Make a Plan

2 days late, lets try to throw out something fast. Real quick I want go over a piece of advice I’ve passed out to new fighters more times than I can count individually and was one of the best things I’ve been told when I started fighting. It constantly yields results when I remember it before a fight, so maybe this will help cement it in my mind, and any new fighter that reads this shit. For vets this is a YMMV type situation.


Every fight, makes sure you have a very basic plan. Your plan need 2 things and 2 things only. Your first 1-3 “moves” that you intend to use and a guiding outline that you can fall back too when things get chaotic. You don’t need to have reactions planned for when your 3 moves fail. You don’t need to have options for every situation you get in. You need very simple things you can keep in your head when everything else flees, preferably a phrase you can repeat to yourself.


This is true in melee or singles, but looks slightly different in each. In singles for the outline might be something like, stay at range and throw off sides, because you know you have better blade skills and that your opponents blade defense is awful. The outline is a very basic set of instructions you can keep telling yourself, so that when the fight begins to get crazy you can default back to something with little thought. You’re first three moves are much more precise. You want to know that when you enter range what shot you’ll throw, how you plan on moving from there and the shot the follows ect and how you’ll move into a safe position from the last shot. Example, Half step in shield flash to pump offside to the head, pass step to the right mouline to their sword elbow, shield scoop their sword hand, pass step back and pivot offside to the back of the head.  It should not be a long combo, nor should you actually plan on how your opponent will react. You’ll be forced to abandon that combo in the middle more than half the time. The point is not to actually think your way through the fight. It is to get you thinking and planning a step or two ahead. It allows you to pair opponent reactions to their causes alot easier as you already have to cause indexed and attributed, just need to add the effect. And it simply gives you a confidence and anchor point to start off which really sets the tone.


In Melee your opening moves may be less defined and a bit quicker. Two examples from previous matches: “Wait in the corner till someone comes in range, T off on them with the axe, and step out to find a new target” and “On go, check him and Drive him into the rail hard enough to drive the air out of his lungs.” The basic idea is do this one or two things and then figure out where the fight is from there, because no plan survives first contact. No point in planning much past if anyway. You’re outline however is about the same. For example for the past half a year mine has been some combination of “Don’t let them grapple” “Let the hands/weapon fly” “Make sure your moving.” and whatever the specific fight called for. If you’ve paid any attention to this year’s fights you’ll notice I was very bad at the last one, because trying to keep three things in your head is hard as fuck. However I can almost always manage 1 and get 2 close to 30% of the time. And that has improved my game by at least a half.


When you’re fighting you don’t have time to go over everything you’ve learned and asses what is the best option. Decisions need to be quick. You can short circuit that be preloading a set of answers into your head. Have an opening plan and a fall back plan. That will put you up on 90% of the competition. Hope this helps


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