When you watch a fight, do you ever wonder why a strike did or did not land? Sometimes, when a fighter's skill level is too low, he or she may not see an opponent's punch coming because of poor reflexes, but most times fighters are matched up against a similar level of opposition.
As a result, fighters use tricks in order to land strikes. For example, fighters use combinations. A jab grabs an opponent's attention, followed by a second strike that is designed to try to KO the opponent while they are unaware that the strike is coming. Of course, if the competition level is high, combinations will be more common and prevalent.
For example, combinations are used in order to see how an opponent will react in defense. Then, with the next combo, when the opponent thinks they know which strikes will come, perhaps the first punch is the same jab but the second kick is to the head rather than to the body, which the opponent does not expect.
What I ask is do you realize how physiological reflexes work between these moves? Essentially, people think in expectations about what we will do in the future. When you type a sentence, you unconsciously type on the keyboard. You don't think about how to type. Memory and reflexes work there.
Such a thing works in striking defense, too. Fighters are trained to use combinations in order to trick opponents' reflexes. They use mixtures of strong-weak, fast-slow strikes in order to affect opponents' physiological reactions. Sometimes, fighters get hit by the second shot in a combination even if it is slower, which is because physiological reactions can matter more than simple reflex speed.
This type of strike's trick is resembled by music's rhythm. When you listen to music and feel a groove, there is a gap between slow-fast, weak-strong beats that makes your waist move like syncopation.
When you watch beautiful combinations or defense in fights (like Anderson Silva), you should take note of which moves are fast or slow, and which weak or strong. This will improve your ability to identify the beauty of the skills used in fights.
Big thanks to Robert Sargent (MMA Rising) for English editing.