Often times fighters train to outperform their opponent. They strive to be bigger, stronger, and to be able to break through the opponents defense. Their opponent, is mostly on the defensive. Much like a boxer or Thai fighter fights.

Then you have Aikodoka and Judoka who fight defensively taking what the opponent gives and working with that.

Then , you have a third type of fighter. He is a different breed of fighter. He knows when to give and when to take to fight effectively.
He knows that constantly chasing the opponent can become tiresome. He also realizes that the more he chases the opponent, the sooner its going to be that his opponent spots a weakness in his game.
So how does he defeat the opponent if he has a strong defense?

He steps back. He doesnt do it in an obvious manner but he backs off just a little to get the opponent to attack.

You see, not all people react the same defensively. Some fall for fakes, some do not. Some block well, others evade.

However, on the other hand a punch is simply a punch. A kick is just a kick and the mechanics are universal amongst the human race. Every attack leaves you open for a strike. Being able to recognize that the attack is coming then you already have a target to attack. Once you have this target, then you can plan your next step. This is how fights are won, by staying a step ahead of the opponent.