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Deadly Dodging

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Swing and a miss...and a hit.

"When fighting angry blind men, best to just stay out of the way."
Mr. Han, The Karate Kid (2010)

A common trick when fighting a Giant Mook, but often seen elsewhere is to find a way to use their power against them. The simplest way to do this is using your own cunning and speed.

Deadly Dodging is a short term in-combat form of Batman Gambit. Arrange things so that the enemy attempts to hit you, but move at the last minute, causing them to hit whatever you conveniently arranged to be behind you.

Common targets include:

While this is usually punches, it can be used on projectiles. Used frequently in kids cartoons to avoid having the heroes actually hit their opponents. In Video Games, this is a fairly common way to defeat the Puzzle Boss, often stretching credulity to the point of Boss-Arena Idiocy. Even without Puzzle Bosses, this is also a favorite way of dealing with large numbers of Mooks. Some (usually older) games even allow enemies to begin infighting with each other when you do this properly.

Compare Wronski Feint, Door Judo, Dangerous Backswing. See also: Self-Damaging Attack Backfire, Hoist by His Own Petard, Karmic Death, Could Have Been Messy, Bullfight Boss, and Bulletproof Human Shield. Somewhat inverted by Exactly What I Aimed At, where this is making a foe's attack miss and do them harm, rather than you yourself deliberately missing to do another harm. If the opponent doesn't require any help hurting itself in combat, it falls in What the Fu Are You Doing?


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    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • There's a card called Shield Dancer, with the special ability to, when blocking an enemy, inflict that enemy's damage to itself.
    • It's not alone; several other creatures and spells have this effect. (Ravnicans, in particular, are good at it...)
    • The Planeswalkers get in on the action too, with spells like Mirror Strike.
    • "Reroute" from Ravnica block, in flavor text, image, and ability.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! card "Dimension Wall", where the art is basically Warrior Dai Grepher thrusting his sword at D.D. Warrior Lady, his arms and weapon have disappeared into a portal and are coming up fast behind him. Deadly dodging via magic.

    Fairy Tales 
  • "The Brave Little Tailor": In some versions, the title character captures a unicorn by provoking it to charge at him and into the tree he is standing in front of.

    Films — Animated 
  • Aladdin is keen on using this strategy. His introduction song is all about how he's always one jump ahead of his enemy.
  • In the 2009 film version of Astro Boy, Astro uses this to get the Peacekeeper to collapse a skyscraper on itself.
  • Used several times in the starting sequence to Bolt, once by Bolt getting a homing missile to hit a helicopter, and once by Penny getting one of the motorbiking Faceless Goons to electrify another.
  • At the end of Chicken Run, Ginger is pursued by Mrs. Tweedy climbing up a string of Christmas lights. As Tweedy reaches her, she attacks Ginger with a meat cleaver. After a moment, Ginger reveals that not only is she alright, but that Tweedy cut the rope, and falls away.
  • In Epic Ronin dodges a shot from Dagda and kills him in return, but Dagda's shot hits the queen as a result.
  • The Incredibles has Dash cause about half the fatalities in the movie by getting mooks to blow themselves up on scenery during a chase sequence.
  • In Kung Fu Panda, Po dodges a bite from Tai Lung, getting him to bite his own tail instead.
  • Osmosis Jones: Osmosis Jones does this by doing some sort of micro-division as Thrax delivers his coup-de-grace, forcing Thrax to become jammed in a false eyelash.
  • In the test footage of the cancelled Popeye film, Eugene the Jeep performs an impressive series of deadly dodgings using his teleportation power against a mook who's armed with a baseball bat, making said mook hit several of his comrades — and eventually himself — in rapid succession with the bat instead.
  • In The Princess and the Frog, Tiana and Naveen use this against a trio of dim-witted frog hunters.
  • Disney's Robin Hood: Robin uses this tactic against the mook archers, causing them to hit each other. Of course, they don't actually hit each other with arrows. They just get pinned to walls through the collars or somesuch.
  • In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Mario uses dodging to his advantage to lure an enemy into a trap; namely, the Bomber Bill that Bowser wants to use to nuke the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario gets it to hit the pipe that he entered the Mushroom Kingdom in, but causes everyone to get sucked into Brooklyn when he does.
  • Superman/Batman: Apocalypse: Supergirl dodges Darkseid's Omega Beams until she gets behind him, at which point she flips him over her head uses him as a shield to block all of them.

  • Rarely comes into play in Lone Wolf, as most fight sequences are straightforward, but there are still a few examples:
    • In book 3, inside the Caverns of Kalte, pursued by a Kalkoth, Lone Wolf can lure it over a frozen lake by dodging, the thin layer of ice giving way under its weight, and it's eaten by a giant predator in the water.
    • In book 6, The Kingdoms of Terror, within the ruins of Castle Taunor, if Lone Wolf flees from the enraged monster waiting in ambush, you can lure it into jumping down a precipice by dodging at the last moment.
    • In book 7, Castle Death, pushing the Rahkos into a magical trap is the only way to finish off for real the horrific undead flying hand.
    • In book 10, The Dungeons of Torgar, you can end up interrogated by Eruan soldiers while a crossbow is aimed at your back. If Lone Wolf gives an unsatisfactory answer... he can spring away fast enough for the bolt to miss him, hitting instead the captain he was facing. Maybe they should revise their interrogation methods....
    • In book 19, Wolf's Bane, Lone Wolf can fight two mooks who carry powerful flamethrowers. Lone Wolf grapples with one, then the other fires at him. Lone Wolf can jump away in time, causing the first mook to get fried.
  • In the fourth Sorcery! book, The Crown of Kings, you can get confronted by three hostile Red-Eyes (humanoids with deadly Eye Beams). They're usually very dangerous, but the option to use the TEL spell (to read their minds) leads to a Curb-Stomp Battle. By allowing the protagonist to anticipate when they unleash the fiery gaze attack, he can maneuver one into missing him and instead killing his two companions. The last one is then an easy pick as he's paralyzed by the horror of what he'd done.

  • In the old MAD parody "Superduperman", Superduperman beats Captain Marbles by dodging to get him to punch himself in the face.

  • Happens in one Old Master Q strip, where a felon is being chased by the police - said felon deliberately knocks over bystanders, kicks a child in his way, smashes a window and causes as much of a mess as possible during the pursuit, finally trying to push Master Q off a cliff. But Master Q side-steps out of the way in time leading to said felon throwing himself into some rocks.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • TNA wrestler Samoa Joe's favorite counter against high-flying wrestlers is to simply step aside and allow them to crash into the mat (or the concrete floor, as the case may be). A call back to Dynamite Kid.
  • This was how "Stone Cold" Steve Austin lost his first WWF Championship at King of the Ring 1998. He was involved in a First Blood match against Kane with the title on the line, when both Mankind and The Undertaker (who earlier that night had made wrestling history in their legendary Hell in a Cell match) interfered. Austin turned the tables on Mankind, but as both he and Undertaker lined up simultaneous steel chair shots on the staggering Mankind's head from both sides, Mankind ducked, causing 'Taker to smash Austin across the head instead, busting him open and causing him to lose the match.

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 
  • In Worm, Contessa is exceptionally good at this thanks to her particular brand of precognition.

    Web Videos 
  • In Mario Warfare, Waluigi positions himself such that Mario's misses hurt himself on pipes.
  • Super Power Beat Down:
    • Played with in the "Batman vs. Wolverine" fight. Played straight when Batman sidesteps Wolverine at one point and causes him to stab his claws into a circuit breaker, electrocuting the mutant. Subverted when Wolverine is able to recover and dispatch Batman, explaining that he heals real fast.
    • In "The Joker & Harley Quinn vs. Deadpool & Domino", the Joker sidesteps one of the drugged Deadpool's attacks and it makes him crash headfirst into a window.

    Real Life 
  • Defied in Real Life: Many modern homing munitions (like missiles and torpedoes) are designed so that they self-destruct if they turn back towards the launching platform. In addition the missiles are now often smart enough to recognize the signature of an aircraft on its sensors and tell the difference between friendly and enemy.
  • Aikido is based on a similar principle, as it focuses on using the momentum of the opponent's attack against him. As well as the "sticking hands" technique seen in Chinese martial arts like Wing Chun and Taiji Quan.
  • Stories abound of WWI fighter pilots surviving many-to-one ambushes by flying between the numerous opponents, thus making them reluctant to shoot.


Video Example(s):


Indy's deadly dodging

During the fight in Cairo, a bad guy attempts to stab Indy with his sword. Indy dodges the attack, causing him to stick a second bad guy with the blade.

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Main / DeadlyDodging

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