Vid: In this brief fight overview, the strategy of Kaopong Sor Por Lor in blue was pretty obvious. Smash Lerttawee Chamnantaen with leg kicks…often. If punched, respond with a kick. If kicked, respond with a kick. If nothing is happening, throw a kick. Repeat as many times as possible and every now and then…remember to throw a kick. With the foundation for this strategy laid out, it created an interesting reaction from Lerttawee Chamnantaen in red.
“I think that you are trying to kick me and to prevent my leg from being destroyed, I have to block it.”
This gave Kaopong in blue an interesting option. Continue to smash with the leg kick or…fake a leg kick and opt for a more steathy surprise. One of the oldest tricks in the book is simply to throw one weapon so blatantly often that the slightest indication of its moment encourages your opponent to assume that you are throwing the same weapon again. Should you decide to fake or feint, the key is to sell it. This is more than just twitching like your jock was filled with termites. Make it look so obvious and simple to block that your opponent has no choice BUT to assume that it is what it looks like. When they fall for it…move in for your big finish with the weapon of your choice!
Some common methods to faking your opponent:
- Change your timing. Slow the weapon down so that your opponent can see it clearly and fall for your trap
- Reduce the power of another (or the same weapon) to get your opponent to commit to the threat and follow up with the real threat to their well being
- Change the level. If you are striking their lower extremeties, change to higher targets like the head. If you are working the body continuously, move to the leg or the head. Surprise is key.
- Use your angles. 1) Striking with straight weapons like teeps, knees or jabs and crosses sets the stage and you create a surprise when you throw a hook, uppercut or swing kick since it is out of the norm. 2) A simple change in footwork can confuse your opponent. If you are pressing forward continuously, angle off or try stepping backwards to make them think instead of acting off of instinct. their delay is your benefit
- Ensure that it looks like every other weapon that preceded it. If you turn your foot, step out, clap your gloves or anything else before kicking…then even though you are faking them…you should STILL follow the standard tells that they have seen. (By the way…stop clapping your gloves, stepping out blatantly and turning your foot…but that is another post)
- Have a plan. Don’t fake for the sake of faking. Decide what you want to execute BEFORE you do it. Note that your opponent drops their hand every time they block your kick. Plan to throw a kick after each jab and when it is clear that they have accepted the pattern, change it by faking the kick and following up with another weapon correct for the range that you are standing in