How to Use Faking in Combat & Sports


According to the book, The Art of War, “faking” is the most celebrated strategy in self-defense wherein you attack your opponent when he is unprepared and to appear where you are least expected. The result? Guaranteed success.

When it comes to combat or sports, you can use faking in many ways. You can use baits to leave your target exposed, you can fake a minor injury so you would seem like you’re unable to perform, you can fake hits, and you can fake your activity, and so on. However, the number of faking you can use in combat sports is limited because your opponent most likely knows you and has studied your style already. But in the event of a street fight with an unknown assailant, the number of faking techniques you can use is unlimited.

Let’s discuss the two most common faking techniques that you can use in combat and in sports.

“Defensive: I am weak”

When faced with a weakling, an opponent would easily think that the fight will be over soon. However, he would know soon enough that he’s in for a big surprise. Most schools will teach you to immediately take on a fighting stance when faced with trouble. That’s only going to invite danger.

On the other hand, if you pretend to be weak, it will be easy for you to nail him quickly and unexpectedly with the most effective technique possible. Could you not immediately take on a fighting stance to “seem” like you are open? Could you “seem” to be off guard or even distracted by something else? This makes you an easier target and one an attacker or opponent will capitalize on.

“Offensive: An element of surprise”

If you go over all the faking techniques, you will find that all of them have the element of surprise. You want your opponent to realize that he has been tricked but that it’s too late because you’ve already delivered a blow.

Some techniques that you can use would be to throw something to your opponent’s face. If you do that, chances are he’ll close his eyes and even attempt to block it, giving you the diversion you need to deliver a quick but painful blow to his most vulnerable part, i.e. the throat, groin or face.

However, please understand that in fighting sports, there are faking techniques that you cannot use because you will be limited to the particular set of techniques employed in every martial arts system. This requires you to be more choosy, and even find irregular and “out of the box” methods and techniques. For more ideas please check out: