Within the Tensoku Ryu system it is considered to be inappropriate and a violation of our basic principles to goad or otherwise chide a person into a physical confrontation. We do not wish to engage in name calling, challenges, or other practices that may cause someone to unnecessarily attack us. If someone is harassing us then we would prefer to take whatever verbal abuse they offer and simply walk away. Generally people do not die from verbal assaults.

A Tensoku Ryu practitioner is very adept at dealing with someone who attacks us. Over time Tensoku Ryu practitioners become very confident in their ability to deal with such attacks. It may be tempting to say something that might cause another person to attack us in order to take advantage of them. This is not how we wish to behave. We do not wish harm to anyone. Our goal is always to avoid conflict whenever possible.

With that in mind we will now talk about getting someone to attack you. This may seem like a conflicted message, but it is not. There is a difference and the difference is in the intent of your potential assailant. If it is clear to you that the other person is going to attack then we want to be in a position to decide when and how that attack will occur. If the person is not planning to attack, then we do not want to give them that idea.


We are talking about the concept of Inducement. This is the practice of dictating when and how someone, who is planning to attack you anyway, will initiate his or her attack. It is a skill like any other, but there is a degree of gamesmanship involved as well.

Assume for a moment that someone has become irate and you think it likely they will soon strike out at you. If you make some insulting remark to get him or her to attack then that is not Inducement. That is goading and it will appear to everyone who may be watching that you actually initiated the conflict via your verbal behavior. This may not serve you well in court (though courts seldom consider a verbal exchange valid grounds for subsequent violence, you never know how the jury in a civil case might react). Your hostility has, in effect, started a fight.

But if we remain certain this person is going to attack then we want to provide ourselves with the best opportunity for gaining control of the situation. This is especially important if you believe the other person is not likely to allow you to simply leave. Perhaps you have tested this by attempting to leave only to have the other person attempt to block your departure. This is a situation where you might employ the skill of Inducement.

Using Inducement

The easiest way to employ Inducement in this circumstance is to turn and leave. You throw your hands up in disgust, do an about face, and head for an exit. You do this fully expecting that this is the moment when the other person will attack. You also can compute where they will attack. They will attack the position to which you will have moved in another second or so. Naturally, you won’t be there. This is the essence of Inducement.

Throwing your hands upward has provided you with a guard. Moving away has provided any observers with a clear indication that you were trying to avoid a conflict (which you will do if the opponent does not attack). It also provided you with additional distance and time. Turning your back on the opponent has provided him or her with a clear opportunity to strike you when you are not looking. Except, of course, you are looking. If someone is going to attack we provide them the opportunity so that they attack on our terms and when it is to our advantage.

Let’s provide a clear example to consider. Assume you begin your Inducement by stepping back to your local octagon angle two with your left leg and then pivot counter clockwise by stepping R8 as you raise your hands upward. In these two steps you have moved away from the other person by a distance of several feet. In all likelihood this is when he or she will attack. Your potential opponent will not want you to get too far away before they initiate their move. They will attack the location to which you would have stepped if you subsequently moved your left foot forward again T8.

As the opponent begins his or her attack you simply step back with your left leg toward your original A3 and press the ball of the right foot briskly into the floor. This allows you to move backward and to the left side of your attacking opponent. You will end up immediately on the left side of the opponent. You could strike from your right side with something like a Migi Tettsui Uchi or Migi Yoko Geri, or step with your right leg T1 so that you find yourself centered on the opponent and at 90° to his or her orientation. You should know how to handle the situation from there, employing any relevant component of the ETD model.

You could also have stepped L2R6 initially. This would have the advantage of not turning your back to your opponent. Otherwise the method of employing subsequent movements is quite similar. You appear to be moving in one direction when what you really intend is to backtrack once an aggressive action has been initiated.

There are innumerable ways in which you might employ Inducement. Simply stepping back while maintaining a center T1 and raising your hands as if to plead might be a form of Inducement. Stepping to A3 or A4 might also be a way of inducing the pending attack. The goal in each case is to provide a target for the opponent that will no longer be in its expected location when his or her strike reaches its climax. You move to offer a target and then escape from that location to your intended location after the strike has been initiated. Using this simple strategy we can dictate when a person will attack (assuming it is their intent) and where that attack will be directed. Depending on where you move you may also dictate which side of his or her body the opponent will use to strike. We can then use this knowledge to employ a series of countermeasures that are congruous with our level of perceived threat.

The concept of Inducement is related in some ways with the concept of prepositioning. But inducement is normally intentionally visible and overt, whereas prepositioning is usually considered to be more subtle, discrete, and visually masked in some manner.

A key to Inducement is to understand that you must be prepared at every step of the way to abandon your current direction of movement to adopt a new position that is off of the line of the opponent’s attack. So as you are moving you do your best to avoid any activity that will cause you to settle or become rooted in any manner. You must be able to move quickly in a completely different direction. If you are unable to do this then you should not attempt to use Inducement.

Advantages of Inducement

Inducement works well because it affords you with the following advantages:

  • If the other person did not really plan to attack then you have initiated your escape. Nobody was harmed in the making of this inducement.
  • It would be clear to any attentive observer that you made an initial effort to leave or avoid a conflict. You did not move toward the other person but moved away instead. This can be an important witness account in a police report.
  • You provide a false target for the opponent to attack.
  • You know where your opponent will be located in the next second or so if they attack.
  • You may be able, via your movements, to dictate how the opponent will attack.
  • You will be well positioned, after a subsequent movement, to control, manipulate, or strike your opponent as necessary. Of course, you might also simply use this opportunity to escape in a completely different direction.

Further Clarification

Now to be clear, if you step back and concurrently stick out your tongue at the other person or provide them with an offense hand gesture then this is not inducement. It is goading. Inducement must come with the opportunity for you to escape without either person being harmed. It must also come with the option for the other person to not attack you if that was never his or her intent. Goading is attempting to get someone to attack when they may not have seriously considered it previously. There is a major difference between these two. Induce if necessary, but never goad.

See Also

The Octagon
The ETD Model

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.