Mask Your Intentions

Mask your intentions so your opponent doesn't know what you're really attacking.

We've all been there: you just drilled a technique dozens of times and you've memorized each individual step, but you just can't pull it off in live sparring against a resisting opponent.  What gives?  The answer is pretty simple:

It's easy to defend an attack that you're expecting and ready for.

Even white belts have a relatively easy time defending telegraphed, individual attacks.  You can't just "do an armbar" and expect to get it against someone who knows even a basic defense.

Keep your opponents guessing, and on their toes, by presenting attacks they must defend.  By forcing them to take action, you can expose them to openings for the attack you're really planning.

Examples of masking your intentions include:

  • If you want a triangle from guard, you can fake a scissor sweep; this may force your opponent into a one-arm-in, one-arm out position
  • If you want an armbar from guard, you can fake a collar choke; this may force your opponent to bring his arms into range
  • If you want an omoplata from guard, you can fake an armbar; this forces your opponent to stack you and make the omoplata easier.

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