History Main / ConfusionFu

17th Jan '17 12:42:51 PM kingjello
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** Satori used balls, stuffed with various items, from harmless flowers to bombs or living predators as a weapon. His attacks was heavily based on the fact that the enemy had no idea which balls were rigged and with what.
** His brothers, twins Hotori and Kotori had hidden weapons with different effects. They also wore the same clothing and rapidly switched places between each other, so the enemy wouldn't know which one has which weapons.

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** Satori used balls, stuffed with various items, from harmless flowers to bombs or living predators as a weapon. His attacks was were heavily based on the fact that the enemy had no idea which balls were rigged and with what.
** His brothers, twins Hotori and Kotori had hidden weapons with different effects. They also wore the same clothing and rapidly switched places between each other, so the enemy wouldn't know which one has had which weapons.
17th Jan '17 12:40:50 PM kingjello
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** Satori used balls, stuffed with various items, from harmless flowers to bombs or living predators as a weapon. His attacks was heavily based on the fact, that enemy had no idea, which balls was rigged and with what.
** His brothers, twins Hotori and Kotori had a hidden weapons with different effects. They also wore the same clothing and rapidly switched places between each other, so the enemy wouldn't know which one has which weapons.
** Sanji ususally acts as a [[LightningBruiser lightning bruiser]], but in the fight with Jabra he used assortment of tricks, like pretending to run away, only to attack opponent once he started chasing him or [[CallingYourAttacks calling out his attack]] [[SubvertedTrope and then use different one.]]

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** Satori used balls, stuffed with various items, from harmless flowers to bombs or living predators as a weapon. His attacks was heavily based on the fact, fact that the enemy had no idea, idea which balls was were rigged and with what.
** His brothers, twins Hotori and Kotori had a hidden weapons with different effects. They also wore the same clothing and rapidly switched places between each other, so the enemy wouldn't know which one has which weapons.
** Sanji ususally acts as a [[LightningBruiser lightning bruiser]], but in the fight with Jabra he used an assortment of tricks, like pretending to run away, only to attack the opponent once he started chasing him or [[CallingYourAttacks calling out his attack]] [[SubvertedTrope and then use different one.]]
17th Jan '17 12:38:07 PM kingjello
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** Due to his [[RubberMan rubber body]] and childish demeanor Luffy often uses unpredictable and just plain weird tactics - like using one of the mooks as a human puppet, or attempting to eat opponent, who is invulnerable to regular attacks. Several times he gained an advantage in battle simply because enemy didn't took his new technique seriously until the first hit.

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** Due to his [[RubberMan rubber body]] and childish demeanor Luffy often uses unpredictable and just plain weird tactics - like using one of the mooks as a human puppet, or attempting to eat his opponent, who is invulnerable to regular attacks. Several times he gained an advantage in battle simply because the enemy didn't took take his new technique seriously until the first hit.
16th Jan '17 5:43:22 AM StFan
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-> ''"That's the problem. He's a brilliant lunatic, and you can't tell which way he'll jump. Like his game, he's impossible to analyze - you can't predict him, dissect him... which of course means he's not a lunatic at all."''
-->-- '''Anatoly Sergievsky''', ''{{Theatre/Chess}}''

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-> ''"That's the problem. He's a brilliant lunatic, and you can't tell which way he'll jump. Like his game, he's impossible to analyze - -- you can't predict him, dissect him... which of course means he's not a lunatic at all."''
-->-- '''Anatoly Sergievsky''', ''{{Theatre/Chess}}''
''Theatre/{{Chess}}''



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[[folder:Comics]][[folder:Board Games]]
* Often seen in the chess world. Many's the amateur who succeeds through offbeat play, and even at the grandmaster level, some players favour bizarre openings like 1. b4. A 19th-century example, William Potter, is described in ''Lasker's Manual of Chess'':
-->''Potter probably saw through the emptiness and the presumption of the style then dominating and with his style of play he seemed to call out to his contemporaries: "You want to beat me right from the start by force of your greater genius? Look! I make ridiculous moves, and yet you cannot beat me. Become, I pray you, more modest and more reasonable."''
* Though not nearly as often as popular culture would think it happens. While you can certainly irritate grandmasters with offbeat variants in the opening, leading them astray from their vast knowledge (and often crazy preparedness) about mainstream openings, trying confusion fu later in the game will way more often than not lose you the game in a single move without you even realizing it. The problem is that the general knowledge (as opposed to the specific knowledge of Lasker's time) got way more advanced during the last century.
* Chess-playing computers play like this -- not bound to any strategy or school, but simply by picking the moves that will, in the long run, have the greatest chance of success. Or should have... Kasparov did win his 3rd and 4th games in a 4-game match against a computer by ensuring that there was no positive history for the computer to rely on in the games they'd played -- and going into purer Shrodinger Fu than the computer was designed for netted him a win while playing black. Future iterations do not have this vulnerability; it is currently pretty much impossible for an unassisted human to beat a dedicated chess computer, and ''phone apps'' have won Grand Master tournaments by a landslide.
* Google's [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AlphaGo Go-playing program]] had a similar effect. It completely ignores normal board control strategies and the current point balance while it made the moves it calculated were most likely to lead to final victory, and as a result nobody had any idea what the hell it was doing until it won. Several moves that were, in retrospect, core to its victory were thought to be mistakes at the time because they gave up points.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Card Games]]
* In TabletopGame/{{Poker}}, the most dangerous players at the table are the ones who always call and raise at random. It's impossible to tell whether they have a good hand, so calling their raise is a very risky business -- but at the same time, folding means you'll lose your earlier investment when they could easily just be sitting on a high card. Aside from that, online players who sit down at physical tables tend to completely ignore their opponents' physical expressions and focus on their betting patterns, simply because you can't read people online. This tends to throw off live players, though it can also create an exploitable weakness because the online players don't train themselves to get rid of their own tells.
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[[folder:Comic Books]]



-->'''Sinestro''': You're too blasted unpredictable. Set a plotter or a schemer in my path, I'll crush their bones to dust. You've escaped that fate not because of something as silly as willpower. Nor because of your prosaic notions of justice and morality. You've survived because your actions never make sense. Yet despite yourself---and this is the truly infuriating part---your instincts always see you through.
* Done in ''Regifted'' during a hapkido tournament; the main character takes a move from her sparring buddy, that she describes as idiotic, ''and it works''; no one would know to expect it.
* SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}}, from Marvel Comics. To the extent that he once defeated ''[[AwesomenessByAnalysis the freakin' Taskmaster]]'' by sheer unpredictability -- Tasky thought that Deadpool was about to get angry and sloppy, but he ''really'' just started on a dance number. True, Confusion Fu has already been proven to be an effective strategy against Taskmaster (for example, Comicbook/{{Daredevil}} used a similar trick to goad Taskmaster into jumping in front of a moving car), but Deadpool beat the Taskmaster by ''being Deadpool''.

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-->'''Sinestro''': -->'''Sinestro:''' You're too blasted unpredictable. Set a plotter or a schemer in my path, I'll crush their bones to dust. You've escaped that fate not because of something as silly as willpower. Nor because of your prosaic notions of justice and morality. You've survived because your actions never make sense. Yet despite yourself---and yourself -- and this is the truly infuriating part---your part -- your instincts always see you through.
* Done in ''Regifted'' during a hapkido tournament; the main character takes a move from her sparring buddy, that she describes as idiotic, ''and it works''; no one no-one would know to expect it.
* SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}}, ComicBook/{{Deadpool}}, from Marvel Comics. To the extent that he once defeated ''[[AwesomenessByAnalysis the freakin' Taskmaster]]'' by sheer unpredictability -- Tasky thought that Deadpool was about to get angry and sloppy, but he ''really'' just started on a dance number. True, Confusion Fu has already been proven to be an effective strategy against Taskmaster (for example, Comicbook/{{Daredevil}} used a similar trick to goad Taskmaster into jumping in front of a moving car), but Deadpool beat the Taskmaster by ''being Deadpool''.



* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}''
** This is usually the reason given as to why SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker can occasionally actually win at hand-to-hand combat against the Dark Knight.
** Tim Drake managed to overcome [[ComicBook/{{Batgirl| 2000}} Cassandra Cain's]] bodyreading ability by throwing out all style and just going with what felt natural, despite the face that this is not how her abilities work.

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* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}''
''Franchise/{{Batman}}'':
** This is usually the reason given as to why SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker ComicBook/TheJoker can occasionally actually win at hand-to-hand combat against the Dark Knight.
** Tim Drake managed to overcome [[ComicBook/{{Batgirl| 2000}} [[ComicBook/Batgirl2000 Cassandra Cain's]] bodyreading ability by throwing out all style and just going with what felt natural, despite the face that this is not how her abilities work.



* During a ComicBook/SecretSix[=/=]Comicbook/SuicideSquad crossover, Catman explains that he is able to hold up in his fight against Bronze Tiger because Bronze Tiger has "a defense for every style... and styles are for $%#@ing idiots." He then proceeds to [[ManBitesMan take a big bite out of Bronze Tiger's jugular]].

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* During a ComicBook/SecretSix[=/=]Comicbook/SuicideSquad ''ComicBook/SecretSix''/''ComicBook/SuicideSquad'' crossover, Catman explains that he is able to hold up in his fight against Bronze Tiger because Bronze Tiger has "a defense for every style... and styles are for $%#@ing idiots." He then proceeds to [[ManBitesMan take a big bite out of Bronze Tiger's jugular]].



[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* The central strategy of Harry Potter's Chaos Army in ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality''. Harry lacks Draco Malfoy's cultural knowledge and [[ManipulativeBastard political acumen]], and he doesn't quite match Hermione Granger's raw aptitude for learning, Harry actively courts traitors and sows confusion among all three armies while training his own soldiers to adapt to the chaos. It works... most of the time.
** Most people - especially his enemies - suspect that Dumbledore's [[ObfuscatingInsanity apparent insanity]] is an act to mask his true intentions. However, some speculate that he may actually have cracked along the way...

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[[folder:Fan Fic]]
Works]]
* ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'':
**
The central strategy of Harry Potter's Chaos Army in ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality''. Army. Harry lacks Draco Malfoy's cultural knowledge and [[ManipulativeBastard political acumen]], and he doesn't quite match Hermione Granger's raw aptitude for learning, learning. Harry actively courts traitors and sows confusion among all three armies while training his own soldiers to adapt to the chaos. It works... most of the time.
** Most people - especially his enemies - -- suspect that Dumbledore's [[ObfuscatingInsanity apparent insanity]] is an act to mask his true intentions. However, some speculate that he may actually have cracked along the way...



* In the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'', lots of characters do this when they need to fight. As in the above, Pinkie Pie is the stand out due to having performed a SplitPersonalityMerge, making her a considerably saner {{Cloudcuckoolander}} who runs on ToonPhysics. This results in her doing such things as weaponizing a HardWorkMontage or use OffscreenTeleportation after being thrown out a window to come back in through the ''other'' window with a flying kick.
** This is pretty much the norm for every character in [[BadFuture Dark World]], as one side is run by [[MadGod Discord]] and the other is ''fighting'' Discord. Twilight even invokes this trope when they're planning to fight Discord (and makes good use of it later with her vast amount of spells) because any well laid plan is destined to fail in this situation. She even outright refuses to come up with a single plan, instead opting for a list of optional goals that can be completed in any order, with the rest of the 'plan' being an IndyPloy.
** This is particularly clear with [[FutureBadass Dark World!Derpy]], who's flying style is completely unpredictable and thus makes her very difficult to hit.
** Another notable example is Dark World!Spike, who's a GeniusBruiser that's spent the last thousand years pretty much reading whenever Discord wasn't using him as his personal ride. When faced with Rancor, Discord's little sister and TheDragon, he breaks out everything from TickleTorture to chiropractic massage to simply pinning her wings and letting gravity do the rest to bypass her [[AnthropomorphicPersonification immunity to violence]] and fight her off.

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* In the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'', lots ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'':
** Lots
of characters do this when they need to fight. As in the above, Pinkie Pie is the stand out due to having performed a SplitPersonalityMerge, making her a considerably saner {{Cloudcuckoolander}} who runs on ToonPhysics. This results in her doing such things as weaponizing a HardWorkMontage or use OffscreenTeleportation after being thrown out a window to come back in through the ''other'' window with a flying kick.
** This is pretty much the norm for every character in [[BadFuture Dark World]], as one side is run by [[MadGod Discord]] and the other is ''fighting'' Discord. Twilight even invokes this trope when they're planning to fight Discord (and makes good use of it later with her vast amount of spells) because any well laid plan is destined to fail in this situation. She even outright refuses to come up with a single plan, instead opting for a list of optional goals that can be completed in any order, with the rest of the 'plan' "plan" being an IndyPloy.
** This is particularly clear with [[FutureBadass Dark World!Derpy]], who's World Derpy]], whose flying style is completely unpredictable and thus makes her very difficult to hit.
** Another notable example is Dark World!Spike, World Spike, who's a GeniusBruiser that's spent the last thousand years pretty much reading whenever Discord wasn't using him as his personal ride. When faced with Rancor, Discord's little sister and TheDragon, he breaks out everything from TickleTorture to chiropractic massage to simply pinning her wings and letting gravity do the rest to bypass her [[AnthropomorphicPersonification immunity to violence]] and fight her off.



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* Near the end of ''Film/{{Chocolate}}'', Zen gets rather badly beaten by [[spoiler:a man with Tourette's syndrome. Her usual method of evading attack, anticipation, is ruined by his tics - she can't tell them apart from his attack tells. Only when she starts mimicking his tics does she get any offense in.]]

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* Near the end of ''Film/{{Chocolate}}'', Zen gets rather badly beaten by [[spoiler:a man with Tourette's syndrome. Her usual method of evading attack, anticipation, is ruined by his tics - -- she can't tell them apart from his attack tells. Only when she starts mimicking his tics does she get any offense in.]]



* In ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'', Peter Quill is a baseline human in a galaxy of superhuman aliens (and that's not to mention the angry gods). He gets by with gadgets and trickery. At the end, he [[GoLookAtTheDistraction distracts]] [[BigBad Ronan the Accuser]] by [[spoiler:challenging him to a dance-off while singing ''Ooh Child'']].

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* In ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'', Peter Quill is a baseline human in a galaxy of superhuman aliens (and that's not to mention the angry gods). He gets by with gadgets and trickery. At the end, he [[GoLookAtTheDistraction distracts]] [[BigBad Ronan the Accuser]] by [[spoiler:challenging him to a dance-off while singing ''Ooh Child'']]."Ooh Child"]].



* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''

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* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':



[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In ''Series/EngineSentaiGoOnger'', Hiramekimedes, master of AwesomenessByAnalysis, kept losing to Hiroto, who was even better at it... [[spoiler: so he went OneWingedAngel and adopted a ''nonsense-based'' style, calling himself Detaramedes (''detarame'' = nonsense), fighting crazily and yelling things like "1+1=300!" He was winning until Sousuke, who has the usual HotBlooded hero's style of "charge in mindlessly and win via plot convenience," stepped in. ''Throwing his sword and riding it like a surfboard,'' he managed to finalize Detaramedes singlehandedly.]]

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[[folder:Live Action [[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Franchise/SuperSentai'':
**
In ''Series/EngineSentaiGoOnger'', Hiramekimedes, master of AwesomenessByAnalysis, kept losing to Hiroto, who was even better at it... [[spoiler: so he went OneWingedAngel and adopted a ''nonsense-based'' style, calling himself Detaramedes (''detarame'' = nonsense), fighting crazily and yelling things like "1+1=300!" He was winning until Sousuke, who has the usual HotBlooded hero's style of "charge in mindlessly and win via plot convenience," stepped in. ''Throwing his sword and riding it like a surfboard,'' he managed to finalize Detaramedes singlehandedly.]]



** The idea is sort-of mentioned in passing in ''Resurrection of the Daleks''. The Daleks, and their enemies the Movellans, are engaged in a war against each other. Both sides are more machine than animal (the Movellans are possibly androids, maybe cybernetically enhanced bio-forms), and each side controls their entire battle fleet from a giant supercomputer. Because both fleets are using [[StrawVulcan purely logical]] tactics, the computers never launch an attack, as the opposing computer can instantly create a counterattack scenario. They both realise that the only way for either side to win is to turn off their battle computer and do something random, as a totally logical battle plan is doomed to fail due to its own predictability. Oddly, the story immediately before that featured one side of a conflict being run by another such computer, and the other by human leaders, and the computer was winning, which was said to be inevitable.

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** The idea is sort-of mentioned in passing in ''Resurrection "Resurrection of the Daleks''.Daleks". The Daleks, and their enemies the Movellans, are engaged in a war against each other. Both sides are more machine than animal (the Movellans are possibly androids, maybe cybernetically enhanced bio-forms), and each side controls their entire battle fleet from a giant supercomputer. Because both fleets are using [[StrawVulcan purely logical]] tactics, the computers never launch an attack, as the opposing computer can instantly create a counterattack scenario. They both realise realize that the only way for either side to win is to turn off their battle computer and do something random, as a totally logical battle plan is doomed to fail due to its own predictability. Oddly, the story immediately before that featured one side of a conflict being run by another such computer, and the other by human leaders, and the computer was winning, which was said to be inevitable.



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[[folder:Sports]]
* UsefulNotes/{{Baseball}}:
** There are a handful of baseball pitchers who throw the knuckleball. Essentially throwing the ball with no spin, allowing the imperfections (mostly the seams) to determine the flight path. Such pitches are so unpredictable (even the pitcher doesn't know what will happen, the catcher usually wears an oversize mitt to help snag them), that some batters take the day off rather than have their timing and instincts ruined for the next several games.
** Even more so is the spitball. Similar to the knuckleball, it has an unpredictable trajectory, but because it doesn't require a special grip to be thrown, it can be thrown at higher speeds, and due to the dirt, grime, and tobacco juice that accumulates on the ball, it is more difficult to see. It is banned from most professional leagues due to this fact - a spitball ''killed'' [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Chapman Ray Chapman]] during a poorly lit game after going astray and hitting him in the head, resulting in its ban in 1920. Its equivalent is still legal in Cricket, with certain exceptions (for instance, gouging the ball with your fingernails is unacceptable, while spitting on one side and polishing the other is no issue).
** "Effectively wild" baseball pitchers, who have great breaking-ball stuff or high velocity and terrible command, work this on hitters. Better offensive teams and pitchers can usually shell a wild pitcher with trained plate discipline and waiting out a pitcher to walk guys on or lay a mistake down the heart of the plate, but most league-average players will usually chase their bad balls out of the zone and work their own way into trouble, either out of a sense of aggressiveness in anticipation of getting a mistake to hit or a ball being just close enough to the strike zone to chase. Whereas more effective pitchers will execute a game-plan that involves intentionally throwing balls to fool the hitter and the hitter countering by trying to figure out the plan of attack, wild pitchers with no semblance of control usually befuddle hitters into having no clue if they're getting a ball or strike in any count and it throws their usual hitting approach out of whack.
** Jim Bouton wrote in ''Ball Four'' of his teammate Mike Marshall's belief that the most effective way to keep a hitter from dialing in was to throw pitches in a completely random non-pattern irrespective of the count.
* In cricket, some fast bowlers like to bowl the ball so that the seam (which on a cricket ball is much more prominent than on a baseball, running straight around the circumference of the ball) strikes the ground on the bounce, producing a pretty unpredictable bounce on the right kind of pitch. Of course, this makes it unlikely to direct itself towards the stumps, but the idea is to hope that a batter will take a swing at the ball and 'edge' it, resulting in an easy catch for the wicket keeper. Such a tactic is, as you'd expect, known as 'seam bowling' and the bowler who uses it a 'seamer'.
* UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball:
** The Wildcat Formation. There are four main plays (two rushing, two passing) that can be run from the Wildcat Formation, and all of them look exactly the same until the play is actually executed, making it difficult for the defense to anticipate what they must do. The Wildcat is an interesting example. After seeing Ronnie Brown and the Miami Dolphins paste the recently near-undefeated New England Patriots with the Wildcat in 2008, several other teams misunderstood the ''reason'' it worked (the Dolphins simply surprised the Patriots with a scheme they had not thought to prepare for) and began to implement the Wildcat into their normal offensive playbooks. Once defensive coaches had a few weeks to study the Wildcat, defenses adjusted to counter the Wildcat and offenses designed around it were stopped cold. Today, the Wildcat is almost entirely out of vogue... which means that if a team is very careful about using it sparingly, it can still be an effective surprise attack.
** There are a surprising number of Confusion Fu techniques in American Football, and almost every play utilizes them to some extent. Many running patterns are designed to confuse the defense and make them lose track. Beyond known plays such as the play action (start with what looks like a run play, but then go to a pass) the draw (the converse, fall back like you're about to pass while you're actually executing a running play), a quarterback can use his eyes or do a pump fake to fool an unsuspecting defensive player to think he will throw in a certain direction. He may also alter his pre-snap cadence to make it harder for the defense to time the snap. He may fake a handoff, then run the ball himself (a "bootleg"). Running backs will follow a blocking pattern until the defense adjusts to it, and then cut back and run the other way. Receivers will make moves to throw a defensive back off his coverage. Sometimes two or more receivers will cross routes, making it difficult for all the defenders to track them. Skilled defenders are just as capable of utilizing confusion by continually moving before the snap, or lining up in an apparent zone and then blitzing through linemen not expecting a strong pass rush.
** The zone read and option plays, which figure heavily into college football (with the former becoming more prevalent in the pro game with the advent of mobile quarterbacks), which allows the quarterback to read the defense and then decide after the snap and the defense commits whether to hang onto the ball or give it off to a tailback. This gets even more headache-inducing for the defense with the option, since the quarterback and tailback are running parallel to each other so that the quarterback can A) keep it and run if the defender chooses to stay with the tailback or B) if the defense commits to the quarterback, wait until he's about to be tackled before pitching it to the tailback, allowing him a lot of space to run with one less defender to worry about.
** And then there's just doing something so completely unexpected that the defense has no idea what's going on. Case in point? [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UIdI8khMkw This.]]
** Every team will have a couple trick or gadget plays that rely on this in their playbook (the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuDFd9zL2HA Statue of Liberty play]], for example), even up to the professional level. Such shenanigans are generally frowned upon, however, as when they fail they tend to fail catastrophically (and additionally make the playcaller look like an idiot).
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6i7VKQwDS2s&nohtml5=False This play]] - whatever it was intended to do - shows that confusion for the sake of confusion is not a successful tactic. There are probably three people in the world who understand this play. One is in an insane asylum, the other is dead and the third has forgotten all about it.
* Retired fighter [[UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts Genki Sudo]] owed most of his striking success to this tactic, being primarily a grappler. It was [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlW0_r_japA awesome to watch]]
* Mansour Bahrami is a tennis player known for his crazy fake outs and trick shots. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6Vqp6UveIU&feature=channel_video_title It is a sight to behold.]] It should be noted that Mr. Bahrami primarily plays in exhibition matches which do not adhere strictly to the rules. Many of his tactics, though not all, are against the rules in a regular tennis match.
* UsefulNotes/{{Capoeira}} has much the same thought in mind with its DanceBattler making you hard to predict because you are always in motion. Also for the sheer fun of it.
* In game theory, this is known as a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategy_%28game_theory%29#Mixed_strategy mixed strategy]]. For example, in rock-paper-scissors, if you went with a pure strategy, such as always picking rock, anyone who knows your strategy could easily beat you. If you use a mixed strategy, and pick rock a third of the time, paper a third of the time, and scissors a third of the time, then there's no strategy that can consistently beat you. In more complex games, there are more complex mixed strategies, where not all choices are picked with the same probability.
** Do make sure, though, that you are truly randomizing whether you pick rock, paper, or scissors - if you're just going in a predictable pattern (i.e., 1st round rock, 2nd round paper, 3rd round scissors, 4th round rock, etc.), or even adhere ''too'' strictly to the 1/3 probability guideline (to the point where every three throws feature rock, paper, and scissors in some order), astute opponents will pick up on it and pre-empt you.
** Another example is from soccer penalty kicks. Because the shot is taken from so close, the goalie has to decide whether to go left or right as they will not have time to react if they wait until ball is kicked. Meanwhile, the kicker has to decide whether to aim for the left corner or the right corner. Both players randomize which way to go based on the probabiities of scoring. Research has shown that professionals move to the left or right with a frequency that is within 1% of what game theory predicts.
*** This is discussed by the authors of the Freakonomics blog in ''Think Like a Freak'', then invoked. If you're the kicker, and you know the keeper will almost certainly either dodge left or right, where should you aim? Right down the middle. They give several reasons for why players rarely use this tactic, one of which is the fear of shame (and an angry crowd) at kicking the ball dead center and having the keeper catch it easily.
*** Probably the gutsiest penalty kick down the middle was [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd1Hr96IenI this]] from Czechoslovak Antonin Panenka at the ''final'' of the Euro 1976. It worked and it beat [[GermanicEfficiency Germany]] in the only penalty shootout they ever lost. Maybe England should hire Panenka as a penalty shootout coach.
* Muay thai champion Manson Gibson is a known Confusion Fu user. His amateur kung fu-based fighting style has been described as "capoeira-esque", using all kind of attacks from absurd angles and making a deep use of EverythingIsBetterWithSpinning.
* This is a good volleyball setter's job. If it is obvious which attacker he/she is setting, they will probably be blocked. The set should ''look'' obvious, but be misleading, so that the blockers will go up against the wrong player.
* Kickboxer and MMA star Wrestling/BobSapp was an example in which opponents could not read his attacks due to how UnskilledButStrong they were. Thanks to his large arms, he could inflict damage from every angle, and due to his lack of classic training, he indeed attacked from every angle.
[[/folder]]



* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':

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* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'':



* An old staple in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', starting with 2nd edition, is the Wild Mage. Conceptually, his casting power level is modified by a die roll whenever casting a spell, and each spell has a small chance of producing a "wild surge", which is something completely random from a long list. The original list had 100 entries, but various fanmade lists on the Internet are far longer. Then he gets a spell that does nothing ''except'' produce a random effect. In 4th edition, this is severely toned down. The "Chaos Sorcerer" has numerous random effects (such as attacks that deal damage of a random element) but lacks true wild effects because they don't fit the strict ruleset, or because they would be disadvantageous to the caster. Usually a player character (and this can be highly frustrating to the ''other'' player characters), but there's nothing stopping the Dungeon Master from throwing one at you.

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* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
**
An old staple in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', of the game, starting with 2nd edition, is the Wild Mage. Conceptually, his casting power level is modified by a die roll whenever casting a spell, and each spell has a small chance of producing a "wild surge", which is something completely random from a long list. The original list had 100 entries, but various fanmade lists on the Internet are far longer. Then he gets a spell that does nothing ''except'' produce a random effect. In 4th edition, this is severely toned down. The "Chaos Sorcerer" has numerous random effects (such as attacks that deal damage of a random element) but lacks true wild effects because they don't fit the strict ruleset, or because they would be disadvantageous to the caster. Usually a player character (and this can be highly frustrating to the ''other'' player characters), but there's nothing stopping the Dungeon Master from throwing one at you.



** Speaking of Slaadi, as embodiments of pure chaos they do ''everything'' this way. This should certainly include fighting.
*** In 2nd Edition ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'', Slaadi were discussed as having utterly chaotic personalities, but preferring to fight their enemies one-on-one is slugging matches just so each ''individual'' would prove how tough he was.
** TabletopGame/{{Planescape}} in its various expansions discussed how Confusion Fu was actually a ''weakness'' of the tanar'ri (demons). Their unpredictability meant they couldn't get together and make a plan against their enemies, as they'd go off and do whatever they felt like. Even a bad plan is better than disorder, and their enemies (the devils) usually had excellent plans. Every once in a while, the tanar'ri would do something absolutely brilliant out of sheer chaos, but most of the times they simply relied on WeHaveReserves.
** A 3rd edition sourcebook included "Drunken Boxer" as a PrestigeClass.

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** Speaking of Slaadi, as embodiments of pure chaos they do ''everything'' this way. This should certainly include fighting.
***
fighting. In 2nd Edition ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'', Slaadi were discussed as having utterly chaotic personalities, but preferring to fight their enemies one-on-one is slugging matches just so each ''individual'' would prove how tough he was.
** TabletopGame/{{Planescape}} ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' in its various expansions discussed how Confusion Fu was is actually a ''weakness'' of the tanar'ri (demons). Their unpredictability meant they couldn't can't get together and make a plan against their enemies, as they'd they go off and do whatever they felt like. Even a bad plan is better than disorder, and their enemies (the devils) usually had excellent haveexcellent plans. Every once in a while, the tanar'ri would do something absolutely brilliant out of sheer chaos, but most of the times they simply relied rely on WeHaveReserves.
** A 3rd edition sourcebook included includes "Drunken Boxer" as a PrestigeClass.



*** Also in TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}} is the Brawler class (a hybrid of the Fighter and Monk classes) which more or less has this as its primary class feature. The Brawler has the ability as it levels up to temporarily gain access to Combat Feats it doesn't know, allowing an experienced Brawler to become an InstantExpert in tripping or grappling in one fight and pull an entire Monk fighting style out of nowhere in another. This allows the Brawler to be a very versatile and unpredictable fighter, and one the GM can't always anticipate.
* TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}} has the infamous [[http://www.crd-sector.com/uv/r&d/weapons.htm#Probability%20Grenade Probability Grenade,]] which can and do end sessions in a TCK (that's Total Complex Kill, yup). The list, however, is so off the wall that it can only go here. You will learn to ''fear'' result 00 (which puts what happens entirely in the hands of [[KillerGameMaster the Game Master]]). [[note]]This being TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}, of course, what happens on a roll of 01-99 is ''also'' in entirely in the hands of the Game Master.[[/note]]

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*** ** Also in TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}} ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' is the Brawler class (a hybrid of the Fighter and Monk classes) which more or less has this as its primary class feature. The Brawler has the ability as it levels up to temporarily gain access to Combat Feats it doesn't know, allowing an experienced Brawler to become an InstantExpert in tripping or grappling in one fight and pull an entire Monk fighting style out of nowhere in another. This allows the Brawler to be a very versatile and unpredictable fighter, and one the GM can't always anticipate.
* TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}} ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'' has the infamous [[http://www.crd-sector.com/uv/r&d/weapons.htm#Probability%20Grenade Probability Grenade,]] which can and do end sessions in a TCK (that's Total Complex Kill, yup). The list, however, is so off the wall that it can only go here. You will learn to ''fear'' result 00 (which puts what happens entirely in the hands of [[KillerGameMaster the Game Master]]). [[note]]This being TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}, of course, what happens on a roll of 01-99 is ''also'' in entirely in the hands of the Game Master.[[/note]]



* In ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'', the flavor text for Spiraling Duelist alludes to this: "I never move the same way twice. The rotters can't grasp chaos."

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* In ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'', the ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'':
** The
flavor text for Spiraling Duelist alludes to this: "I never move the same way twice. The rotters can't grasp chaos."



* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'':
** Archer lives and breathes this trope. He prefers DualWielding ''swords'' in melee combat, rather than using the bow every other Servant expects him to rely on. His dress, weapons, and abilities do not match those of any known mythological hero, his personality is decisively non-heroic, and he has a magus-level knowledge of magical phenomenon, making it impossible to identify him. On top of this, he is shown to use multiple Noble Phantasms belonging to very different myths, in some cases even [[ExplosiveOverclocking sundering the Phantasms as part of his attacks]], normally a near-unthinkable, one-time TakingYouWithMe attack -- and no explanation as to where he acquired his Phantasms is forthcoming. Archer's preferred fighting style itself is also refined to inflict as much confusion as possible. He deliberately leaves openings in his guard so that he can control and counter where his opponents will strike, which has the added effect of making it difficult to tell if a slip up is exactly that or just a ploy. The swords that he wields he will ''[[PrecisionGuidedBoomerang throw like boomerangs]]'' at random trajectories, only to [[SpontaneousWeaponCreation pull new ones out of thin air]]. Just about all Servants have a trick or two up their sleeve, but Archer is the only one who games his every opponent from the get go. Due to this, none of the other Servants can predict him, often giving him the advantage even though his low physical stats mean he should have no ability in melee combat.
** [[spoiler:Kuzuki]] is master of an unconventional martial art that incorporates odd, hooked and snake-like movements: while this makes it less energy effective, attempting to dodge or block attacks as if they were straight punches from a "normal" style allows the user to hook back and pierce the opponents' defence, landing telling blows. Once the enemy sees through the unusual movement pattern, however, the style loses its effectiveness.
** [[spoiler:Gilgamesh, the Archer of the previous Holy Grail War, has access to a HyperspaceArsenal full of the prototypes of every hero's Noble Phantasm. Because he's a collector who's never trained in melee combat, when he chooses to go into melee he makes up for his lack of traditional skill by switching his weapons in between strikes and utilizing different magical effects in the process. This allows him to catch even [[MasterSwordsman Saber]] off-guard and force her to retreat from melee. When they have a rematch later, Saber realizes that she can only parry his weapons, since blocking would be suicidal as long as she doesn't know what the weapons' abilities are.]]



* In ''[[VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry Ougon Musou Kyou/Cross]]'' all of [[{{Meido}} Shanon's]] regular attacks look [[{{Dojikko}} accidental]], hitting opponents with anything that would be used in her typical chores: serving trays and carts, entire tea sets, carpet beaters, scrubbing brushes, and her apron.



[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'':
** Archer lives and breathes this trope. He prefers DualWielding ''swords'' in melee combat, rather than using the bow every other Servant expects him to rely on. His dress, weapons, and abilities do not match those of any known mythological hero, his personality is decisively non-heroic, and he has a magus-level knowledge of magical phenomenon, making it impossible to identify him. On top of this, he is shown to use multiple Noble Phantasms belonging to very different myths, in some cases even [[ExplosiveOverclocking sundering the Phantasms as part of his attacks]], normally a near-unthinkable, one-time TakingYouWithMe attack -- and no explanation as to where he acquired his Phantasms is forthcoming. Archer's preferred fighting style itself is also refined to inflict as much confusion as possible. He deliberately leaves openings in his guard so that he can control and counter where his opponents will strike, which has the added effect of making it difficult to tell if a slip up is exactly that or just a ploy. The swords that he wields he will ''[[PrecisionGuidedBoomerang throw like boomerangs]]'' at random trajectories, only to [[SpontaneousWeaponCreation pull new ones out of thin air]]. Just about all Servants have a trick or two up their sleeve, but Archer is the only one who games his every opponent from the get go. Due to this, none of the other Servants can predict him, often giving him the advantage even though his low physical stats mean he should have no ability in melee combat.
** [[spoiler:Kuzuki]] is master of an unconventional martial art that incorporates odd, hooked and snake-like movements: while this makes it less energy effective, attempting to dodge or block attacks as if they were straight punches from a "normal" style allows the user to hook back and pierce the opponents' defence, landing telling blows. Once the enemy sees through the unusual movement pattern, however, the style loses its effectiveness.
** [[spoiler:Gilgamesh, the Archer of the previous Holy Grail War, has access to a HyperspaceArsenal full of the prototypes of every hero's Noble Phantasm. Because he's a collector who's never trained in melee combat, when he chooses to go into melee he makes up for his lack of traditional skill by switching his weapons in between strikes and utilizing different magical effects in the process. This allows him to catch even [[MasterSwordsman Saber]] off-guard and force her to retreat from melee. When they have a rematch later, Saber realizes that she can only parry his weapons, since blocking would be suicidal as long as she doesn't know what the weapons' abilities are.]]
* In ''[[VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry Ougon Musou Kyou/Cross]]'' all of [[{{Meido}} Shanon's]] regular attacks look [[{{Dojikko}} accidental]], hitting opponents with anything that would be used in her typical chores: serving trays and carts, entire tea sets, carpet beaters, scrubbing brushes, and her apron.
[[/folder]]



* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{ThunderCats 2011}}'' episode "The Duelist and the Drifter" RascallyRabbit and TricksterMentor the Drifter befuddles opponents with his DanceBattler brand of NotQuiteFlight {{Nonchalant Dodg|e}}ing that involves drifting on currents of wind like a leaf, and also employs {{Brandishment Bluff}}s, heavily exploiting the reflexive movements of those who attack him.

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* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{ThunderCats 2011}}'' ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'' episode "The Duelist and the Drifter" RascallyRabbit and TricksterMentor the Drifter befuddles opponents with his DanceBattler brand of NotQuiteFlight {{Nonchalant Dodg|e}}ing that involves drifting on currents of wind like a leaf, and also employs {{Brandishment Bluff}}s, heavily exploiting the reflexive movements of those who attack him.



* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': In the rare cases Pinkie Pie is actually drawn into a fight, you can bet her style is going to be very unpredictable.
** Against the changeling army in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E26ACanterlotWeddingPart2 A Canterlot Wedding Part 2]]", she begins by excitably urging a foe to take her own form ("Do me! Do me!"), then start [[EquippableAlly using Twilight Sparkle as a magical machine-gun]], and finally pulls out the party cannon to blast changelings.
** In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS5E9SliceOfLife Slice of Life]]", this the most likely explanation as to why Pinkie Pie is seen on a unicycle spinning plates on sticks at one point during the fight against the bugbear -- she must be trying to confuse the monster. The scene is too short to tell whether it's working or not, though the bugbear does give her a stare.



* Often seen in the chess world. Many's the amateur who succeeds through offbeat play, and even at the grandmaster level, some players favour bizarre openings like 1. b4. A 19th-century example, William Potter, is described in ''Lasker's Manual of Chess'':
-->''Potter probably saw through the emptiness and the presumption of the style then dominating and with his style of play he seemed to call out to his contemporaries: "You want to beat me right from the start by force of your greater genius? Look! I make ridiculous moves, and yet you cannot beat me. Become, I pray you, more modest and more reasonable."''
** Though not nearly as often as popular culture would think it happens. While you can certainly irritate grandmasters with offbeat variants in the opening, leading them astray from their vast knowledge (and often crazy preparedness) about mainstream openings, trying confusion fu later in the game will way more often than not lose you the game in a single move without you even realizing it. The problem is that the general knowledge (as opposed to the specific knowledge of Lasker's time) got way more advanced during the last centennium.



* Chess playing computers play like this -- not bound to any strategy or school, but simply by picking the moves that will, in the long run, have the greatest chance of success. Or should have... Kasparov did win his 3rd and 4th games in a 4-game match against a computer by ensuring that there was no positive history for the computer to rely on in the games they'd played--and going into purer Shrodinger Fu than the computer was designed for netted him a win while playing black. Future iterations do not have this vulnerability; it is currently pretty much impossible for an unassisted human to beat a dedicated chess computer, and ''phone apps'' have won Grand Master tournaments by a landslide.
** Google's [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AlphaGo Go-playing program]] had a similar effect. It completely ignores normal board control strategies and the current point balance while it made the moves it calculated were most likely to lead to final victory, and as a result nobody had any idea what the hell it was doing until it won. Several moves that were, in retrospect, core to its victory were thought to be mistakes at the time because they gave up points.
* There are a handful of baseball pitchers who throw the knuckleball. Essentially throwing the ball with no spin, allowing the imperfections (mostly the seams) to determine the flight path. Such pitches are so unpredictable (even the pitcher doesn't know what will happen, the catcher usually wears an oversize mitt to help snag them), that some batters take the day off rather than have their timing and instincts ruined for the next several games.
** Even more so is the spitball. Similar to the knuckleball, it has an unpredictable trajectory, but because it doesn't require a special grip to be thrown, it can be thrown at higher speeds, and due to the dirt, grime, and tobacco juice that accumulates on the ball, it is more difficult to see. It is banned from most professional leagues due to this fact - a spitball ''killed'' [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Chapman Ray Chapman]] during a poorly lit game after going astray and hitting him in the head, resulting in its ban in 1920. Its equivalent is still legal in Cricket, with certain exceptions (for instance, gouging the ball with your fingernails is unacceptable, while spitting on one side and polishing the other is no issue).
** "Effectively wild" baseball pitchers, who have great breaking-ball stuff or high velocity and terrible command, work this on hitters. Better offensive teams and pitchers can usually shell a wild pitcher with trained plate discipline and waiting out a pitcher to walk guys on or lay a mistake down the heart of the plate, but most league-average players will usually chase their bad balls out of the zone and work their own way into trouble, either out of a sense of aggressiveness in anticipation of getting a mistake to hit or a ball being just close enough to the strike zone to chase. Whereas more effective pitchers will execute a game-plan that involves intentionally throwing balls to fool the hitter and the hitter countering by trying to figure out the plan of attack, wild pitchers with no semblance of control usually befuddle hitters into having no clue if they're getting a ball or strike in any count and it throws their usual hitting approach out of whack.
** Jim Bouton wrote in ''Ball Four'' of his teammate Mike Marshall's belief that the most effective way to keep a hitter from dialing in was to throw pitches in a completely random non-pattern irrespective of the count.
* In cricket, some fast bowlers like to bowl the ball so that the seam (which on a cricket ball is much more prominent than on a baseball, running straight around the circumference of the ball) strikes the ground on the bounce, producing a pretty unpredictable bounce on the right kind of pitch. Of course, this makes it unlikely to direct itself towards the stumps, but the idea is to hope that a batter will take a swing at the ball and 'edge' it, resulting in an easy catch for the wicket keeper. Such a tactic is, as you'd expect, known as 'seam bowling' and the bowler who uses it a 'seamer'.
* The Wildcat Formation in American Football. There are four main plays (two rushing, two passing) that can be run from the Wildcat Formation, and all of them look exactly the same until the play is actually executed, making it difficult for the defense to anticipate what they must do.
** The Wildcat is an interesting example. After seeing Ronnie Brown and the Miami Dolphins paste the recently near-undefeated New England Patriots with the Wildcat in 2008, several other teams misunderstood the ''reason'' it worked (the Dolphins simply surprised the Patriots with a scheme they had not thought to prepare for) and began to implement the Wildcat into their normal offensive playbooks. Once defensive coaches had a few weeks to study the Wildcat, defenses adjusted to counter the Wildcat and offenses designed around it were stopped cold. Today, the Wildcat is almost entirely out of vogue... which means that if a team is very careful about using it sparingly, it can still be an effective surprise attack.
** There are a surprising number of Confusion Fu techniques in American Football, and almost every play utilizes them to some extent. Many running patterns are designed to confuse the defense and make them lose track. Beyond known plays such as the play action (start with what looks like a run play, but then go to a pass) the draw (the converse, fall back like you're about to pass while you're actually executing a running play), a quarterback can use his eyes or do a pump fake to fool an unsuspecting defensive player to think he will throw in a certain direction. He may also alter his pre-snap cadence to make it harder for the defense to time the snap. He may fake a handoff, then run the ball himself (a "bootleg"). Running backs will follow a blocking pattern until the defense adjusts to it, and then cut back and run the other way. Receivers will make moves to throw a defensive back off his coverage. Sometimes two or more receivers will cross routes, making it difficult for all the defenders to track them. Skilled defenders are just as capable of utilizing confusion by continually moving before the snap, or lining up in an apparent zone and then blitzing through linemen not expecting a strong pass rush.
** The zone read and option plays, which figure heavily into college football (with the former becoming more prevalent in the pro game with the advent of mobile quarterbacks), which allows the quarterback to read the defense and then decide after the snap and the defense commits whether to hang onto the ball or give it off to a tailback. This gets even more headache-inducing for the defense with the option, since the quarterback and tailback are running parallel to each other so that the quarterback can A) keep it and run if the defender chooses to stay with the tailback or B) if the defense commits to the quarterback, wait until he's about to be tackled before pitching it to the tailback, allowing him a lot of space to run with one less defender to worry about.
** And then there's just doing something so completely unexpected that the defense has no idea what's going on. Case in point? [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UIdI8khMkw This.]]
** Every team will have a couple trick or gadget plays that rely on this in their playbook (the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuDFd9zL2HA Statue of Liberty play]], for example), even up to the professional level. Such shenanigans are generally frowned upon, however, as when they fail they tend to fail catastrophically (and additionally make the playcaller look like an idiot).
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6i7VKQwDS2s&nohtml5=False This play]] - whatever it was intended to do - shows that confusion for the sake of confusion is not a successful tactic. There are probably three people in the world who understand this play. One is in an insane asylum, the other is dead and the third has forgotten all about it.
* In poker, the most dangerous players at the table are the ones who always call and raise at random. It's impossible to tell whether they have a good hand, so calling their raise is a very risky business but at the same time, folding means you'll lose your earlier investment when they could easily just be sitting on a high card.
** Aside from that, online players who sit down at physical tables tend to completely ignore their opponents' physical expressions and focus on their betting patterns, simply because you can't read people online. This tends to throw off live players, though it can also create an exploitable weakness because the online players don't train themselves to get rid of their own tells.



* Retired fighter [[UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts Genki Sudo]] owed most of his striking success to this tactic, being primarily a grappler. It was [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlW0_r_japA awesome to watch]]
* Mansour Bahrami is a tennis player known for his crazy fake outs and trick shots. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6Vqp6UveIU&feature=channel_video_title It is a sight to behold.]]
** It should be noted that Mr. Bahrami primarily plays in exhibition matches which do not adhere strictly to the rules. Many of his tactics, though not all, are against the rules in a regular tennis match.



* DrunkenBoxing runs on this - it's meant to be hard to predict, using flowing movements that emulate a drunken stagger.
* UsefulNotes/{{Capoeira}} has much the same thought in mind with its DanceBattler making you hard to predict because you are always in motion. Also for the sheer fun of it.
* In game theory, this is known as a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategy_%28game_theory%29#Mixed_strategy mixed strategy]]. For example, in rock-paper-scissors, if you went with a pure strategy, such as always picking rock, anyone who knows your strategy could easily beat you. If you use a mixed strategy, and pick rock a third of the time, paper a third of the time, and scissors a third of the time, then there's no strategy that can consistently beat you. In more complex games, there are more complex mixed strategies, where not all choices are picked with the same probability.
** Do make sure, though, that you are truly randomizing whether you pick rock, paper, or scissors - if you're just going in a predictable pattern (i.e., 1st round rock, 2nd round paper, 3rd round scissors, 4th round rock, etc.), or even adhere ''too'' strictly to the 1/3 probability guideline (to the point where every three throws feature rock, paper, and scissors in some order), astute opponents will pick up on it and pre-empt you.
** Another example is from soccer penalty kicks. Because the shot is taken from so close, the goalie has to decide whether to go left or right as they will not have time to react if they wait until ball is kicked. Meanwhile, the kicker has to decide whether to aim for the left corner or the right corner. Both players randomize which way to go based on the probabiities of scoring. Research has shown that professionals move to the left or right with a frequency that is within 1% of what game theory predicts.
*** This is discussed by the authors of the Freakonomics blog in ''Think Like a Freak'', then invoked. If you're the kicker, and you know the keeper will almost certainly either dodge left or right, where should you aim? Right down the middle. They give several reasons for why players rarely use this tactic, one of which is the fear of shame (and an angry crowd) at kicking the ball dead center and having the keeper catch it easily.
*** Probably the gutsiest penalty kick down the middle was [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd1Hr96IenI this]] from Czechoslovak Antonin Panenka at the ''final'' of the Euro 1976. It worked and it beat [[GermanicEfficiency Germany]] in the only penalty shootout they ever lost. Maybe England should hire Panenka as a penalty shootout coach.

to:

* DrunkenBoxing runs on this - -- it's meant to be hard to predict, using flowing movements that emulate a drunken stagger.
* UsefulNotes/{{Capoeira}} has much the same thought in mind with its DanceBattler making you hard to predict because you are always in motion. Also for the sheer fun of it.
* In game theory, this is known as a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategy_%28game_theory%29#Mixed_strategy mixed strategy]]. For example, in rock-paper-scissors, if you went with a pure strategy, such as always picking rock, anyone who knows your strategy could easily beat you. If you use a mixed strategy, and pick rock a third of the time, paper a third of the time, and scissors a third of the time, then there's no strategy that can consistently beat you. In more complex games, there are more complex mixed strategies, where not all choices are picked with the same probability.
** Do make sure, though, that you are truly randomizing whether you pick rock, paper, or scissors - if you're just going in a predictable pattern (i.e., 1st round rock, 2nd round paper, 3rd round scissors, 4th round rock, etc.), or even adhere ''too'' strictly to the 1/3 probability guideline (to the point where every three throws feature rock, paper, and scissors in some order), astute opponents will pick up on it and pre-empt you.
** Another example is from soccer penalty kicks. Because the shot is taken from so close, the goalie has to decide whether to go left or right as they will not have time to react if they wait until ball is kicked. Meanwhile, the kicker has to decide whether to aim for the left corner or the right corner. Both players randomize which way to go based on the probabiities of scoring. Research has shown that professionals move to the left or right with a frequency that is within 1% of what game theory predicts.
*** This is discussed by the authors of the Freakonomics blog in ''Think Like a Freak'', then invoked. If you're the kicker, and you know the keeper will almost certainly either dodge left or right, where should you aim? Right down the middle. They give several reasons for why players rarely use this tactic, one of which is the fear of shame (and an angry crowd) at kicking the ball dead center and having the keeper catch it easily.
*** Probably the gutsiest penalty kick down the middle was [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd1Hr96IenI this]] from Czechoslovak Antonin Panenka at the ''final'' of the Euro 1976. It worked and it beat [[GermanicEfficiency Germany]] in the only penalty shootout they ever lost. Maybe England should hire Panenka as a penalty shootout coach.
stagger.



* Some people with knowledge on how to misdirect human attention--mentalists, illusionists, pickpockets, etc.--have been known to apply said knowledge when cornered into a fight.

to:

* Some people with knowledge on how to misdirect human attention--mentalists, attention -- mentalists, illusionists, pickpockets, etc.--have etc. -- have been known to apply said knowledge when cornered into a fight.



* Muay thai champion Manson Gibson is a known Confusion Fu user. His amateur kung fu-based fighting style has been described as "capoeira-esque", using all kind of attacks from absurd angles and making a deep use of EverythingIsBetterWithSpinning.
* This is a good volleyball setter's job. If it is obvious which attacker he/she is setting, they will probably be blocked. The set should ''look'' obvious, but be misleading, so that the blockers will go up against the wrong player.
* Kickboxer and MMA star Wrestling/BobSapp was an example in which opponents could not read his attacks due to how UnskilledButStrong they were. Thanks to his large arms, he could inflict damage from every angle, and due to his lack of classic training, he indeed attacked from every angle.
* At the onset of the [[UsefulNotes/{{TheArabSpring}} The Libyan Civil War]] when the protest was showing signs of becoming an insurgency, the Libyan Armed Forces made sound, strategic calculations on what assets to protect and where the rebels were likely to be operating. Unfortunately for them, the [[http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/10/02/the-gun-smugglers-lament-libya-zawiya-osama-kubbar-qatar-weapons-arms-proxy/ rebels were a disorganized, chaotic mess]] attacking targets that made no sense to attack and just being generally unpredictable. This ended up working to their advantage, preventing the armed forces from predicting their movements and crushing them long enough for the rebellion to gain momentum.

to:

* Muay thai champion Manson Gibson is a known Confusion Fu user. His amateur kung fu-based fighting style has been described as "capoeira-esque", using all kind of attacks from absurd angles and making a deep use of EverythingIsBetterWithSpinning.
* This is a good volleyball setter's job. If it is obvious which attacker he/she is setting, they will probably be blocked. The set should ''look'' obvious, but be misleading, so that the blockers will go up against the wrong player.
* Kickboxer and MMA star Wrestling/BobSapp was an example in which opponents could not read his attacks due to how UnskilledButStrong they were. Thanks to his large arms, he could inflict damage from every angle, and due to his lack of classic training, he indeed attacked from every angle.
* At the onset of the [[UsefulNotes/{{TheArabSpring}} [[UsefulNotes/TheArabSpring The Libyan Civil War]] when the protest was showing signs of becoming an insurgency, the Libyan Armed Forces made sound, strategic calculations on what assets to protect and where the rebels were likely to be operating. Unfortunately for them, the [[http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/10/02/the-gun-smugglers-lament-libya-zawiya-osama-kubbar-qatar-weapons-arms-proxy/ rebels were a disorganized, chaotic mess]] attacking targets that made no sense to attack and just being generally unpredictable. This ended up working to their advantage, preventing the armed forces from predicting their movements and crushing them long enough for the rebellion to gain momentum.



13th Jan '17 8:18:45 AM Morgenthaler
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* An example occurs in the second book of Brandon Sanderson's ''{{Mistborn}}'' trilogy, when Vin counters Zane's ability to see the future by using his movements to figure out what she's going to do next, and then doing something else.

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* An example occurs in the second book of Brandon Sanderson's ''{{Mistborn}}'' ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'' trilogy, when Vin counters Zane's ability to see the future by using his movements to figure out what she's going to do next, and then doing something else.
13th Jan '17 7:01:53 AM Morgenthaler
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* Wong Fei Hung in ''The Legend of The Drunken Master''. His drunken boxing style is ALL ABOUT doing stuff that seems insane or physically impossible to do.
** In the first Drunken Master movie Fei Hung's master, Su Hua Chi, teaches him the style and how it's based on the 8 Drunken Immortals- Fei Hung learns 7, but refuses to learn the last since it's based off a woman's style. Fast-forward to the final battle against the assassin, [[BigBad Thunderleg]], where Fei Hung bests Thunderleg's Devil's Kick style. Thunderleg switches to the Devil's Shadowless Hand instead, besting Fei Hung each time he demonstrates another Drunken Immortal's style, until he gets to the 8th- Miss Ho. He admits to his master he didn't learn the style, so Su Hua Chi tells him to [[spoiler:combine the other 7 styles and improvise, creating a hilarious and nearly unpredictable improvised style which defeats Thunderleg's Shadowless Hand.]]

to:

* ''Drunken Master'':
**
Wong Fei Hung in ''The Legend of The Drunken Master''.''Film/LegendOfTheDrunkenMaster''. His drunken boxing style is ALL ABOUT doing stuff that seems insane or physically impossible to do.
** In the first Drunken Master ''Film/DrunkenMaster'' movie Fei Hung's master, Su Hua Chi, teaches him the style and how it's based on the 8 Drunken Immortals- Fei Hung learns 7, but refuses to learn the last since it's based off a woman's style. Fast-forward to the final battle against the assassin, [[BigBad Thunderleg]], where Fei Hung bests Thunderleg's Devil's Kick style. Thunderleg switches to the Devil's Shadowless Hand instead, besting Fei Hung each time he demonstrates another Drunken Immortal's style, until he gets to the 8th- Miss Ho. He admits to his master he didn't learn the style, so Su Hua Chi tells him to [[spoiler:combine the other 7 styles and improvise, creating a hilarious and nearly unpredictable improvised style which defeats Thunderleg's Shadowless Hand.]]



* Blaze, in ''Delusions of Grandeur'', finds himself at one point facing a nobleman who seems to be a much better fencer than him. His solution? Taunt his opponent with erratic sword moves, before literally kicking his butt.

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* Blaze, in ''Delusions of Grandeur'', ''Film/DelusionsOfGrandeur'', finds himself at one point facing a nobleman who seems to be a much better fencer than him. His solution? Taunt his opponent with erratic sword moves, before literally kicking his butt.
3rd Jan '17 11:41:02 AM XMenMutant22
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** Batman himself is sometimes portrayed this way, not due to his moves being random, but due to the fact that he sticks to the shadows and [[CrazyPrepared employs gadgetry.]] You might know Batman is stalking you, but you don't know which direction that Batarang/gas grenade/grapple/fist is coming from. He's been known to, among other things, trick an opponent with super-breath into thinking he was using a [[SmokeOut smoke bomb to cover his escape]]. She simply inhales all of the smoke... [[CrowningMomentofAwesome whereupon Batman informs her that it was also anesthetic gas.]]

to:

** Batman himself is sometimes portrayed this way, not due to his moves being random, but due to the fact that he sticks to the shadows and [[CrazyPrepared employs gadgetry.]] You might know Batman is stalking you, but you don't know which direction that Batarang/gas grenade/grapple/fist is coming from. He's been known to, among other things, trick an opponent (like Woman Woman's [[MirrorUniverse alternate universe]] [[EvilCounterpart counterpart]], [[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueCrisisOnTwoEarths Superwoman]]) coup with super-breath into thinking he was using a [[SmokeOut smoke bomb to cover his escape]]. She simply inhales all of the smoke... [[CrowningMomentofAwesome whereupon Batman informs her that it was also anesthetic gas.]]
22nd Dec '16 4:18:27 AM TheBigBopper
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* Creator/DouglasAdams invoked this trope when he coined the word "Aboyne", which he described as ''"To beat an expert at a game of skill by playing so appallingly bad that none of his clever tactics or strategies are of any use to him."''



* "Beginner's luck" may sometimes come from this -- in a game of moves, counter-moves and counter-counter-moves, sometimes the correct move against a professional is the most basic one. Until he figures out that his opponent IS a beginner and crushes them.
** This is especially dangerous in games of chance like poker - a bad player may be very difficult to read and make stupid mistakes that can accidentally win him the game when you go in at the wrong time.
** It can also result in wasted effort. In MagicTheGathering, for instance, there are a lot of mind games which are possible, but many of them will only be picked up on by sufficiently skilled opponents, making a new player TooDumbToFool.
15th Dec '16 8:06:46 AM Gadjiltron
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* In ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'', when you declare the target of an effect (when you activate a card but before its effect resolves), your opponent can Chain cards according to your target to counter it. If your card requires selecting a random target, then you're not declaring the target, so your opponent doesn't get an opportunity to Chain.

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* In ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'', when you declare the target of an effect (when you activate a card but before its effect resolves), your opponent can Chain cards according to your target to counter it. If your card requires selecting a random target, then you're not declaring the or performs an action without needing a target, so your opponent doesn't get an opportunity will not be able to Chain.play around it as effectively as you will only decide what to go for after they have finished their response.
13th Dec '16 10:19:40 AM justbehappydammit
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Added DiffLines:

*** Also in TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}} is the Brawler class (a hybrid of the Fighter and Monk classes) which more or less has this as its primary class feature. The Brawler has the ability as it levels up to temporarily gain access to Combat Feats it doesn't know, allowing an experienced Brawler to become an InstantExpert in tripping or grappling in one fight and pull an entire Monk fighting style out of nowhere in another. This allows the Brawler to be a very versatile and unpredictable fighter, and one the GM can't always anticipate.
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