Learning From The Enemy YKTTW Discussion

Learning From The Enemy
A character forgoes traditional training to learn from the enemy.
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(permanent link) added: 2014-04-26 11:22:39 sponsor: Alfa290 (last reply: 2014-04-27 20:59:06)

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"There is no teacher but the enemy... I am your enemy from now on. From now on I am your teacher."
-Mazer Rackham, "Enderís Game"

Most heroes will seek out an Old Master or find a mentor figure on their side of Good vs Evil.

That is not this character. They will go out of their way to find and combat their foes. They will spend hours every day trying to understand how the enemy thinks and operates. In short they have forgone traditional training to learn from the enemy.

This can mean that they watch hours of combat footage or learn in actual combat. Sometimes story mechanics can aid in learning. Also, this is about characters whose primary method of training is now the enemy.

Sub-Trope to Awesome by Analysis and Sink-or-Swim Mentor. Compare and Contrast to Evil Mentor and Trickster Mentor.

Note that this Truth in Television to a point as everyone from sports teams to business and militaries analyze opposition tactics to gain the edge.


Anime and Manga
  • The backstory of Threader of Nanatsu No Taizai has him observe in secret the barbarians who captured him when he was a child. He learns enough for them to develop in one day a Killing Intent strong enough to defend himself from their abuse.
  • In Jormungand, Valmet decided to learn close quarters tactics after she left the Finnish Army in order to beat Chen at his own game by learning to use his tactics against him, which she didn't realize until Valmet confronted him again in North Africa.

Comic Books

  • Ender from Enderís Game devotes hundreds of hours to studying Bugger tactics and strategies after he all but masters Battle School course material.
  • Keiji "Killer Cage" Kiriya from All You Need Is Kill combines this with Training from Hell and "Groundhog Day" Loop to master the art of war and defeat the Mimics. It is implied Rita did this to an extent as well when she was first caught in the loop.

Real Life
  • This is a major component of modern warfare with large groups of intelligence personnel constantly analyzing data on the enemy.
  • Sports teams will often review footage of an upcoming opponent's last few games to find counters for their plays.
  • In the runup to Wrestlemania XXIV, where The Big Show was going to take on boxer Floyd Mayweather, they showed vignettes of Show's training including him watching & analyzing Mayweather's matches.

Video Games

Web Comic
  • In Hero Oh Hero, Burk claims that his only experience in fighting comes from wrestling with his brother and "defeating things". He's explicitly said to be more powerful than a trained soldier.

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