How to study an opponent

Before fighting, directly and intensely, an opponent that we don’t know it is important to understand quickly what is its combat system, his personality and especially his skill level.

We start then analyzing the foundations of the opponent’s study, let’s start with what is useful to understand:

  • Rhythm / timing (constant? Slow? Fast? Variable? It connects to ours?)
  • Speed / agility (he moves more or less quickly / easily to us? He stand still?)
  • Reactivity (his reflexes are poor? Are they good? Are they calibrated correctly?)
  • Power (what is the relationship between its muscle mass and ours? Its mass is balanced with his agility?)
  • Breathing (he is economizing energies? He is tired even to move? In what shape is his body?)
  • Shots (How high can he reach? He try to use punches, kicks, constraints, weapons?)
  • Fighting style (which guard he keep? Which martial art which seems to use or think to use?)
  • Skills (his posture is correct? Wrong? Personal? None?)
  • Dominant part (left-handed? Right-handed? Ambidextrous? What directions / arts he prefer?)
  • Tension (what “vibrate”? What do he want to use? Feet, head, arms, etc.)
  • The gaze direction (where he looks? Targets? Attack tools? In a vacuum?)
  • Attitude (afraid? Angry? Relaxed? Sure of himself? Shiny?)
  • Character (is he ready to attack / fight / defend? Is he studing us? Is he preparing tricks?)
  • Body conformation (which differences in height, weight, proportions has over us?)
  • Targets (where can we get him? Weaknesses? Discovered Points? Unexpected access points?)
  • Habits (what does he repeat in term of techniques, movements and directions?)
  • How to deal with what he will use against us (weight, physical strength,agility, specific techniques, etc.)

For consistency it should be noted that:

  • Rarely (if ever) we may be able to steal all of this information together before we get into the real fight, let’s just pick what we can to give us a track and / or an idea of how to act
  • It is not always possible and / or convenient to study our opponents, sometimes we have strong advantages to exploit (eg. a perfect surprise effect) or strong disadvantages to manage (eg. we are immediately victims of a strangulation)
  • This type of study should be done in an instinctive and immediate way, only practice and experience can offer this skill; we never have to use our “active reason” to analyze with a precise and sequential method a similar amount of data (this would be a sure and immediate ko)

In future articles we will deepen the topic connecting “what we need to understand” to “what we can use”.

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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