I recently watched Fight Night Round 4. This had inspired me to go back and watch some classic fights. One of the fights I watched was the George Forman vs. Muhammed Ali.
Ali has always amazed me. Not just by the fact that he was a amazing boxer, or how he was socially conscious. It's the fact that he won his fights by getting in his opponents' heads. Before fights he would taunt and insult the other fighters that were big hitters. This way he could play against their strengths turning them into weaknesses.
In his fight against Foreman it was no different. Almost all of Foreman's fight were won by knocking out the opponent by the fourth round. Ali, however, can take it the distance round after round. His goal would have to be to tire his opponent out, and survive till then. Ali was also older and came out of retirement, and Foreman was in his prime as the World Champion.
Before the fight it was found out that the ropes were too long for the ring. The fighters agreed to fight anyway since everyone was already there. Now here's where things get interesting. Ali found himself getting hit hard and against the ropes. Only he found out he could lean against the rope steadily and Foreman's hits wouldn't hit as hard, and then he realized he could fire shots off of it. His corner screamed at him for spending round after round against the ropes. However, Ali continued. Meanwhile (Ref's account), Ali was tautning Foremen, calling him names, laughing at him, and telling him "Is that all you got?" This caused Foremen to hit even harder, much to the dismay of Ali's trainer.
Ali was able to expend all of Foremen's energy to the point where he was not even throwing punches anymore--he was just pawing slowly at him. They called his movement "Sleepwalking" because he was so slow and unfocused. Ali played with him for one more round and ended up knocking him out.
Now I'm sure you're wondering why I'm giving you a play-by-play on boxing. It reminded me of a strategy that I've always used in my life against others who try to bring me down. I portray my strengths as weakness and weaknesses as strengths. People take you for what you portray to be more times than not. You don't have to be a sociopath to get people to take you for face value (though it's easier for us since we do it constantly). People are keen on boasting their strengths only to brag. It's natural. Your key lies in playing your strengths off as a weaknesses, luring you opponent into a false sense of security where they fall into a trap of playing your game. In the same way you play your weaknesses off as strengths, deterring them from attacking you where you have no game. Know yourself and know your enemy.
Participation time: I want to know from the readers if you've used this strategy? How successful was it for you? How did you pull it off and when did you decide to strike?