the use of any strategy that he does not expect forces him to take time to condition his mind to th
“the use of any strategy that he does not expect forces him to take time to condition his mind to the new set of circumstances. The time necessary for the mind to adjust itself varies with the individual, but it is during this period of adjustment that the attacker can destroy his opponent’s physical balance and undertake offensive action.”
Applegate, Rex. Kill or Get Killed: A Manual of Hand-to-Hand Fighting. Paladin Press, 2007, loc. 29.
He speaks here of surprise attack as a way of creating reaction within the opponent. This seems to borrow from, or at least confirm the existence of, Colonel John Boyd’s OODA Loop (developed in 1961 in his paper Aerial Attack Strategy). The best advantage an attacker has of taking the advantageous position in the action/reaction cycle is in between the Observe and Orient step. When presenting an attacker with something they do not have a pre-programmed response for, they will have to take the time to Observe and Orient. If the the attack is pressed, you now have the advantage of the action/reaction cycle. It should be noted here that in order to help defend yourself against these same surprise tactics, there are suggested solutions offered by different tacticians. Probably the most realistic can be seen in Larry Yatch’s Sealed Mindset, and the training of a more advantageous “flinch response.”