Wicked (Diāo刁) - 7 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

Wicked (Diāo刁) is the seventh of the 12 keywords of Mantis Boxing. The keyword formula houses the principles that define the art. They have been passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years.

Diāo 刁 translates as Sly, Tricky; Wicked. Seems pretty vague, I know. However, when we're fighting, the use of deceptive tactics becomes part and parcel to the art we are doing.

If we are a Boxer, we'll rely heavily on fakes and feints to expose weaknesses, or create weaknesses in our opponent.

If we are a Grappler, pretending to go for a choke in order to get someone to expose their arm so we can apply an Arm Bar, is another variation of this theme.

Musashi, the famed Samurai of the Book of Five Rings fame, used deception to defeat opponents, or fluster them, and it is a common tool of strategy in order to win a battle, or fight. 

One of the many ways we use this keyword in Mantis Boxing, is a technique that Taijiquan calls - "leading the opponent into emptiness".

Using Pluck (Cǎi 採), and Push, Lean (Kao 靠) as well as fakes, and feints,  or; setting up a grip, or a throw so we go for something other than what we appear to be doing. Using movements one direction to setup throw or trip in another.

These are all ways of using 'Wicked' deception to get something to work, rather than using strength to force a technique. There is always someone stronger, and even if we're the strongest on the planet, we all get sick, and have bad days. Relaxing and being sensitive to our opponents movements like we discussed with Connect (Zhān 粘) & Cling (Nián 黏), can allow us to read our opponent and trick them into submission.

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Randy Brown

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