In a second example, the potential of a feint shall be examined a bit. The attack should simulate a feint in the form of a lower kick just above the belt line. After the bluff, the kick should be swung to the head of the opponent. The goal of the feint is to get the opponent to lower his guard a little bit to better protect his lower area. This lowering should provide an access for executing a high kick.
Maybe some people will already smile about this proposal. This example should not be regarded as a prime example. Those who already deal with these sorts of things are well aware of the presented problems. The example is also not intended to be imitated but rather to challenge you to deal with certain things. The presented aspects are only implied. Other reasons may appear with a more detailed analysis.
So, you have successfully trained this feint for weeks in training and tested it in sparring with two other partners. It didn’t succeed all the time, but you pin these slight failures on insufficient training. In “the wild”, more curious things happen. An enemy is completely unimpressed by the feint. Although he lowers his guard, he immediately raises his arm again. Your actual kick doesn’t succeed. It works one time with the second opponent, but after that, it constantly fails. The third opponent, a beginner, has the nerve to ignore the feint and runs directly into you with a punch. Another beginner doesn’t react at all to the feint. Your kick strikes his guard and he doesn´t move at all. The low kick would have been a hit. But, the feint was the noble goal and couldn’t be stopped. What went wrong? Was the training not sufficient? Was your movement not “good” enough?
At this point, you have to deal with certain things which didn’t go quite well. First of all, the first failures in your own training group should have indicated the weaknesses. You should be especially wary when movements don’t work with people you are friendly with. The effect of partners adjusting to each other´s movements exists, but in training must be viewed in an isolated manner. These effects often emerge if you try to draw a conclusion of “works, so go for it” in small test groups.
The aspects of motor control affect all opponents. The first opponent was experienced and knew these approaches. He has built an inner model of those approaches from former fights. The fast lowering and raising is like an executed reflex and probably doesn’t find its way into his consciousness. The second opponent was somewhat unprepared. Maybe he wasn’t aware of it, but later on a reaction is enough the deal with your feint. Especially your inadequate practice suffices to hide the intention of the feint.
The third opponent doesn’t want to rely on his insufficient reactions as a beginner. His attack puts this knowledge directly into practice. Your approach delivers the trigger for him to start his try. He doesn´t “solve” the clash with the feint directly, but indirectly by attacking. The last opponent is simply “lucky”. This exists too. Altogether, he is just a bit slower. This possibility arises rather due to the weak construction of the feint. You invoke the movement with force to be quicker and can’t make corrections any more.
Furthermore, there is no way of getting around dealing a bit more with human communication and the exchange of information. The last opponent is exemplary for this issue. He didn’t know at all what you wanted. From his viewpoint, how should he have reacted? He didn’t know what to do with the lower kick (challenge to do something). The third opponent didn’t feel like bothering with your provided information at all (“he is kicking, so I´ll try …”). The total rejection of information exchange is a special tactic, which almost completely excludes the operation of feints.
The presented aspects will be further elaborated on with models for derivation in later blog entries. Other problems not previously addressed will emerge then.