"Master, what way do the Gyokku Ninja use to counter an opponent's fighting style, and is there specific training for this?"
Countering the fighting method of your opponent requires careful training in different systems of combat - striking, grappling, weapons, and more. And then it requires careful analysis of the opponent. First let’s start out with the simplest possible encounter, the one-on-one battle. We’ll consider one warrior against many opponents a little later.
It is crucial to assess just how well trained an opponent is, and to compare that to your own level of training. If you have trained to a reasonable level, and your attacker is untrained, you can probably down him irrespective of his fighting style. Please bear in mind that an attacker who is experienced in street fights must also be considered trained – practical training can be the most deadly training of all. We’ll discuss how to combat trained attackers in more detail a little later.
For now, here is how you assess your opponent…
If his footwork is good, and he moves smoothly and with good balance, he is probably well trained in some combat art. Similarly, a trained warrior will ‘cover’ vital areas by using his hands as guards. He will perhaps roll up his shoulders to protect his jaw and neck.
A lot of would be ‘warriors’ build up their biceps, but the mark of the genuine warrior is the development of the shoulders, as these are always called upon to an immense degree in any combat art.
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It is not that hand attacks are better as opposed to foot attacks, or vice versa, but that both are equally crucial in battle.
Hand strikes allow one to strike with extreme speed, but they are very underpowered compared to a full-powered kick. Use the kicks of the Gyokku Clan for preference, as they are designed to drive deep into the body, and to rupture vital organs.
If in close range, use hand strikes to stun the opponent, then step back and use kicks to destroy him. If in intimate range, use elbows and knees and close quarter attacks to stun, and step back and use kicks to destroy.
Kicks to the organs can be lethal, but must be used without hesitation if your attacker is armed with a deadly weapon.
A kick to the intestines stuns an opponent without causing lethal injury.
The footwear you wear can double the effectiveness of your kicks – wear hard shoes or boots that themselves can be considered weapons. A hard shoe can be worn on the hand in combat to deflect bladed attacks, rather like a small shield.
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Many fighting styles have inherent weaknesses - knowing this is an integral part of Gyokku Ninja Training in Combat. The best fighters learn several arts – for example, a mixture of kick-boxing and Japanese ju-jutsu must be considered deadly. However, not all your opponents will be this well trained. Observe your attacker’s fighting style, and use a combat strategy that will counter his fighting style, and place him at a disadvantage.
A boxer must be countered by relying heavily on kicks to keep him at a distance. Be careful that he does not judge the timing of your kicks and use that to close the range. Better still, take a boxing stance, pretending to be a boxer, then open with kicks – the surprise might let a debilitating kick through, injuring him and allowing you to destroy him.
Against a kickboxer, time the opponent’s attacks and use a concealed blade to cut nerves to make his limbs un-useable. Then close the range and take him out.
Against a grappling fighter, keep your range and use fast hand attacks, as well as the concealed blade to cut nerves to destroy his ability to attack. Be very careful not to let the grappler judge your timing and get a grip on a limb – most grappling specialists are specifically trained to do this.
You can also catch an opponent off guard by giving him false cues about your own fighting style. For example, if you take a traditional boxing stance, an attacker will expect only fist fighting, giving you an advantage when you open the combat with kicks. Similarly, if you pretend to cower with fear and beg for your life, your attacker will grow confident, possibly leaving himself open to a lethal attack from your concealed blades.
If you do not have a weapon, improvise – a stone in a bag with a strap becomes a deadly chain weapon.
Remember, each situation, each attacker is different – treat each situation with the respect and consideration that it deserves.
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