can select to practice. Start with a favorite and develop your skills slowly. Feinting is an advanced art form----not for beginners or inexperienced fighters. Find a coach who knows how to teach you the proper form of the basic “arm swing” feint. Then, advance to the “side bend,” and the “body drop” variations. These are more of what could be called shoulder feints. These do not come easy without educated penetration footwork entering the pocket.

Your next stage of development is the use of “arm” feints. There are several----the most popular are the shift feint, the draw-back, and then the up-and-down feints. The final stage enables one to engage in the use of “knee” and “hip” feints, primarily for great kickers----and/or to set up a surprise, unexpected straight punch. My friend and former world champion sparring partner, Bill Wallace, was a master of these.

“Indirect Angular Attack”

In Bruce Lee’s style, Jeet Kune Do, the two of us worked extensively on this type of set up----attack by drawing. Some opponents refuse to lead, so forcing or drawing their attack supports your set up tactics. Often this means you have to use pressure by constantly crowding your opponent.

An effective drawing movement is exercised by feinting with a specific part of the body left unprotected in order that your opponent will attempt to strike the opening against which your counter is executed. Exposing the body to an attack to set up a counter is a skill rarely developed by many fighters.

There are three fundamental methods of drawing your opponent’s lead. 1) Using a feint----different types of feints will each draw a specific counter. 2) Deliberately exposing the body----carrying the hands (or one hand) high will apparently draw a low attack, and vice versa. Stepping in with the shoulders or hips squared open will obviously draw a lead straight up the middle or the center line. 3) Constant forward pressure (forcing) ----advancing forward without hesitation to force opponent to lead, usually a lead leg or forward hand strike (left jab).

Remember that the execution of drawing skills is used against an opponent who will not lead. Feinting and drawing movement skills will be taught and discussed by Bill Wallace and myself at our Joe Lewis Fighting Systems Annual Conference coming up soon. Any smart instructor will want to incorporate this knowledge into both his self-defense curriculums as well as his sparring classes.

“When a fighter is tired or frustrated, he will merely look (hoping) for an opening; when he is strong and in control, they know how to work in order to create the openings.”

[Do take advantage of learning these feinting and drawing skills being coverd in depth at our 10th Annual Joe Lewis Fighting Systms Annual Conference----Tampa, Florida----Oct 1st thru 4th.]

"The measure of a truly great champion is the dignity with which he treats lesser opponents."