Friday, 18 July 2008

Book of Five Rings Examination, Part 3

“Upset happens in all sorts of things. One way it happens is through a feeling of being under acute pressure. Another is through a feeling of unreasonable strain. A third is through a feeling of surprise at the unexpected.
In large scale military science, it is essential to cause upset. It is critical to attack resolutely where enemies are not expecting it, then, while their minds are unsettled, use this to your advantage to take the initiative and win.
In individual martial arts also, you appear relaxed at first, then suddenly change powerfully, as the opponents mind changes pitch, it is essential that you follow what he does, not letting him relax for a moment, perceiving the advantage of the moment and discerning right then and there how to win. This must be investigated diligently.”

A fighter must seize his/her opportunities when they are presented in order to win. In order to create these opportunities for success there are many strategies. The one talked about above by Musashi is the strategy of upsetting.

Imagine you are fighting and the bell for the first round has just rung. You square off with your opponent, each curious and cautious about what type of fight will be presented to them. After a couple of rounds of steady fighting you decide to completely change your game around and come out full force with a flurry of punches and kicks. After hitting your opponent hard with the first punch he/she becomes shocked with total disbelief at the sudden change in your approach to the fight. Seizing this moment of shock and upset you have gained, you attack harder and stronger, until your opponent is unable to defend himself and the ref stops the fight awarding you the win.

Musashi states “It is critical to attack resolutely where enemies are not expecting it” and “you appear relaxed at first, then suddenly change powerfully, as the opponents mind changes pitch, it is essential that you follow what he does, not letting him relax for a moment, perceiving the advantage of the moment”. The above example does exactly this. You make your opponent think that you are in a relaxed state, allowing him also to relax and within a moments notice you change your way of fighting, exploding in with a flurry off attacks which may fluster and take your opponent off guard.

The reason this strategy works is because for a split second your opponent is shocked and upset how you have suddenly changed your way of fighting. If your fast and explosive, this split second is all you need to press your opponent hard and gain the advantage while he is in disbelief. The perfect example of this is Frank Shamrock vs Tito Ortiz. For the whole fight Tito was on top of Frank, pressing him, trying to wear him down. Frank then suddenly exploded at the end with a flurry of attacks. Tito was completely flustered by this and it cost him the fight.

As Musashi states "this must be investigated diligently".



Marks
Introduction
Part 1
Part 2
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

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1 comments:

Anonymous said...

The concept of speak softly but carry a big stick comes to mind...

Upsetting your opponent also applies to self defense...especially before any fists are thrown. Actually, it can be used BEFORE fists are thrown. Try it next time you encounter someone extremely irate, boisterous, drunk what have you. Instead of yelling back and escalating the situation. Do the opposte, be the cooler. Speak softly as in whisper quite and use a light touch.

john

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