Nothing is more frightening than facing an opponent who makes quiet, controlled, and purposeful movements in a fight. Especially when you can’t read what they are thinking or what they are capable of doing next.
Creating a calm and intimidating presence can affect the even the most experienced fighters.

Number 1

Don’t let your opponent lead the fight or make you rush. Set your own pace and make them work to your rate. This has a massive effect on the other fighter’s timing and ability to execute their strikes. This in itself can have an effect on the other fighter’s confidence, but it will exhaust them and play into your game. Be the first or win the exchanges, but don’t follow the other fighters pace.

Number 2

Hide your emotions. Don’t complain, shout, swear, cheer, or cry. Be quiet. Let them guess what you are thinking. You must have a poker face at all times in the fight. Of course you can smile ha ha… but in truth this also gives your opponent feedback on their actions in a fight. Personally I do smile, because I have fun when I fight, and this can put some people off, especially when they hit you as hard as they can.

Number 3

Never show fear or respect in a fight. You must stay composed and confident at all times, even if the other fighter is inflicting pain or discomfort on you. No matter how confident your opponent, this will create self doubt in their ability. More importantly don’t show respect to your opponent before the fight. Be neutral not subservient to their reputation or their level of expertise. With that in mind, don’t acknowledge the other fighter’s clean strikes when landed. This enforces and inflates their psychological fight against you.

Number 4

Remain aware of your body language at all times. Don’t cower or hunch your shoulders or assume a defensive demeanour. You must not give any submissive signals. Walk slowly and confidently towards your opponent. Act like you know what you are doing, even with last minute nerves or doubts. During the fight, if you are exhausted between rounds check your posture and don’t show it.

Number 5

Shake off errors, this is important for you as well. Don’t react when you make a mistake. Continue as if nothing has happened. In fact, if you make a mistake adapt the movement so it appears that it was intentional. Either way cover up mistakes so that you appear focused and on point. Don’t show any signs of weakness. It’s important that nobody notices the mistake.

Number 6

Lastly, you must recognise that your words, actions, and body language are key to psyching out your opponent in a fight. Your actions can and will directly affect your opponent. Hence, your opponent will subconsciously respond to how you treat them in the build up to a fight. Your power is not only in your fists, but also in what you do and say. Hence, why Trash Talking in fights also work.

Remember, fights are won and lost in the mind. These principles can be applied to any fight, whether Self Defence, in the ring or cage, or simply in everyday life.

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