How can I learn to anticipate my opponent's move better?

Discussion in 'Grappling / Brazilian Ju Jitsu / Wrestling' started by james0012, Jul 16, 2017 at 7:11 AM.

  1. james0012

    james0012 Yellow Belt

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    I usually have no idea what my opponent is planning and instead focus on my own attack; leading to me being surprised by their next move. Is this something that can be learned?
     
  2. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yeah. Just train simple combinations. If you know the progression. Then you will at least have an idea what they will do next.

    No move happens. They have to take all these steps to make their move work. So counter the move at the first step.
     
  3. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Where are you looking? I don't know about grappling, but in karate, we focus on the opponent''s core movement rather than looking them in the eyes. Helps to anticipate movement.
     
  4. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Grappling you pretty much cant see anything.
     
  5. marques

    marques 2nd Black Belt

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    The feet position, distance to you and stance determines what your opponent can do (and it is not much for a given instant). The hard thing is it all changes many times in a second and the possibilities for the opponent seem infinite.

    For training purposes, I like to slow down the sparring or even freeze in some moments, so I can analyse and process all the info, do some experiments... But most people just go at speed and they will understand fighting, eventually.

    One thing I do to predict the opponent is giving a fake easy target/opening. Another thing I do to gain time and more clues about the opponent intentions is never stopping, even if moving slowly, all the time. So the opponent needs more to prepare the attack and perhaps I can 'guess' what he is trying even before any attack.

    Anyway it is difficult to predict the opponent and a smart fighter will always cause you trouble...

    PS: It is for striking. Part of it may be true for grappling.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017 at 8:49 AM
  6. JR 137

    JR 137 Master Black Belt

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    True, but you feel pretty much everything.

    Yes, it can be learned. Experience teaches it. Experience teaches what is possible in certain positions and what isn't. Experience teaches what is open to your opponent when you're doing certain things and what's not. By learning how to open up your opponent to things and how to counter them, you're also learning how they'll be able to do the same in return.

    There's no substitute for experience. There's no fast track to it either. The more you're on the mat, the more experience you gain. A good teacher will help you recognize the openings and counters better, but until "you've been there, done that" a bunch of times, you're still not aware of what's about to come.

    No one will ever be able to anticipate ever single thing and counter it every single time against every single opponent. But the more experienced person will give you minimal openings and counter most things before you even know your move is being countered.
     
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  7. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Grandmaster

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    Experience, awareness and control of the situation.

    The reality of it is in any given situation there are only so many things they can do. The more control over them you have the fewer options they have. And more importantly the fewer "good" options they have.

    As you gain experience you will learn to recognize what they might do and gain the awareness of what they are doing and what will be the next logical option after that.

    But the biggest thing is simply experience, just like any other sport or strategy game.

    I'd say the biggest thing you can do to improve is focus on what is going on, not what you want to have happen. Getting to a finish is a process with many steps. If you want to drive somewhere you don't just point your car at the objective and go straight forward. You have a destination in mind, but you drive based on the current situation and what's going on around you at that time.

    When you are rolling think about the situation you are in, think about taking small steps towards gaining better control and taking away your opponents options. Don't focus on getting to the end, the end is your goal, but if you ignore whats going on along the way you're just going to crash and not get their anyways.
     
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  8. kuniggety

    kuniggety 2nd Black Belt

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    Think of it as chess. First you learn the moves, then you start learning chains or moves, and then you start recognizing the chains your opponent is setting up and how to block them. It comes with time. If you're still on the first step, realize it will take awhile to instantly recognize what they're doing and adapt to it.
     
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  9. james0012

    james0012 Yellow Belt

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    Thanks for the answers!
     
  10. Martial D

    Martial D Purple Belt

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    By rolling a million times. Eventually you will be able to recognize things by feel.
     
  11. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Senior Master

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    There are a few elements to being able to predict your opponent's next moves in grappling:

    1) Know the most effective moves from each position and what preparatory factors are required to make them work. You develop this knowledge by spending a lot of time in the other person's position and studying what works from there.
    2) Know the most common instinctive reactions people have in each position (whether or not those are the most effective moves). You get this from grappling with a lot of people, especially beginners.
    3) Become familiar with the common "tells" that precede an opponent going for one of the moves from 1 & 2 above. You get that by rolling with lots and lots of people and keeping your mind and senses open to noticing repeated patterns of behavior.
    4) As you get more advanced, your knowledge of what works from each position allows you to limit and channel your opponents actions. By blocking him from moving in one direction, you can anticipate that he will move in the other direction, where you already have a response waiting.
     
  12. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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