The Great Debate, pt II

What can a fighter do to make himself a “Debater” rather than a “Shouter”? (You’ll have to see the first article in this series to understand the difference)

I can’t teach this concept by blog. To be honest, you would have to study under a teacher who understands fight strategy in order to accomplish it. Many teachers are only passing down techniques from their system with minimal instruction in strategy and fight science. It is difficult to find a teacher that has the right answer. Doing so is as easy as choosing your parents; it’s really luck that some end up with a truly knowledgeable teacher. It would be foolish for a beginner to think he can recognize a “quality” teacher, therefore martial arts students judge by whether a teacher’s bio is well-written or if he is well-known, well-spoken, etc. Yet you can become a student of fight strategy and the art of fighting and learn these things on your own. Yes, it would be difficult, but it is possible to train under a teacher while studying fighting science on your own.

I would like to offer some advice that may help you get on your way:

  • First, in sparring, you should focus more on trying to land techniques, not hurt your opponents. The mistake would be to try and use your sparring sessions to dominate your opponents. But sparring during training is the inappropriate time to try and dominate; it is the time to learn, develop and test theories and techniques. If you are focusing on kicking your opponent’s butt, you’re missing the opportunity to develop skills in practice. Save the butt-kicking for the ring, and use sparring sessions to test out techniques and try the techniques you’re not very good at.
  • At the same time—make your opponent’s attacks fail. “Fail” means his attack will either be blocked, avoided, intercepted and countered. Fight training is often too focused on attacking the opponent because it is the easiest, most painless way to train. Anyone can stand in front of the punching bag and wail on it like you were the next “Rocky”, but it is not that easy to have a guy attack us and we have to stop those attacks. If you were to spend an entire month on learning how to be attacked, I bet you’d see a nice jump in sparring success. To practice this, you can either do attacker-defender sparring sessions, or simply spar with the intention not to get hit.
  • Lose the “take a hit to give a hit” mentality. Even hits that don’t hurt much can add up and lead to your demise later in the fight. The best way to fight is to make sure your opponent lands as little as possible. Not only does it result in a fresher, more confident you—it also takes away some of your opponent’s confidence in himself.
  • Try to find techniques that allow you to counter your opponent’s attacks without the use of blocks. When you can eliminate blocking, you make your fighting more efficient, as your hands are free to hit since they are no longer occupied blocking.
  • Learn to use the counter-to-the-counter strategy. I attack my opponent with a hook to the body. My opponent can utilize one of three basic counters to this attack (drop the elbow and block with the arm, block with the front hand, and the rare block with the back hand). When he does so, I should have a counter in anticipation of those three counters that are automatic. Do this for everything in your arsenal.
  • Have a pre-planned set of counters for everything your opponent can do to you. Many fighters train their attacks intensely, and then leave defense up to chance and reflex. As a fighter, you want to have a good defensive and strategy plan. When you have them figured out, make them a vital part of your training plan and fight strategy.

Perhaps we will revisit this topic in better detail, but I am more inclined to write a book about it (lol). If you use these simple rules, I guarantee you will see more success in fighting.

Thanks for visiting my blog.


The Great Debate In Fighting

Fighting is much like debating. Most fighters would disagree with this statement and probably liken fighting to a shouting match.

First Scenario (The Debate):  Opponent #1 attacks Opponent #2 by stating Fact A. Fact A is a good point and shakes Opponent #2’s confidence. Opponent #2 states random Facts to keep Opponent #1 at bay until he realizes the problem with Fact A. In fact, Fact A has a few holes in the theory, although it sounds good, it can easily be countered by Fact D. Once Opponent #2 states Fact D, Opponent #1 cannot come up with a retort because Fact D covers all the bases. Opponent #1 finally yields to Opponent #2’s argument as being superior. Opponent #2 wins the debate.

Second Scenario (The Shouting Match):  Opponent #1 attacks Opponent #2 by stating Fact A. Fact A is a good point and shakes Opponent #2’s confidence. He cannot think of random Facts, nor can he figure out any problems with Fact A’s primary idea. Opponent #2’s answer is to yell and scream an obviously faulty idea at Opponent #1. Opponent #1 yells and screams Fact A louder. Opponents 1 and 2 take turns yelling at each other, louder and louder. Onlookers cannot determine who is winning the argument because the yelling has become the focus of the discussion. Finally, Opponent #1’s voice gives out and he cannot yell any longer. Opponent #2 walks away the victor, not because of a superior argument, but because of his voice being louder and having more mileage.

There are many who believe that being stronger and fighting with more power counters superior technique and strategy. This notion is true, but it has limitations:

  • Some opponents are stronger than you
  • Some opponents cannot easily be hurt
  • Some opponents have superior defensive skills and are difficult to hit
  • Some opponents are faster than you and can hit you three times for every attack you throw
  • Some opponents have superior footwork, so you will not be able to catch them, nor can you evade their attacks

The fighter then, needs to have a better method of landing his attacks as well as have a good set of defensive skills. I find that fighters tend to limit themselves to just knowing basics and combinations, and then they work to get bigger and stronger. The argument is when they catch you, they will hurt you. The counter argument is that you must first catch me—and be able to avoid my bombs. The counter to the counter is you can run, but you can’t hide. The counter to the counter to the counter is “oh yeah? Watch me!”

This can go on for days.

But we save time by developing our landing skills as well as our stopping and evading skills. Have the bigger guns, but make sure you also have better aim and faster reloading ability. If you have an opponent who cannot get away from you and he can’t overpower you AND he does not have superior strategy—he doesn’t have a chance. Learn how to make sure that this combination of scenarios happen, and I guarantee you fighting dominance. One needs more than just bigger arms these days, and you also need to have more than just the same old combination of techniques that everyone else is using. If you want to be a superior fighter, the work is done at the gym as well as the drawing board.

Thanks for visiting my blog.