When one pays close attention to nature you’re always bound to learn something new. Martial artists for centuries have studied the relationships between predator and prey and mimicked the actions of creatures in combat when developing various fighting styles, thus the birth of SEVERAL Gung Fu Styles and their influences on the usage of animal principles in various other Non-Gung Fu Arts such as the use of the Dragon, Tiger and Crane in Uechi-Ryu, an Okinawan Karate Style.

Periodically The Sovereign Warrior will cover attributes found in the animal kingdom that might help you step your game up! This time around your friend The Octopus is going to offer some tips.

Briefly about the octopus…

Octopus (/ˈɒktəpʊs/; traditionally, plural: octopuses,) is a cephalopod mollusk of the order Octopoda. Octopuses have two eyes and four pairs of arms, and like other cephalopods they are bilaterally symmetric. Octopuses are among the most intelligent and behaviorally flexible of all invertebrates.  Octopuses are highly intelligent, likely more so than any other order of invertebrates. The exact extent of their intelligence and learning capability is much debated among biologists, but maze and problem-solving experiments have shown that they show evidence of a memory system that can store both short and long-term memory, they have been reported to practice observational learning. Octopuses often break out of their aquariums and sometimes into others in search of food. They have even boarded fishing boats and opened holds to eat crabs.

In some countries, octopuses are on the list of experimental animals on which surgery may not be performed without anesthesia. In the UK, cephalopods such as octopuses are regarded as honorary vertebrates under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and other cruelty to animals, legislation; extending to them protections not normally afforded to invertebrates. The octopus is the only invertebrate which has been shown to use tools. At least four specimens of the Veined Octopus (Amphioctopus Marginatus) have been witnessed retrieving discarded coconut shells, manipulating them, and then resembling them to use as shelter. They have numerous strategies for defending themselves against predators, including the expulsion of ink, the use of camouflage and dramatic displays, their ability to jet quickly through the water, and their ability to hide. An octopus trails its eight arms behind it as it swims. All octopuses are venomous they usually inject their prey with a paralyzing saliva before dismembering it into small pieces with their beaks.  They feed on shelled mollusks either by using force, or by drilling a hole in the shell, injecting a secretion into the hole, and then extracting the soft body of the mollusk but only one group, the blue-ringed octopuses, are known to be deadly to humans.

That being said…

Tip 1 – Be Smart!

If you read the previous entry then you read about “The Go Guy” if not… make it a point to afterward.  The go guy is one that tends to go hard and rush and force without thinking until it’s too late.  Be Smart, take your time and think be for you act and train how you want to react so being smart doesn’t slow you down at the wrong time.

Tip 2 – Observe!

Pay attention to your opponent… study them… see how they move, react and so on.  Use the knowledge gained by observation to gain an advantage, search for weaknesses and exploit them.

Tip 3 – Be Versatile!

Never limit yourself to one method of attack or defense, if one method seems in effective… move on to another and if all else fails then back to basics.

Tip 4 – Immobilization!

The more weapons you take away from your opponent the less the have to use against you, isolate and/or immobilize limbs to eliminate them as a threat.

Tip 5 – Use your Body Weapon!

Your entire body is a tool, never limit yourself to the conventional usage of  hands and feet, you have elbows, knees, fingers, palms… the list goes on… think outside the box!

Tip 6 – Conditioning and Flexibility

Remain conditioned and flexible so when you mind tells your body to do something its prepared to do just that in addition you are not as likely to be injured accidentally or intentionally when your conditioning and flexibility are up to par.


If your one of those individuals that looks unassuming, use it to your advantage to stay out of trouble, or to catch your opponent off guard! Time and Time again martial artists prove that being tough isn’t in the look anymore its in ability and skill which comes in all shapes and sizes.