Author: Shihan Graeme

Definition: "Full or partial delivery of a technique (strike or movement primarily) so as to cause a desired action from the enemy so that another technique may exploit the opportunity created.

One of the principles of fighting is to conserve energy. Does the delivery of a "fake" technique violate that principle? Well it does if it is useless. Also, does the principle of feinting “assume” that your opponent actually has enough sense to “react” to the "fake" technique? Some fighters adopt an "ironman " approach to fighting (you hit me, I hit you harder). Do they care if your technique is fake or not? With this mentality, they will ignore your feint and simply blast away at you. In fact, their reaction to the feint is likely to just swing at you and so you have given up the chance to hit them by faking while they are uncluttered by such ideals as faking a shot and just try to hit you? This would mean that your feint was not a feint at all…...

On the other hand I have seen many students run away at breakneck speed when approached by a feint, even in a basics class. The attacker has absolutely no chance to practice, let alone penetrate the defender, because they have retreated twice as fast as the attacker has attacked. To learn and practice, the defender must adopt the attitude of “challenging the sword”. Without this attitude nobody wins, nobody learns.

Too often we use a “feint” to “close the distance”. It really isn’t a fake at all, because our intention was not to create or induct.

Also, a feint can be seen as an intentionally deceptive movement, intended to draw the opponent's attack and leave him open to a predetermined counter attack. You can feint with footwork and timing as well as technique.

A key to feinting is to deceive the opponent psychologically and cause him to misjudge the situation.

Other types of feints are created through:
a. body gestures that cause the opponent to lose his balance.
b . footwork that makes the opponent lose his sense of distance.
c . deceptively creating an opening falsely causes the opponent to think there is a target open for him to attack easily


1. For a feint to get somebody (except a beginner) to react, it must be at proper distance. (ie , a backfist from side kick range…..)
2. the feint must be applied with commitment and vigor. Ideally, if the enemy does not react to the feint, it should hit him as if it were the desired technique. Half-hearted feints don’t fool anyone. The feint must be a fully executed, correct karate technique.
3. Feint in combination with a series of techniques, not in singles or pairs. “hunt and peck” means “beginner”.

Feints keep your opponent off balance-causes him to become defensive. He wears down with fatigue as he tightens in anticipation of the next attack. His adrenalin flows and his energy burns at a high rate.

Is a feint (fake), “kyo ”….”fantasy”???

Remember, for a feint to work, it must be perceived as jutsu by your enemy. If your enemy sees kyo , then your feint didn’t work.