Break through the turtle shell of your defensive opponent with these techniques. . .
HOW TO BEAT THE UBER-DEFENSIVE FIGHTER
You kick, they block. You punch, they block. It seems like no matter what you’re throwing, the person you’re up against has impenetrable defense. How do you break through that turtle shell and end your frustration?
This happens to people of all levels, so don’t overthink it! There are a few ways to get past that barrier, and they may be easier to do than you think.
BRING THE WAR TO THEIR DOORSTEP
The more they block, the more they’re getting into your head. Most people will either start hesitating too much or charge forward in futile attempt to land something.
Try your best not to do either. If you catch yourself doing one or the other, stop yourself. Take a deep breath. Nobody’s game is perfect and you may see their holes when you start to relax.
If you wait for them to attack, they will gain confidence in everything they do, including blocking. On the flip side, if you’re the only one attacking and not landing anything, you’ll only get tired and even more frustrated.
Choose your attacks wisely.
AVOID PREDICTABLE STRATEGIES
If the person you’re sparring is blocking everything you’re throwing at them with ease, they could have good defense. You could also be doing something wrong and it’s not just their defense at play.
If you’re only throwing one or two single shots and they’re the same ones over and over, guess what? You’re being predictable. It’s easy to block if you know what the person you’re sparring with is going to throw.
Use all the weapons you can. Don’t just punch. Don’t just kick. Don’t throw the same combo five times in a row.
FEINTS, FEINTS, FEINTS!
In addition to using other types of strikes, feints are a good way to be unpredictable.
If you fake a kick, you will see how they block. When the kick doesn’t come, you will, over time, learn how to time those feints and when you actually kick. There are multiple ways to do feints and against someone with good defense, this is probably the best way to go about breaking them down.
USE LONGER COMBINATIONS
If you’re only throwing single shots, it’s time to change things up. Throwing single shots lets your sparring partner know your rhythm.
If you use longer combinations, you have a better chance of seeing what compromises their fight stance. If you see their legs start to move closer together or their arms start to drop, that’s when you strike. It’s important to use your eyes and not just your body.
CHANGE UP YOUR LEVELS
Go high, go low, then go high again. And vice versa. Low kick, high kick, punch to the body, punch to the head.
When you change levels, they have much more to worry about. They suddenly are not expecting shots to the same area and have to think more to be successful at defending. When they start thinking (or even overthinking), you have a much better chance of doing what you want to be done.
- Plant-based fighter, foodie, and aspiring physical therapist. Angela is currently living in Bangkok and training full time.