Attacking An Opponent's Strengths

 

Should you do this in bout?  The answer is: yes, if you can. <g>

The logic for doing attacking an opponent's strong move or moves goes something like this: attack an opponent's strengths successfully, and you'll destroy his confidence: If he can't make his best stuff work, what hope of success has he with the other less-than-wonderful moves he might have in his toolbox? 

In other words, if you can successfully attack an opponent's strengths and negate or destroy them, you'll promote his psychological "self-destruction". You'll promote a sense of hopelessness and panic on his part . . . and he may even give up.

How can you achieve this

  • If you think your counters to his strongest and best moves are better than his moves, attack his strength directly. Do your counters at the last minute, with stealth if possible, so he has trouble seeing/realizing what you're doing. That way, he'll assume he's doing something wrong, instead of you doing something smart.
     
  • If you don't think you have counters to his strongest and best moves, then look for and use "Trigger Spots" (What is a "Trigger Spot"? It's a location in space which "triggers" a predictable reaction by an opponent if you thrust into that location.)
     
    • Observe what moves a fencer does well, then test by probing, "with the tempo" (on the off beat), to see if you can get the fencer to react with that move without thinking. If so, then you can thrust into the Trigger "with the tempo" (on the off beat) and disengage to an alternate line to score.
       
    • Any one move that the opponent does well may have more than one Trigger--look for them. Mix up the sequence of Triggers you use against him. Mix up when you trigger him, so he can't anticipate when you'll be doing it.
       
  • Look for and use "Blade Triggers". A "Blade Trigger" involves contacting the opponent's blade in such a way as to "trigger" a parry, counter-beat, or other blade action, clearing a line of attack for a thrust.
     
  • Use last minute hand, arm, and/or body "evasions" to avoid being hit (negating his awesome attack, by avoiding it entirely) and then steal the touch

If the opponent has a Bear, your attacking his or her strengths successfully will "feed" The Bear and might help bring about the opponent's defeat sooner than otherwise. At the very least it'll bring out his Worm of Worry big-time.

 

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Copyright 1998 Rich Hamper 

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Last Updated:

Sunday, January 20, 2008