"Let’s say Akira knocks down Pai. As Pai gets up, she can either do a rising attack (these attacks have the absolute highest priority in the game) or she can do nothing. A high rising attack will stop any attack that Akira does as she gets up, but if Akira expects this, he can block and retaliate with a guaranteed throw. Pai does the rising kick and Akira predicts this and blocks. Now the guessing game begins.
Akira would like to do his most damaging throw (that’s his m), and be done with it. Even though the throw is guaranteed here, all throws can be escaped for zero damage if the defender expects the throw and enters the throw reverse command. The throw is guaranteed to “start” but Pai might reverse it. In fact, Pai is well aware that a throw is guaranteed here (it’s common knowledge), and it’s only obvious that Akria will do his most damaging throw. After all, this situation has happened a hundred times before against a hundred Akiras and they all do the same thing. It’s really conditioning, not strategy, that tells Pai she needs to do a throw escape here (that’s her c1). In fact, it will become her natural, unthinking reaction after a while.
Akira is tired of having his throw escaped again and again. He decides to be tricky by doing one of his very slow, powerful moves such as a double palm, a reverse body check, a two-fisted strike, or a shoulder ram (we’ll just lump all those into c2). Why does a big, slow move work in this situation? First of all, if Pai does her throw escape and there is no throw to escape, the escape becomes a throw attempt. If her opponent is out of range or otherwise unthrowable for some reason, her throw attempt becomes a throw whiff. She grabs the air and is vulnerable for a moment. One important rule in VF is that you cannot throw an opponent during the startup phase or the hitting phase of a move. So if Akira does a big, powerful move, he is totally unthrowable until after the hitting phase of the move is over and he enters recovery (retracting his arm or leg).
Back to our story. Akira is tired of getting his throw escaped all day, so he does the standard counter to any throw: a big, powerful move. This c2 move does a decent amount of damage, by the way. The next time this whole situation arises, Pai doesn’t know what to do. Her instincts tell her to reverse the throw, but if she does, she is vulnerable to Akira’s slow, powerful move. Rather than go for the standard reverse, Pai does her c3 move: she simply blocks. By blocking, she’ll take no damage from Akira’s powerful move, and depending on exactly which move it was, she’ll probably be able to retaliate.
So what does Akira do if he expects this? In fact, he needs no c4 move since his original throw (m) is the natural counter to a blocking opponent. A throw is a special kind of move that grabs an enemy and does damage regardless of whether they are blocking. It’s specifically designed to be used against an opponent in block who is afraid of an attack.
Akira has throw and powerful, slow move.
Pai has throw escape and block.
As I tried to show, it’s actually pretty reasonable to expect players to be thinking on yomi layer 3, 4 or even higher. It’s because conditioning makes doing the throw escape an unthinking, natural reaction. But against a clever opponent, you’ll have to think twice about doing a standard throw escape or blocking. The Akira player will do the occasional powerful, slow move just to put his enemy off balance and abandon his instinct to escape the throw. Then Akira can go back to his original goal: land the throw.
Another very interesting property is “beginner’s luck.” Notice that a beginner Akira in this situation will go for the throw, since that works on other beginners who haven’t learned to throw escape. The beginner Akira will never land the throw on an intermediate player, though, since the intermediate player knows to always throw escape. But strangely, the beginner will sometimes land the throw on the expert because the expert is aware of the whole guessing game and might block rather than throw escape. Of course, the expert will soon learn that the beginner is, in fact, a beginner and then he’ll be able to yomi almost every move."