Tuesday, May 3, 2011
In theory you or your opponent strikes when you think you can hit the other (if one of you is just striking without targeting, the game is probably one sided anyway).
These opportunities happen because an opening presents itself either through loss of the defensive line, or because striking by it's nature creates openings.
There are 3 'timings' for striking - before an attack, during, and after.
If your opponent has any gaps in their intent, before they have collected themselves, or when you sense they are about to go, that is your moment to go 'before'.
'During' is letting your opponent strike and adjusting so you are not exactly where they thought you were, but still protected and the weapon untangled enough to be able to strike back.
'After' is similar but utilizing the space behind a cut.
All involve either creating or waiting for a commitment of either intent or movement, and taking advantage of it, and if, as has been pointed out, waiting is dangerous ... then creating is the safest path - Sonny called this 'writing'.
The classics say - "My opponent moves but I get there before him".
This is often misread as waiting, but this is not so if options 1 and 2 from the previous post are not opposites. If 1 and 2 can happen simultaneously then you have room to play.
In this case, 'don't wait', means lead but don't commit. 'Don't commit first', means commit only after they do.
In easy English it means set them up, or make them an offer they cannot refuse.
As Sonny would say, the 2 most worthy dueling skills are 'Don't get hit' and 'Tell a lie'.
NOTE: Committing to an attack or strike has by it's nature narrowed your options to '1'. You had better be sure that you haven't wasted it by trying for a hit that's going to fail, or taking a hit yourself.
Keep moving/testing/leading but don't commit to one path until you have the time and space to get away with it.
BIG CAVEAT - This process is time dependent, you do not have infinite time to make this happen - Remember, the longer the status quo, the more dangerous it gets.