Tag Archives: Gabriel Dusil

Travel ☼ Italy ☼ Models

Here is part two of our Italian road trip.  This time featuring Barbora and Veronika Žiláková – the talented, congenial, and delightful ladies who accompanied us along our journey.

Enjoy!

20.Aug.12 – Spello · Veronika Žiláková
20.Aug.11 – Assisi · Veronika Žiláková (cafe)
20.Aug.11 – Assisi · Barbora Žiláková (Basilica di Santa Chiara)
20.Aug.10 – Perugia · Barbora Žiláková (Via Cesare Battisti)
20.Aug.8 – Florence · Veronika Žiláková
20.Aug.7 – Ravenna · Veronika Žiláková
20.Aug.4 – Venice · Veronika Žiláková (fish market)
20.Aug.4 – Venice · Barbora Žiláková (fish market)
20.Aug.2 – Venice · Barbora Žiláková (Rialto Bridge)
20.Aug.8 – Florence · Veronika Žiláková

Travel ☼ Italy ☼ North East

This summer I accompanied my boys, Matias and Lucas, as well as Mati’s girlfriend, Barbora, and her sister Veronika on a ten-city roadshow across North-East Italy. Check out highlights of our journey through Venice, Padua, Ferrara, Bologna, Ravenna, Florence, Perugia, Assisi, and Spello. Enjoy!

20.Aug.1 – Venice · Gondolier (Ponte della Paglia)
20.Aug.2 – Venice · wolf
20.Aug.10 – Perugia · Spanish dreadlocks girl (Parco di Sant’Anna)
20.Aug.2 – Venice · canal
20.Aug.12 – Spello · street
20.Aug.12 – Perugia · street (Via Appia)
20.Aug.8 – Florence · Hiko Nagahama (Estatua de S. Antonino)
20.Aug.8 – Florence · artist
20.Aug.2 – Venice · Mathilda & friend (cafe)
20.Aug.2 – Venice · dock (fish market)
20.Aug.1 – Venice · Gondoliers (playing cards)
20.Aug.8 – Florence · Veronika, Barbora Žiláková, Gabriel, Lucas & Matias Dusil (Prenze, portrait)

Travel ☼ Concert ☼ Jesse Cook

Last week I had the privilege of being Jesse Cook‘s photographer at his concert in Lucerna Music Bar in Prague, Czech Republic.  He’s a fantastic contemporary Flamenco guitarist. Jesse Cook is a Canadian guitarist from Toronto, Ontario and a Juno Award winner. I’ve been a fan for over twenty years.

Enjoy the photos!

20.Feb.20 - Prague · Jesse Cook (Lucerna Concert, ac, gabrieldusil.com II)

20.Feb.20 - Prague · Jesse Cook (Lucerna Concert, ac, gabrieldusil.com II)

20.Feb.20 - Prague · Jesse Cook (Lucerna Concert, ac, gabrieldusil.com II)20.Feb.20 - Prague · Jesse Cook (Lucerna Concert, ac, gabrieldusil.com II) 20.Feb.20 - Prague · Jesse Cook (Lucerna Concert, ac, gabrieldusil.com II) 20.Feb.20 - Prague · Jesse Cook (Lucerna Concert, ac, gabrieldusil.com II) 20.Feb.20 - Prague · Jesse Cook (Lucerna Concert, ac, gabrieldusil.com II) 20.Feb.20 - Prague · Jesse Cook (Lucerna Concert, ac, gabrieldusil.com II)20.Feb.20 - Prague · Jesse Cook (Lucerna Concert, ac, gabrieldusil.com II)

Family • Photo Restoration • 64 • Dusil • 50th Anniversary of our Emigration

• Today commemorates the 50th anniversary of our family’s emigration from former Czechoslovakia. It would also have been my dad’s 77th birthday. On this day in 1969, over a year had passed following the Soviet Union and members of the Warsaw Pact‘s illegal occupation of Czechoslovakia. Our departure would have been immediately after the invasion, but with my mother being eight months pregnant, my parents felt it would be safer to leave a year later.

• Our departure was shrouded in tremendous secrecy, with only the most trusted members of our family and friends knowing our plans.  The local authorities could have found any minor excuse to prevent us from leaving the country. For this reason, I prefer to categorize our departure as an “escape”, even though we legally left the country with all the necessary paperwork.

• I want to thank my mother and father for their tremendous bravery and steadfast convictions in believing that we would have a better life in the West. Our departure may be the obvious choice in hindsight, but at the time, it could have been argued that there was no clear winner between the political doctrines of capitalism and communism. Two more decades were necessary to prove which was better. The collapse of the iron curtain and the end of the cold war at the end of the ’80s put a definitive stamp on that debate.

• When I was eight years old my father was driving me to our animal hospital where he worked as a veterinarian. During our drive, Taci decided to explain communism to me. I vividly remember him articulating the horrible regime from which we escaped, with a heavy heart. In these few minutes, he created a hypothetical analogy for my young mind to understand – “If Canada were to become a communist state, then our veterinary business and our house would be taken from us. In fact, every citizen in the country would not be allowed to own any business or property – the government would take ownership of everything.  Even at eight years old this resonated with me. More importantly, I recall the sadness in his heart, while explaining this to me, because he had to leave behind many friends and family who continued under the repressive and totalitarian communist regime.  As he took the final turn to the animal hospital he concluded by saying, “Unfortunately I will probably not live long enough to see the collapse of communism, but with any luck, maybe you will see it happen”.  Both came to pass.


If you are interested in other posts of our emigration you can find their links here:


62 – Košice · Vaclav, Robert, & Robert Sr. Dusil
68.Oct – Košice · Vaclav & Gabriel Dusil
68.Oct – Košice · Iveta, Stefan, Valeria Kende, Vaclav & Gabriel Dusil (back yard)
69.Oct – Paris · Sona, Roman & Gabriel Dusil (park)
69.Oct – Paris · Roman, Gabriel & Sona Dusil (park bench)
69.Aug – Košice · Eva, Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (Slavo’s back yard)
81.Jul.12 – Burlington · Cezar, Eva, Gabriel, Vlasta, Alica, Sona, Valeria, Roman & Erika Dusil (Ali’s birthday)
81.Dec.24 – Burlington · Roman, Gabriel, Vlasta, Sona, Alica, Nuri & Cezar Dusil (Christmas cousins)
88.Dec.24 – Burlington · Vlasta, Gabriel, Roman, Alica & Sona Dusil (Christmas)
99.Sep.25 – Prague · Annika, Alica, Sona, Karin, Roman, Gabriel & Roland Dusil (wedding)

  • I love you, Mamička
  • I love you, Taci
  • I love you, Googičko
  • I love you, Pumprdlik
  • I love you, Trpaslik

Martial Arts • Fighting Science • Yin ☯ Yang Series

The full “Yin ☯ Yang of Fighting Science” series is now available online, in its entirety. We hope you had a chance to see many of the posts over the five months they were published. If not, then here is the entire series with hyperlinks, so that you can read those you missed. Enjoy!

Martial Arts • Fighting Science Series

 

• 1 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Power
• 2 • Yin Yang of Speed vs. Timing
• 3 • Yin Yang of Fighting Styles
• 4 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Instinct
• 5 • Yin Yang of Empty vs. Full Cups
• 6 • Yin Yang of Slow vs. Fast
• 7 • Yin Yang of Perception vs. Reality
• 8 • Yin Yang of Fear vs. Confidence
• 9 • Yin Yang of Threes
• 10 • Yin Yang of Burden vs. Privilege
• 11 • Yin Yang of Anticipation vs. Surprise
• 12 • Yin Yang of Compliance vs. Resistance
• 13 • Yin Yang of Attacking vs. Defending
• 14 • Yin Yang of Fighting 360°
• 15 • Yin Yang of Teachers vs. Students
• 16 • Yin Yang of Physics vs. Physiology
• 17 • Yin Yang of Vulnerability vs. Opportunity
• 18 • Yin Yang of Martial Arts vs. Combat
• 19 • Yin Yang of Sport vs. Violence
• 20 • Yin Yang of Rhythm vs. Random
• 21 • Yin Yang of Stability
• 22 • Yin Yang of Strategy vs. Tactics
• 23 • Yin Yang of Instinct vs. Reason
• 24 • Yin Yang of Unstoppable vs. Immovable

• Fighting Science • Fighter’s Curve
• Fighting Science • Fighting Zones

Martial Arts • Fighting Science • bonus • Yin ☯ Yang

Each instructor has a different teaching methodology. As with any profession, some are good, and others are not. It may be that they were a great fighter, but aren’t good teachers. Or the reverse – they weren’t a great fighter, but are excellent teachers. A good instructor has the ability to convert an intuitive technique into instructions that students can clearly understand. If the instructor was a champion and has proven skills in combat, this holds weight against a bad communicator, even if they’re not great at knowledge transfer. Sometimes a student needs to recognize a teacher’s limitations – this may include a language or cultural barrier – and navigate themselves to the most effective synergy between teaching and learning.

Learning requires eternal humility and sidelined egos.
Even teachers are forever students.

A student once said to me, “I was told in boxing that I need to look at the chin of the opponent, so why are you telling me to look at the center of the chest?” The reason is that in boxing the threat is only the opponent’s fists. In kickboxing, you need to be concerned with kicks as well. So peripheral vision becomes an additional asset to “see” both the hands and the feet. By focusing on the opponent’s chest, this represents a good ‘compromise’ to monitor all four attack vectors.

Another student asked, “How do I deal with an instructor who is teaching me a technique that I know is wrong?” My response in these situations is to explain that respect overrules correctness. I prefer that students always listen to the instructor. To look at a new technique as a dance. Even if you feel it’s wrong, try it anyway. Has your body moved that way before? Give your body a chance to try a new movement, and look at it as a challenge for that lesson. Afterward, look for a better trainer. Certainly, if the instructor is not knowledgeable or doesn’t have the ability to incrementally improve on the student’s abilities, then that club is a bad fit. The challenge is to find a teacher that can take each student to an improved skill level.


Students entering a gym for the first time is tied to a certain level of expectation. Does the student want to learn a new martial art? Do they want to learn how to fight? Is their goal to learn self-defense, and defend themselves in conflict? Do they want to learn self-discipline? Or is it simply to get into shape? Any of the above reasons could stand-alone, or have a combined motivation.

At a grassroots level, combat training is a form of self-torture – Repeatedly tormenting the body but wanting more –
It’s not for the faint of heart.

I tell new students before their first practice, “One of two things will happen once this session is over; You’ll say to yourself, ‘that was one of the most brutal training sessions I’ve ever done, and I never do this again.’ or, ‘That was one of the most brutal training sessions I have ever done, but for some reason I want to do it over and over again.’ Those are endorphins talking.

 

About the Author

Gabriel Dusil has been a practitioner of Martial Arts for over twenty years. Originally he trained in the traditional style of Shotokan Karate. Gabriel has also trained under Sensei Martin “Sonic” Langley in the United Kingdom and currently trains with Karel Ferus in Prague at the Ferus Fitness Fight Club, fffc.cz. More recently he focuses on circuit training, strength & conditioning, and kickboxing.

Martial Arts • Fighting Science • 24 • Yin ☯ Yang of Unstoppable vs. Immovable

Who prevails when an “Unstoppable force meets an immovable object”? This philosophical riddle plays out when super-heavyweights enter the ring.

The first step in comprehending this enigma is to realize that we’re all human. No one is perfect. Every opponent has their strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to understand your opponent. One tactic may be for an opponent to maximize the perception of invincibility. It’s up to the opposing force to set aside fear, and separate reality from perception.

As humans, no one is perfect.
Every opponent has strengths and weaknesses.

Next, is to realize that this riddle is negated by the fact that in a competition, only one fighter leaves a winner. No one is unstoppable or immovable. We are flawed sapiens and any illusion of invincibility is a facade.

 

About the Author

Gabriel Dusil has been a practitioner of Martial Arts for over twenty years. Originally he trained in the traditional style of Shotokan Karate. Gabriel has also trained under Sensei Martin “Sonic” Langley in the United Kingdom and currently trains with Karel Ferus in Prague at the Ferus Fitness Fight Club, fffc.cz. More recently he focuses on circuit training, strength & conditioning, and kickboxing.

Martial Arts • Fighting Science Series

If you would like to read more articles in this “Yin Yang of Fighting Science” series, check out these posts:

• 1 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Power
• 2 • Yin Yang of Speed vs. Timing
• 3 • Yin Yang of Fighting Styles
• 4 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Instinct
• 5 • Yin Yang of Empty vs. Full Cups
• 6 • Yin Yang of Slow vs. Fast
• 7 • Yin Yang of Perception vs. Reality
• 8 • Yin Yang of Fear vs. Confidence
• 9 • Yin Yang of Threes
• 10 • Yin Yang of Burden vs. Privilege
• 11 • Yin Yang of Anticipation vs. Surprise
• 12 • Yin Yang of Compliance vs. Resistance
• 13 • Yin Yang of Attacking vs. Defending
• 14 • Yin Yang of Fighting 360°
• 15 • Yin Yang of Teachers vs. Students
• 16 • Yin Yang of Physics vs. Physiology
• 17 • Yin Yang of Vulnerability vs. Opportunity
• 18 • Yin Yang of Martial Arts vs. Combat
• 19 • Yin Yang of Sport vs. Violence
• 20 • Yin Yang of Rhythm vs. Random
• 21 • Yin Yang of Stability
• 22 • Yin Yang of Strategy vs. Tactics
• 23 • Yin Yang of Instinct vs. Reason
• 24 • Yin Yang of Unstoppable vs. Immovable

• Fighting Science • Fighter’s Curve
• Fighting Science • Fighting Zones

Martial Arts • Fighting Science • 23 • Yin ☯ Yang of Instinct vs. Reason

The brain is the most powerful organ in the body. It makes us who we are and gives us the gift of sentience. The brain also controls our muscles. In a fight, an attack is observed by the eyes, ears, or other senses – then interpreted by the brain, which tells our muscles how to react and defend itself.

The natural instinct of humans is to close their eyes when being attacked. This reaction is due to fear.  But when a fighter’s eyes are closed their brain can’t make an informed decision. This instinctive reaction is counterproductive in the sense that the body can’t compensate for an attack if it can’t see it. A surprise attack, for example, is much more devastating than an anticipated one. When the body has a chance to react, then selected muscles can be called upon to react and protect itself. This is not to say that zero damage will occur. It just means that a fighter may need to choose between the lesser of two evils: “I will allow my arm to be broken to protect my head from a concussion.”

Our head, and specifically our brain needs to be protected at all costs. Even if it means sacrificing other parts of our body. The main dilemma in fighting (and sports that are prone to a concussion) is that the brain does not have any pain receptors. Injuries to the head are not immediately recognized by the victim as urgent. Often a third party is needed to recognize this urgency. For this reason, fighters and trainers need to be particularly careful with head strikes, that may lead to serious injury or even permanent brain damage.

About the Author

Gabriel Dusil has been a practitioner of Martial Arts for over twenty years. Originally he trained in the traditional style of Shotokan Karate. Gabriel has also trained under Sensei Martin “Sonic” Langley in the United Kingdom and currently trains with Karel Ferus in Prague at the Ferus Fitness Fight Club, fffc.cz. More recently he focuses on circuit training, strength & conditioning, and kickboxing.

Martial Arts • Fighting Science Series

If you would like to read more articles in this “Yin Yang of Fighting Science” series, check out these posts:

• 1 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Power
• 2 • Yin Yang of Speed vs. Timing
• 3 • Yin Yang of Fighting Styles
• 4 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Instinct
• 5 • Yin Yang of Empty vs. Full Cups
• 6 • Yin Yang of Slow vs. Fast
• 7 • Yin Yang of Perception vs. Reality
• 8 • Yin Yang of Fear vs. Confidence
• 9 • Yin Yang of Threes
• 10 • Yin Yang of Burden vs. Privilege
• 11 • Yin Yang of Anticipation vs. Surprise
• 12 • Yin Yang of Compliance vs. Resistance
• 13 • Yin Yang of Attacking vs. Defending
• 14 • Yin Yang of Fighting 360°
• 15 • Yin Yang of Teachers vs. Students
• 16 • Yin Yang of Physics vs. Physiology
• 17 • Yin Yang of Vulnerability vs. Opportunity
• 18 • Yin Yang of Martial Arts vs. Combat
• 19 • Yin Yang of Sport vs. Violence
• 20 • Yin Yang of Rhythm vs. Random
• 21 • Yin Yang of Stability
• 22 • Yin Yang of Strategy vs. Tactics
• 23 • Yin Yang of Instinct vs. Reason
• 24 • Yin Yang of Unstoppable vs. Immovable

• Fighting Science • Fighter’s Curve
• Fighting Science • Fighting Zones

Martial Arts • Fighting Science • 22 • Yin ☯ Yang of Strategy vs. Tactics

One aspect of fighting is knowing your opponent’s weaknesses. But those weaknesses are not always apparent. Formulating a winning strategy before a match is an effective approach to understanding an opponent, but that convenience is not always available. In a surprise circumstance, assessing a situation in real-time may be required.

One approach is to judge an opponent’s strengths and weaknesses on appearance alone. Although “judging a book by it’s cover” is not always wise, it may be the only recourse.  For instance, assessing a muscular opponent may assume good grappling skills – Avoiding a ground conflict may be paramount. A tall fighter will likely have a “reach advantage”, meaning that the length of their limbs are longer than yours. This means they can hit you, even if you can’t hit them – In this case, combinations and movement will be required to duck under the opponent’s punches for a counter-attack. A smaller fighter, on the other hand, will typically have shorter limbs and will want to get “inside” to connect their strikes or grab for a take-down. Formulating strategy is fundamental to combat sports. We cover this topic in more detail here: Martial Arts • Fighting Science • Fighting Zones

Compared to strategy, tactics are more immediate and specific. These focus on mitigating an opponent’s granular reactions and exploiting their technical weaknesses. For example, a fighter may drop their hands when they kick – This can be exploited with a well-timed strike to the head when they attack with a kick. The opponent may have a tendency to lean back when facing a jab – Rushing them will put them off balance. The fighter may hold their breath when they are attacked. This physical reaction is often caused by fear or inexperience. Moreover, holding breath results in getting tired much faster.  With this opponent, surviving an initial onslaught and waiting for the opponent to be exhausted may be an effective tactic.

A fighter may hide their weaknesses by pouncing early,
not giving the opponent a chance of introspection.

Professional fighters often have the luxury of formulating strategy and tactics before a competition, because they can review an opponent’s previous fights and analyze their strengths and weaknesses if footage exists. In the absence of such content, a strategy may need to be formulated in real-time, in the first seconds or minutes of a fight. Once an opponent has been engaged, their capabilities are clearer.

About the Author

Gabriel Dusil has been a practitioner of Martial Arts for over twenty years. Originally he trained in the traditional style of Shotokan Karate. Gabriel has also trained under Sensei Martin “Sonic” Langley in the United Kingdom and currently trains with Karel Ferus in Prague at the Ferus Fitness Fight Club, fffc.cz. More recently he focuses on circuit training, strength & conditioning, and kickboxing.

Martial Arts • Fighting Science Series

If you would like to read more articles in this “Yin Yang of Fighting Science” series, check out these posts:

• 1 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Power
• 2 • Yin Yang of Speed vs. Timing
• 3 • Yin Yang of Fighting Styles
• 4 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Instinct
• 5 • Yin Yang of Empty vs. Full Cups
• 6 • Yin Yang of Slow vs. Fast
• 7 • Yin Yang of Perception vs. Reality
• 8 • Yin Yang of Fear vs. Confidence
• 9 • Yin Yang of Threes
• 10 • Yin Yang of Burden vs. Privilege
• 11 • Yin Yang of Anticipation vs. Surprise
• 12 • Yin Yang of Compliance vs. Resistance
• 13 • Yin Yang of Attacking vs. Defending
• 14 • Yin Yang of Fighting 360°
• 15 • Yin Yang of Teachers vs. Students
• 16 • Yin Yang of Physics vs. Physiology
• 17 • Yin Yang of Vulnerability vs. Opportunity
• 18 • Yin Yang of Martial Arts vs. Combat
• 19 • Yin Yang of Sport vs. Violence
• 20 • Yin Yang of Rhythm vs. Random
• 21 • Yin Yang of Stability
• 22 • Yin Yang of Strategy vs. Tactics
• 23 • Yin Yang of Instinct vs. Reason
• 24 • Yin Yang of Unstoppable vs. Immovable

• Fighting Science • Fighter’s Curve
• Fighting Science • Fighting Zones

Martial Arts • Fighting Science • 21 • Yin ☯ Yang of Stability

There are three key assets to a good fighter: strength, conditioning, and technique. In the latter function, an overarching aspect of a fighter’s portfolio is their stability.  But stability is not realistically achievable all the time in a fight. The goal at least is to maintain or return to stability as soon as possible.

Each martial art approaches stability from a slightly different perspective. In kickboxing or boxing, stability begins with “guard” – with hands covering the face, and a square stance. Through offensive and defensive movements, this stance becomes “home-base”. But a square stance is not always practical in every attack. For example, as when performing a spin kick or spinning back-fist – the mere fact that the fighter is rotating on one leg diverges from their stability. Regardless, after the attack, their goal is to return to “guard” and stability.

In a fight, risks are taken to create or capitalize on opportunities. 

Not all styles have the same philosophy towards stability. For example, Taekwondo fighters will stand sideways to an opponent in a linear stance. This is mainly due to the dominance of their kicking portfolio. A Karateka will have a very wide stance, compared to a boxer. Muay Thai fighters, on the other hand, choose to lean back on their hind legs so that they can utilize kicks with their lead-leg (i.e. their forward-facing leg), or block leg-kicks.

Stability can be learned through slow-motion techniques. Kicking fast has a tendency to mask instability or mistakes. If a fighter can execute a kick slowly, and maintain stability throughout – this demonstrates strength, technique, and accuracy.

About the Author

Gabriel Dusil has been a practitioner of Martial Arts for over twenty years. Originally he trained in the traditional style of Shotokan Karate. Gabriel has also trained under Sensei Martin “Sonic” Langley in the United Kingdom and currently trains with Karel Ferus in Prague at the Ferus Fitness Fight Club, fffc.cz. More recently he focuses on circuit training, strength & conditioning, and kickboxing.

Martial Arts • Fighting Science Series

If you would like to read more articles in this “Yin Yang of Fighting Science” series, check out these posts:

• 1 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Power
• 2 • Yin Yang of Speed vs. Timing
• 3 • Yin Yang of Fighting Styles
• 4 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Instinct
• 5 • Yin Yang of Empty vs. Full Cups
• 6 • Yin Yang of Slow vs. Fast
• 7 • Yin Yang of Perception vs. Reality
• 8 • Yin Yang of Fear vs. Confidence
• 9 • Yin Yang of Threes
• 10 • Yin Yang of Burden vs. Privilege
• 11 • Yin Yang of Anticipation vs. Surprise
• 12 • Yin Yang of Compliance vs. Resistance
• 13 • Yin Yang of Attacking vs. Defending
• 14 • Yin Yang of Fighting 360°
• 15 • Yin Yang of Teachers vs. Students
• 16 • Yin Yang of Physics vs. Physiology
• 17 • Yin Yang of Vulnerability vs. Opportunity
• 18 • Yin Yang of Martial Arts vs. Combat
• 19 • Yin Yang of Sport vs. Violence
• 20 • Yin Yang of Rhythm vs. Random
• 21 • Yin Yang of Stability
• 22 • Yin Yang of Strategy vs. Tactics
• 23 • Yin Yang of Instinct vs. Reason
• 24 • Yin Yang of Unstoppable vs. Immovable

• Fighting Science • Fighter’s Curve
• Fighting Science • Fighting Zones

Martial Arts • Fighting Science • 20 • Yin ☯ Yang of Rhythm vs. Random

A challenging aspect of combat training is explaining to a student that repetition is needed to learn, but that same aspect needs to be eliminated in a fight. It seems to be counter-intuitive to teach the importance of repetition to the point that it is eliminated.

Students need to learn a technique until it becomes ingrained in muscle memory. I write about this in the 100-1000-10000 rule. The goal of learning a new technique is to make that move integral to the student’s repertoire (see Martial Arts • Fighting Science • 3 • Yin ☯ Yang of Fighting Styles). Reaching this goal requires dedication, patience, and time. Many students will barely reach 100 repetitions in a single lesson, let alone 10000 needed to reach one’s subconscious.

Fighting requires random and unpredictable behavior. The more unpredictable a fighter, the harder it is to anticipate their attacks. That aside, repetition can be used as a fighting tactic – punch in the same spot over and over lulls an opponent into a false sense of predictive behavior. Once this goal is achieved then the next attack can be completely different.

Any predictive behavior
is a weakness waiting to be exploited.

Beginners adopt repetition to no fault of their own. They are taught to repeat moves until they understand its mechanics – then continue repeating them until it becomes apart of their being. Predictive behavior needs to be recognized and avoided. For example, students have a tenancy to alternate when they spar: first, one attacks and the other defends – then they switch. Recognizing repetition and embrace randomness requires experience. Sparring with different opponents with different skill-sets helps to open a fighter’s eyes to different styles and timing methodologies. A beginner facing a new style may result in panic or uncertainty. This reaction negatively manifests into body-freezing, not knowing how to defend against the unknown. This is why exposing a fighter to different spokes in the Expertise Wheel helps them to learn effective counter-strategies. Examples of unknown territory may include:

  • A Fighter’s Physiology • Tall, short, heavy or strong fighters
  • Mysterious Martial Styles • Unseen techniques, timing, or bizarre behavior
  • Street Fighting • No rules means that attacks can come from unexpected angles or even weapons.

Each scenario requires different tactics to mitigate an opponent’s strengths and capitalize on their weaknesses. Here are some examples:

  • Tall and lanky fighters • A fighter needs to close the distance to mitigate the opponent’s reach advantage. If the fighter has experience with wrestling or jiu-jitsu then taking them to the ground will mitigate the opponent’s height advantage.
  • Short and stocky fighters • Tactics here may involve keeping the fight standing, based on the assumption that their strength in grappling. This means mitigating this threat by learning how to counter takedowns.
  • Muay Thai • Fighters should avoid “phone booth” fighting against these opponents since Muay Thai fighters are especially versed in the clinch. They are also experts at leg kicks. Ground fighting will also eliminate all Muay Thai strengths.
  • Karate-ka • Fighting these opponents in the phone booth is ideal since they are unfamiliar with close range fighting. This martial art focuses on block and counter techniques so using multiple combinations, executed by a boxing style is a good tactic since it results in quick ascension to the opponent’s Chaos Zone.
  • Wrestlers • It is important to keep the fight standing with these opponents. The main hope on the ground is superior wrestling or Brasilian Jiu-Jitsu.
  • Boxers • These fighters are especially versed in combinations and dancing around their opponents. It is important to use kicks to keep them out of “phone booth” range. If this happens, then a Muay Thai clinch will mitigate a boxer’s strengths since they are unfamiliar with tactics that involve grabbing and grappling. Boxers are used to being separated from a clinch, but Muay Thai fighters will continue fighting. In many cases, taking a boxer to the ground is the best option.

About the Author

Gabriel Dusil has been a practitioner of Martial Arts for over twenty years. Originally he trained in the traditional style of Shotokan Karate. Gabriel has also trained under Sensei Martin “Sonic” Langley in the United Kingdom and currently trains with Karel Ferus in Prague at the Ferus Fitness Fight Club, fffc.cz. More recently he focuses on circuit training, strength & conditioning, and kickboxing.

Martial Arts • Fighting Science Series

If you would like to read more articles in this “Yin Yang of Fighting Science” series, check out these posts:

• 1 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Power
• 2 • Yin Yang of Speed vs. Timing
• 3 • Yin Yang of Fighting Styles
• 4 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Instinct
• 5 • Yin Yang of Empty vs. Full Cups
• 6 • Yin Yang of Slow vs. Fast
• 7 • Yin Yang of Perception vs. Reality
• 8 • Yin Yang of Fear vs. Confidence
• 9 • Yin Yang of Threes
• 10 • Yin Yang of Burden vs. Privilege
• 11 • Yin Yang of Anticipation vs. Surprise
• 12 • Yin Yang of Compliance vs. Resistance
• 13 • Yin Yang of Attacking vs. Defending
• 14 • Yin Yang of Fighting 360°
• 15 • Yin Yang of Teachers vs. Students
• 16 • Yin Yang of Physics vs. Physiology
• 17 • Yin Yang of Vulnerability vs. Opportunity
• 18 • Yin Yang of Martial Arts vs. Combat
• 19 • Yin Yang of Sport vs. Violence
• 20 • Yin Yang of Rhythm vs. Random
• 21 • Yin Yang of Stability
• 22 • Yin Yang of Strategy vs. Tactics
• 23 • Yin Yang of Instinct vs. Reason
• 24 • Yin Yang of Unstoppable vs. Immovable

• Fighting Science • Fighter’s Curve
• Fighting Science • Fighting Zones