Now why would I want to fake a strike?
Sun Tzu said all war is deception. Meaning, if you keep firing without the brain engaged, your opponent is going to adapt and counter where it hurts. You want to fake a strike so that the opponent drops his guard. You want to fake it so the opponent expends resources dealing with your feint. You want to fake it so that you can create openings you are really targeting. You want to fake it so that you occupy his defences to the point where other areas are undefended.
- Do an actual kick but halfway through modify it’s flight path: for all you posers out there, the kick is only good right at the end, when it hits the person. Not for it’s fancy-nancy path through the air nor that kodak moment where you’re holding your leg still. Simply put, fire off a front kick and when the opponent reacts to that front kick, relax the leg, spin the body and land a roundhouse kick. The trick to doing this is to understand how you look as you start off that initial kick. It’s no point trying to fake a kick when you don’t have control over your body, have to reset and then try for the next kick. Magic isn’t for beginners.
- Use your hocus pocus: ever seen anyone move their hands before swinging a lethal Muay Thai thigh kick? If they’re firing a kick from the right side, their left foot first twitches to the left, the left hand is pull back and down, the right hand swings forward, and just as the kick is launched, the right hand pulls back. Well, if that’s the setup for a brutal thigh kick, that is a great bit of hocus pocus to use for anything else, don’t you reckon. Just practice that setup in front of a mirror, and if you’re stumped for what to do … maybe just do a jab???
- Conditioning the opponent: I fought against some good black belts, and this one thing I did really freaked them out. I would fire an instep kick with my back leg, and then do a jumping roundhouse kick whilst that foot was still in the air. I was able to twitch those muscles fast enough that I could do that without my body looking like it made the jump. The ol’ opponents didn’t like it because it was hard to identify. But when they started to figure it out, what I did to really cause panic was to start with the instep kick, but rather than follow up with the roundhouse, I would fire a hook kick – which came from the other direction! Nice to give a little cardiac trip to seasoned veterans every now and then. The lesson here is you can train your opponent to misjudge you. They just need to think you’re totally committed. Totally invested in what seems to be a ‘signature’ move before you abandon it.
- Land the feint: so the opponent knows you’re now faking it. What to do? Go ahead and sink those strikes in. It’s always nice to get the opponent to recommit to defences if he thinks you’re powering up each and every time you twitch. Look at that photo above. That knee strike looks like a headbutt in progress, doesn’t it? LOL.
- Breath control: the last winner tip I will share with you in faking your opponent out. Breathe out hard every time you strike. Breathe out every time you defend. Breathe out when you move. Then when you fake it, breathe out as you are faking it. The breath out makes the fake or feint look more real. If you remain relaxed, you can modify the weapon and fire it with less breath than you usually use without much power loss. So when he’s conditioned to hear your breaths, and the one time he doesn’t hear it is when the strike rings in his ears. LOL.