Definition: A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss
The Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - The law of base states that ‘a tall building needs a deep foundation’ and without a foundation it’s difficult to think or take action. Without a strong foothold we can’t generate power in our strikes and we become like a fish out of water. If you can keep your opponent moving when he doesn’t want to you prevent him from gaining leverage with which to attack you. You make his inability to settle into your advantage. Keep him under pressure, pick at him constantly. Take pot shots that cost you little but hurt him a lot.
The Spanish guerrillas in the Napoleonic wars could not hope to face the massive French army in the field, very few armies of the day could so the guerrillas would hide in the mountains and forests and do damage to the French army is it travelled by sniping at its soldiers and officers. Whilst they didn’t beat the French directly with this tactic it served to demoralise the French and no doubt added a layer of vulnerability to their ranks.
Mohammad Ali used the manoeuvre strategy throughout his early career, the Ali shuffle and his ability to punch whilst going backwards made him a difficult target to hit. Few of his opponents had his skill in manoeuvrability allowing him to pick them off with fast jabs and crosses until he wore them down to a knock out or a points decision. The brilliant Ali also reversed the strategy when he fought George Foreman, standing his ground whilst using foils, fakes, feints and draws (see Martial Arts Illustrated April 2013 issue). Ali’s skill was to do the opposite of what his opponents needed or expected, which is the very core of all strategy.
If your opponent is a flat footed powerhouse puncher then ‘get on your bike’ and manoeuvre around him. Following Ali’s famous rhyme ‘float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, your hands can’t hit what your eyes can’t see’. If he is a great mover then don’t fall for chasing him, instead play the waiting game with a tight defence using foils and draws to nullify his attacks, tiring him sufficiently to allow your own targeted attacks.
look out for my next blog on Invulnerability strategy no. 2 - The Example Strategy
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