OK, silly original kernel but a serious hypothetical question: I took my kids to see Sherlock Holmes III last night, which was fun. If you've seen the movies you're probably familar with the "slow motion previews" where Holmes thinks through what he is about to do, how his opponent will react to that, and how he will respond accordingly. If not you can check an example here:
Obviously that is pure fiction. But it got me thinking more about the idea of what I call "defensive anticipation" to students. For instance, if the idea that if you have 'intercepted' or are 'monitoring' (i.e. in tactile contact with) a particular limb of the threat's body, then you can kind of 'cheat' and 'pick up' or 'gain' some reactive mental space with the anticipation that the other side of his body will LIKELY fire the next attack, which can assist with your positioning.
So, if you have 'accounted for' a left punch, you can be fairly certain that there is at least a high percentage CHANCE that he will follow with the right side, and vice verse, people frequently attacking with what Mark Hatmaker called...grrr... can't remember... he had a term though for R-L-R-L types of attacks that escapes me at the moment and which I will have to look up.
I am not attempting to reduce spontaneous combat to a paint by numbers formula. Also, obviously, we are talking about CHANCES here, and with a chance there is a decided opportunity to be 'dead wrong'. But I have found that its possible, especially with less trained people you tell to "attack you" spontaneously to antcipate in the manner i have described and I have personally seen a high percentage of effectiveness in the application of this 'sixth sense', which in reality has more to do (IMO) with their weight committment, momentum, follow-through, and the body mechanics and natural 'loading' of alternating body sides than any sort of ninja spiritualism.
So, the movie just set me to thinking again: have other people had similar empirical experiences, and how many moves is it really profitable to 'think ahead', or more specifically, to 'train ahead' for in 'for real' fighting? I'm anticipating answers from 'none' to 'ten (i.e. Kenpo like strike sequences) ' and have personally trained with instructors who have various justifying rationales for both approaches... :-)