Monday, August 18, 2014

Attack to defend

Just started playing table tennis. Of course, I am not good at it.

People just keep defeating me, which is all right. But when they smash, or drive the ball, it makes me crazy. The loss of a point, or a game for that matter, does not hurt that much.

So, what do I do? I smash before they can smash!

Needless to say, I can't smash. But I will end up losing a point anyway, so it is better to attack and lose than to defend and lose.

It is just like the saying: attack is the best form of defense. This applies to a lot of situations in life. When do you attack to defend?

30 comments:

  1. I used to do that a lot in table tennis :-). In sports, it's a good strategy initially; you can produce the sparks of brilliance which can provide you with the much needed confidence (and fun) to continue playing and reach a level where you start playing to the merit of the ball/opponent's move. (Free advice: don't do it too much, you may have to consider playing alone)

    I don't think I have used that strategy in life but I think it's a really positive approach to tackle situations in life. I think most of us can foresee what can go wrong but a very few of us put in enough efforts to proactively attack it.

    On a negative note, I've come across people deploying similar strategy in social behaviour to their advantage: such people often turn aggressive and build their arguments based on trivial things in order to obliterate their own non-trivial mistakes/selfish acts. Also, as soon as you start defending yourself, you are presumed guilty.

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    1. Don't worry, I don't smash that much. Moreover, I am getting at least 2-3 smashes out of 10 right, so playing alone is not too much of an issue. Everyone just thinks I am having a bad day :-)

      Ask Pankaj about people turning aggressive in arguments. We had a common friend, who you also might know, who not only turned aggressive, but also "invented" facts from anywhere. Still a fun guy, though.

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  2. Like most people my age, I have taken some blows in life. My strategy is to adopt an alert silence when pressured --neither agree nor disagree-- then leave politely to compose a solution. So far this has been generally effective, except in table tennis.

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    1. You are very right, Geo. If being calm is an option, it must be exercised. But sometimes we do have to act, and act fast and decisively. Table tennis is a great inspiration for that :-)

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  3. I agree with Geo's answer - definitely the best way to find a solution. I played table tennis a lot in college. Never got very good at it though :-)

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    1. I don't think I will ever get any good at table tennis. We must play together sometime!

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  4. I might sound a bit cunning here, but I attack to defend at home..:P
    you see, we- -- - you, me and everyone else! keep making mistakes, so we can either get busted by parents and stay grounded for days or start behaving like a professional actors, make a puppy face and get away with the fault..:P
    (p.s: this s done only in harmless mistakes (maintaining the halo, you see..:P )

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    1. Where were you in my childhood? I will try to use this in my workplace.

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  5. I used to be good at table tennis, haven't played in years though. Attack to defend is the way to be

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    1. When in doubt,
      Take a shot,
      You will most likely win the bout,
      But surely you won't be shot.

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  6. I just know when I am about to be attacked and I lay my defense in place like a beautiful plan.
    I am evil like that.
    I suck at Table tennis.

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    1. Wow. I am not much concerned with how you lay your defense, but I am very much interested in how you get to know that you are about to be attacked.

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  7. Buddy, I just don't get it. Tell me what is that which you want defending here? I mean, in sports, teams attack in a hope of winning the game or drawing the match or to miminize the loss. In a war, in '300' movie for instance, armies attack while knowing that they would be overpowered ultimately, to preserve their honour and maintain the dignity of the squad and the nation. You take any situation from any field of life, people use attack-to-defend technique to defend something worth defending and worth achieving. In your case, you are gaining absolutely nothing. Are you defending your dignity ? Categorical No. Are you going to win the game ? Again, No, as you yourself has mentioned. Instead, had you not used to smashing, you would have learnt the game faster and in its true spirit. It's nothing more than an irrational impulsive state of mind which you want to fight for. Too bad a case to be qualified for any defense.

    It's not an 'attack to defend' but an 'attack AND lose'. Lose an opportunity to learn a game by smashing an otherwise manageable drive for any reasonably good player, lose an ability to manage your emotions and then lose the game as well! So, dear, please concentrate on your game and stop drawing such inferentially over-stretched particular-to-universal correlations.

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    1. Hello Anonymous. You are right, my table-tennis strategy is more of an attack-and-lose mindset.

      The thing is, enjoyment is more important to me while playing than winning. Table tennis, cards, pool etc. are great ways to interact with new people, and in my new job, we are a lot of new people. Also, watching my smash land, even if it happens 2 times out of 10, gives me a satisfaction that even winning a game with simple playing style has not. Some of the guys here have been former amateur players, so they try to help by guiding. The only alternative for me is to not play, which I think will be a shame.

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    2. Hi, Anonymous. Here is the rejoinder.
      Firstly, many a time what you want to defend is in the abstract form. Not always explanable or analysable.

      Secondly, if someone links the jumping back of a ball after a hit to the universal law 'every action has an equal and opposite reaction', will you accuse him of applying a universal truth to a trivial case ? Likewise, attack to defend can be seen in nature as well. Infact, it is the major reason of wild animals attacking the human beings.

      Thirdly, one can go on imposing as many so called rational conditions as one like. For instance, I can say that what you intend to defend should be an achievable target - I mean, 300 were fools. They knew that they could not defend their country which was the ultimate objective. They should not have attacked. Who would decide which are those conditions which define the attack-to-defend strategy in concrete terms ?

      Fourthly, defect in your example - Your example of 300 is dead wrong, meaning it's factually wrong. They just wanted to hold the position for it was the part of their overall strategy. It was an calculated strategy which they were executing and attack-to-defend was not at all a part of it.

      Fifthly and most importantly, you find his defending faulty because your own understanding of both the attacker and the thing to be defended in this case is faulty. Neither the opponent is the attacker nor the so-called irrational state of mind the thing to be defended. While opponent doen't matter, the state of the mind is in fact an attacker. KK is defending his joyous, positive state of mind from the negative energy emanating from an unwanted feeling of getting smashed by the opponent.

      Lastly, though you want him to learn the game and kindly so, that is not his intention at all. He plays for pleasure. Learning the game is not his concern. Ultumately, we play for entertainment. Right ?

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    3. Anonymous and Amanat, just chill guys.

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  8. If someone try to kill me I would try to kill this person, just to defense!

    In sport I never did it. As in volleyball... the ball came and I went to the other side! I hate sports like basketball and football (with big balls), but I was forced to play in college. Now I just play badminton, do you know?

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    1. I played some badminton as a child.

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  9. Rather die just like that, its better fight to see our last bit of chance. Whether we win or lost in the battle, doing our best defend us at least point of defeat.

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    1. Your "last bit of chance" resonates perfectly with me, Jeevan ji.

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  10. Ha ha... like that! But sometimes trying to give a spin while hitting back helps , as in real life:)

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    1. I am still learning to give a spin, in table tennis, and in life as well. Thanks for the tip, Rahul ji.

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  11. In fact, it's long time I don't play anything. There's no time!

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  12. I love playing TT, an advice.. Let them smash & try to hit it back, you'll obviously fail/miss a lot of times but One day you'll start replying their smash with another smash.. Trust me, it will happen..

    And about when I attack to defend?, Well! that happens every time I have a migraine attack, I used to give in to it but now I attack it & continue with my work & it slowly fades away..

    Good luck with TT.. :)

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    1. I hope your migraine improves, Ankit.

      I have not been able to play as regularly as I would have liked. Let us see where my game goes :-)

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  13. I am not a pro either, but I got to play when I was on a holiday and I was surprised with the way I was able to handle the ball. But of course, I dont know how to smash without it being a foul :-P

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    1. It is great that you played better than you thought. Smashing is not too big a deal, especially if you follow what Ankit above wrote.

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  14. The frenzy of wanting to attack first sometimes clouds the understanding of whether the attack is even necessary...
    I guess we react that way of we care about something deep down..

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    1. You are right. As you already know, my opinion on the topic has changed somewhat.

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