I read this recently, from an interview with Olympic fencer Daryl Homer by Clay Skipper, July 13, 2021, and it absolutely paralleled what we do in advanced To-Shin Do combat. He puts it precisely on the nose!
“…with our sport, we really have to understand the opponent’s psychology. Like, you might be a really strong attacker. I might have to put you in that situation, so you feel strong… And then I can figure into my strength. It’s a lot of head games, knowing, “You like to do that, so I’m gonna allow you to think you’re doing that, but then set something else up.”
In advanced To-Shin Do defense, we let the aggressor think he is winning so we know exactly what he is going to do. Once we know what he thinks he is doing, we take it somewhere else.
Of course, this is very advanced. It can only happen after many years of experience. With less experience, the To-Shin Do defender had better just concentrate on effectively responding to what the aggressor is dishing out. We have ways of doing that, too!