Speed hampering is anything that you do to effectively slow down the opponent’s reaction time to your attacks. Reaction time is the time gap between a stimulus and the response. Skill in speed hampering can help compensate for what you may lack in movement speed.
As a combat speed student, you should commit to becoming proficient at speed hampering. Speed hampering skill will give you an edge in speed that will cause unenlightened opponents to feel as if you are completely dictating the fight with superior reflexes. Your opponent’s confidence can be deflated very quickly if he or she feels helpless against your attacks.
Speed hampering is an effective way to take over a fight on the psychological level, which nearly always ensures a swift victory. Once you have the opponent’s mind, the body will follow!
Total reaction time is determined by three factors:
1. The time required for the stimulus to reach the brain.
2. The time required for the brain to relay the impulse through the proper nerve fibers to the correct muscles.
3. The time required for the muscles to start and complete the action demanded of them.
People’s reaction times are longer under the following conditions:
1. When they first initiate a movement.
2. When they are in the midst of movement.
3. When they are mentally distracted.
4. When they are physically tired.
5. When they are overly emotional.
You should launch your attack when you catch your opponent in one of these vulnerable situations. It is essential that you time your attack for the right moment physically and psychologically, when the opponent cannot avoid being caught off guard. As you train to react to these moments, your offensive success rate will consistently improve.
As a superior fighter, you must sense rather than observe your chance to attack. In other words, you should be all over the opponent before you even realize what happened! That’s the power of the flow on automatic pilot.
Feinting is a characteristic of the expert fighter. It requires using the eyes, arms, legs, and every other part of the body in a concerted effort to get a reaction from the opponent. The purpose of feinting is to create an opening that will improve the chances of success when launching an attack.
Feinting creates momentary openings. To take advantage of these openings, you must have quick reflexes. An advanced speed student knows what openings will result before they feint, and they make use of that knowledge by initiating their attack before the opening actually occurs.
The essential elements of good feinting are creativity, deception, rhythm, quickness, and precision. You must be careful not to feint unnecessarily because it increases your risk of being attacked by your opponent.
Do not get carried away with feints. Do not feint excessively for the sake of trying to embarrass or ridicule an opponent. Strive to be simple, efficient, and direct in your strategy to defeat an opponent.
The speed and quantity of your feints should be adjusted to the opponent’s speed and rhythm. A feint that is executed too quickly on a slower opponent will not get a reaction in time. You can use a faster feint to hamper and trap an opponent who possesses superior movement speed.
A stop-hit is a timed hit made against the opponent at the same time they are launching an attack. In the Filipino martial arts, it is called “de-fanging the snake” and includes stop-hits directed at the arms, legs, and body as well as the head. Stop-hitting is an advanced form of speed hampering that requires a shift in thinking for most fighters who may be accustomed to evading or blocking an attack. The psychological benefit of stop-hitting is that it gets you into the habit of attacking when you are attacked, instead of defending when you are attacked.
Stop-hitting is not passive, it is active! The key to developing intimidating stop-hitting skill in your training is to focus on hitting your opponent at every opportunity.
Successful stop-hitting requires sharp reflexes and intense concentration. You must anticipate and intercept the intended attack with skilled timing and precision. A successful stop-hit is made possible by keen visual, auditory, and tactile reflexes. Your timing, distance, and accuracy must be exact when executing the stop-hit. If your stop-hit fails, you will miss your target and possibly end up in the opponent’s direct line of attack.
You should use the stop-hit when the opponent is stepping forward. You want your opponent to commit so as to lose the ability to change directions and defend against attack. To further hamper your opponent, you should move forward when executing the stop-hit.
Familiarity with the angles of fighting will help you become more skilled at stop-hitting. You can learn these angles from boxing and the Filipino martial arts. As a speed student, you should train yourself to be constantly prepared to stop-hit an opponent during any phase of a fight. Learn to use the stop-hit with great speed, power, and accuracy from every possible angle.
The ability to effectively stop-hit an opponent in a real fight is an invaluable yet advanced skill. Your ability to stop-hit can save you when you are surprised by an attack and want to disrupt the opponent’s flow. In addition, your ability to execute effective stop-hits can pacify an opponent’s offense. Your opponent will move forward cautiously after you show you can quickly inflict pain.
Speed Training Tip
If you double your movement speed, halve your reaction time, and double your opponent’s reaction time, you will have effectively tripled your total speed!