I have competed in hundreds of competitions, represented my state and country many times, and have won numerous state, national, and international titles. Here are a few random thoughts about kumite from my experience.
In the Kumite class on Wednesday night I was telling students how I love to fake it…
How to sell a fake - Basically the fake technique needs to be bigger and bolder than our usual technique. Why? SO YOU OPPONENT SEES IT AND REACTS! The whole body needs to be behind the fake, hips, head, legs, arms, bum – the whole body. This is very unlike our ‘real’ attacks as we don’t want our opponent to know that we are attacking. I use this analogy when explaining to students – It’s like I have a Holden but am selling it like it’s a Volvo (the lemon is the Holden – I own a volvo ). I want the customer to think they are getting this fantastic car (Volvo – I love Volvo’s – my first car was a 1979 244DL Maroon sedan) but infact they are buying a Holden (insert any car that isn’t a Volvo…..). We want our opponent to SEE the fake! From then on we get reactions, and can do a few things….
Annoy your opponent – I love annoying whoever it is I am with. If your opponent looks like they are about to attack, throw out a fake. This will catch them off guard and will make them rethink their potential attack. When this happens make sure you change your position in the ring so your opponent has to move as well! If you are up by a few points and there is a small amount of time to go, throw out fake after fake after fake. Same result – annoys your opponent and makes them think ‘if I go in, the could counter me’. This is the mindset you want your opponent in – the fear of attacking.
Get a reaction – Lets use front fist as an example. Throw out a fake front fist and see what reaction your opponent gives you. If they bring their hand across their face, then you know that you can do front fist again and score (hopefully). But, better do it again just to make sure that this is going to be their natural reaction. If it is then the third time you follow the fake up with a front fist. We have already established the reaction we are going to get from the opponent so there is a very high chance we will be able to score with it. You don’t have to do the three fakes in a row, you can take your time. Store the response in your memory and maybe bring the 2nd or 3rd fake out later in the fight. You may even be able to score a few times with the same attack if your partner doesn’t pick up what you are doing (I have done it before – in fact I won a bout with the same exact technique 6 times!).
Faking makes your opponent think – and this is a good thing.
“If I go forward I might get hit/scored on” – Absolute Gold. Doubt in their own abilities is a quick road to failure.
“I didn’t know that Joe Bloggs could kick with his left leg” (even though you may not be able to, throw out a fake, they won’t know that your left leg is as limp as Australian Cricket)
“Ahhh that’s bloody annoying that they keep faking – I don’t know if it’s a fake or a real technique” – My personal favourite and usually leads to your opponent making a silly mistake.
“Hah, I know that they are going to fake this time….” – And bang, we follow it up with a technique and score. After this the thinking goes along the lines of “ahhh bugger, now I seriously don’t know if it’s a fake or a real technique”. Yay for us!
Being able to fake techniques, as well as identifying fakes, can lead to a better understanding of the tactics and mind games in kumite. This post is just a very small part of how to fake, more will follow in the next few months.
Kumite is not just kicking and punching…..
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