Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Snap Back

Let's look at a tactic that sets up a counter to a lead, the Snap-Back:

1. Fighters square off.

2. Sam, the lead-off fighter on the left throws a left jab. Nathan, the counter-fighter keeps his weight forward, but steps back with the rear foot and plants the ball of his rear foot so he can push off.

3. The lead is fully extended and misses by a few inches (an inch is the same as a mile, isn't it?). Notice the counter-fighter is already pushing off to fire a counter lead.

4. Counter is fired before Sam's lead is even retracted.

Lead-Off Analysis: What happened to the lead-off fighter?

First, because he threw a single lead, and didn't double or triple, it's easy for a counter-fighter to anticipant and counter the lead.

Recommendations: Lead with a double or triple, almost always, and mix in a healthy dose of fakes and feints to draw the counter and make it miss, then you can be a counter-counter-fighter!

Counter Analysis:

  • To make the snap back work for you, don't use it too much - it'll be anticipated.
  • Don't try it against a fighter that uses lots of combinations, or doubles/triples the lead. You'll walk into the second or third technique.
  • When you get in with your counter, commit completely to the first punch or technique, creating more openings.
  • Follow up with a combination or takedown immediately, or clear at a 45-degree angle to your opponent. If you can't stand the heat...

What makes this tactic work are three things:

  1. Wait as long as possible before snapping back. That makes the lead-off fighter think he's about to hit you, and really throws him off balance when he misses. Acting skills, timing, and knowledge of distance are critical.
  2. Commit completely! I can't stress this enough. If you pause, even for a split-second, you're going to get hit. The counter must be a part of the snap-back or you'll get hit!
  3. Once you're in, stay on top of your opponent, firing, trapping, pushing, bumping, and grabbing to keep the initiative. Then clear!

NOTE: To see this in action, see this post.

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