Concealed Weapons Tactic

Concealed Weapons Debating Tactic by Quintilian

Concealed Weapons tactic is an effective tactic for a surprise attack in a campaign or a debate.

Quintilian, an eminent Roman teacher of rhetoric, neatly described this tactic:

It is, therefore, wise to conceal some of our weapons: our opponents will often press their attack and stake everything on some imagined weakness of our own, and will give fresh weight to our proofs by the instancy with which they demand us to produce them.

So there are several elements central to this tactic.

  • First, you hold back some evidence or proof that supports your position; simply don’t mention it and your opponent will likely assume you don’t have it.
  • Second, your opponent, mistakenly thinking you don’t have it, will call attention to the supposedly missing proof.
  • Now, that your opponent has called attention to it, your proof gains much more weight.
  • Finally, it’s your homecoming moment – you bring up the proof and teach your opponent a painful lesson.