Whether it takes a moment, a minute, a month or a lifetime, defer moving against an opponent until you understand their drive of action.
“Remaining relatively quiet, listening to everything, minimally reacting, understanding their reasoning, never opposing, observing their reactions, calculating your own conclusions, countering with your thoughts… then striking with finesse and power.” [Excerpt]
Every decision of action we take is driven by the motivation in doing it or the motive for doing it.
In situations where these actions could be directly consequential to yourself from an enemy, knowing what drives them to do it is crucial in responding or countering with effectiveness.
Depending on the scenario and time sensitivity, it’s often best to defer, if possible, your own action against your enemy after knowing this vital detail.
This strategy is a naturally occuring cognizant ability that we utilize regularly with confrontations, competitions and even conversations – any interaction that has an outcome of “winner / loser”.
However, the key is to do it actively and deliberately, not just on a subconscious level.
As in a variant of “stealth cognizance”: underplaying your perceived level of understanding and awareness to heighten your position against opponents.
For perspective of this strategy, “enemy” also refers to opponent, adversary, rival or anyone that you engage in direct but opposing objectives with.
So it should be used in both everyday life and professional capacities, whether winning an argument or a fight.
In the split-second or however long you have to defer your response, ask yourself these 3 questions:
Why is your enemy doing this?
What does your enemy want?
What is your enemy’s endgame?
There may not be enough time or information to conclude every answer, but it’s always better to at least attempt to react with usable data instead of acting out of reflex.
In the vein of “imminent action positioning tells tactics”, strategically deferred engagements with practice may become instinctual and as reactively fast as a reflex.
Emotions, as it often distorts your judgement, if applicable to your character, should also be deferred – be smart now, be emotional later.
Always listen to your enemy and observe their behavior and you may be the master of their fate.