in facing your opponent you both start at a blank slate. that is, before the fight starts neither of you know exactly what the other is going to do. many times this state of ignorance never gets sorted out and both fighters clumsily thrash about in the ring with each other in total anarchy. this is bad. very, very bad. for one thing if neither of you can predict what the other man is going to do next, by definition you can never form any kind of plan as to even have a plan requires the foresight of possible outcomes. realizing this led me into learning more about (im mostly self taught) game, decision, and probability theory which is the basis of plan and strategy . hopefully i can give a breif sum up of what i learned from this so that you dont have to struggle through the agony of shifting through an endless army of papers and books and not to mention every bloody nose my mistakes led me to.
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basically the figure above represents the heart and soul behind every strategy game against a thinking, adapating opponent who makes decisions and actions that are not known to you beforehand; you dont know what he will do next. for simplicity we will refer to it here as the 'boxing ladder'. the ultimate goal for such games is to move yourself from the start point of the ladder (randomness) to the other end of the ladder (order). this is because at the level of randomess youre not aware of what any particular outcome will be and because of that its impossible for you to make a plan.
although you can never know with absolute certainty what your opponent will choose to do next (youre not a mind reader) you must be able to predict with accuracy what the probability of him doing a certain move next is i.e if my opponent has slipped left of my jab and has looked to throw a left hook to the body 6/6 times, i can therefore reason the next time i throw my jab the probability of him doing this again will be very high. thus, with this information you have inched yourself that much higher on the boxing ladder illustrated in the below figure. congratulations.
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now that the celebration party is over you have to now figure out how you can exploit what your opponent does to your jab. by way of slipping his head to the left he thereby puts it in line with your right hand. the stage is set so that you can now counter him with your right hand based on the previous information you observed on what your opponent does whenever you jab. using the jab as a trigger to activate his slip (you can even feint it to trigger him) you can follow up with a right hand after your jab. hey youre getting good at this.
here is probably the most important part to understand: you were only able to land that great right hand counter because your opponent predicted you would only throw jabs. that is, if he realized beforehand that you would possibly throw a right hand behind that jab his actions would have been very different as he would alter his plan to factor in that possible right hand. you see your opponent is also trying to predict you and create a plan to move himself up the boxing ladder. i think you will agree that boxing has just taken a frustrating turn. creating an accurate plan is not as easy as you may have thought it was.
two thinking, adapting opponents analyzing the information each one shows each other in hopes of creating a solid plan is a very intricate process and many men who sought to conquer boxing have failed to master this and as a result, failed at boxing. my full comprehension of this system only came to me well after my life as a pugilist following much time spent trying to figure this sport out. kind of a personal hobby you could say. the idea of such complexity may be discouraging (it sure was for me at least) but dont be, you see the exploitation of your opponent's dependance on the information you show is how you are to defeat him. to be sure, this is a topic that should be discussed on its own to great length but i will try to give a succinct and hopefully illustrative explanation however breif it may be.
since your opponent is actively looking for the information you show to base his strategy on, the idea shouldnt escape you that he is at your mercy if you show him false information. from my own experience, the main objdective of boxing is to 1. limit randomess and 2. give flase information. you can measure how good a fighter is at boxing by seeing how well he can do the aforementioned. to show this point i will give you an example of one of my favorite traps that i would routinely set on my opponents.
my opponent is throwing jabs with occasional right hands thrown randomely but lets say a ratio of about 8 jabs to every 3 right hands. i am simply parrying his jabs with no follow up (which means he cant counter punch me if i dont throw a punch) and for every right hand he throws i let it roll off my shoulder and counter him back with a right uppercut as his body moves into me -- you see james toney often do this, i call it the 'roll counter'. because i only throw a punch (the roll counter) when he throws his right hand he will try to exploit this information as its the only information i have allowed him to have. the only counter in boxing to the roll counter is a follow up left hook after his right hand rolls off the shoulder but even then it typically does not land since my head slips left and my elbow covers my liver. but because this is his only option i know he will eventually attempt to throw that counter left hook after his right hand (p.s they always do) and now i have him cornored.
so to re-cap, i have predicted that the next time he throws his right hand he will immidietly start up his left hook in prediction of my roll counter. to combat his plan, i am going to throw a lead right hand at either his head or solar plexus to counter his right hand instead of using my usual roll counter that he has become used to. the reason i choose to do this to his right hand now instead of all the other times earlier is because when his plan beforehand is to throw those 2 punches only which means he isnt even thinking about defending himself from a counter right hand. i gave him no reason to predict it and hence he never saw it coming. its the ones you dont see they say...
lets try to see how i was able to achieve this. for one thing, although my opponent was somehwat random at first i on the other hand was completely predictable. i did this intentionally because there are only so many possible plans my opponent can make to my actions. by limiting what my actions are i also indirectly limit what my opponents actions will be in response which therefore make him predictable. if i was to just randomly throw puches at my opponent say, 3 jabs here, 4 left hooks in a row there, a right hand, 2 more jabs and 3 right uppercuts for the hell of it, i make it impossible for him to ever predict what i'll do next=he wont be able to make a plan. you see i want him to make a plan as i take it and use it against him after carefully creating it for him in the first place (he makes his plan based on the actions i choose).
there are probably a whole hell of a lot of spelling mistakes in the wasp nest above me but hey im only human. if you have any questions please ask me and i will try to help clarify what i speak of.