Focus Strategy No. 2 – The Feint
The Americans call the feint a fake, it’s only in Europe that we use the word feint because it’s a French word and probably stems from our Norman ancestors. I tell you this because most people consider the fake and the feint to be the same thing and that only the words are different but I have separated them to define two similar but different concepts.
The fake sends an opponent the wrong way whereas the feint lures an opponent in a different way by either getting him to over respond or under respond; either way is against what is right for him and is exactly right for you the perpetrator. The fake tricks an opponent into going to defend a fake attack which is directionally based whereas the feint seeks to lower or draw the opponent’s guard. A feint is not based on the direction but the action. A feint draws a defence but also tempts an opponent to not respond. For instance you shape up to an opponent and throw a jab at him, but you pull up short and back away. You do the same thing again and get the same response. Now the opponent stops taking your attack seriously and when you throw you jab again he doesn’t bother to defend it and this time you follow through and hit him with it. The feint draws a response but the trick comes in when it tricks the opponent into not responding or responding too much. There are many subtleties in the feint that you should study well. In terms of the phrase I’ve used I don’t want to get into semantics about the meaning of fake and feint, suffice it to say that I have separated them to define the stratagem, the words used are less important.
The great thing about the FLITE strategies is that they are based on laws and laws always apply. Unlike techniques which though valuable are only applicable when the occasion is right, such as trying to kick when you are in kicking range. The laws underlie both technique and strategy and in strategy something you’ll notice is that they have polar opposites, that is in many situations an opponent who doesn’t over react can be just as vulnerable as if he did react because you position yourself for the attack anyway so if he doesn’t respond at all you just hit him anyway and if he responds too much you hit him anyway again. The skill is in always being ready to switch tactics mid-flight so your position is always important. (See Warrior Wisdom on Base, Balance, Set Up and Launch Point for more details.)