How to Watch
When not in the ring, study potential opponents in other fight; it may give you clues to their telegraphing movements. Watch for weight shifts, head movements, preparatory movements, personal tics, lowering/raising of stance or shoulders, etc. that will telegraph your opponent's intentions.
Never look at the floor or stare into your opponent’s eyes. Loosely focus on the triangle formed by your opponent’s eyes and shoulders while looking to the side of the opponent. This will keep you from falling for eye feints or getting psyched out by the stare of some opponents. Since movement is detected first and faster by your peripheral vision, looking to side will help you react quicker.
Learn opponent's style
Do your homework. At every opportunity, watch live or recorded matches of your opponents. Get to know their styles, strengths, favorite techniques, weaknesses, and how they react to different situations. Then strategy should be to become proficient in all areas so you will be prepared to act and react instinctively to your opponent’s favorite techniques. Your size compared to the opponent will be an important factor in your choice of offensive and defensive actions.
Watch the face
Watch the face, not the eyes, the face. If you watch the face, unless the opponent is a fantastic actor, you will have a window into his or her thoughts and feelings. No matter how the opponent may act otherwise, if he or she is in pain, concerned, confident, worried, etc., it will be reflected on his or her face. If you just watch the opponent's eyes, you may get mesmerized by the person's stare; some people can instill fear by their stare.
Know what additional attacks are possible after an opponent's initial attack. Knowing what is possible will aid you in reading what combinations are possible and let you prepare for them.
Things to watch for
- Intention. By observing the opponent's intention, you may determine whether the opponent's intends to attack or fake an attack.
- Line of sight. By observing the opponent's line of sight, you may determine the opponent's target.
- Location of center of body. By observing the location of opponent's center, you may determine which foot or hand will be used in an attack and how far the attack will reach.
Observing either one of these things will not work. But if you observe all three, you may determine what attack may be coming, what the target may be, and whether the attack is real or a fake.