How to Win a Street Fight
Do not engage in physical violence unless you absolutely have to; very rarely will a positive outcome be attained. If you do have to, be aware that winning a street fight may not necessarily mean beating up your opponent. There are much more subtle ways of coming out of a street fight un-harmed, or, at the very least, appearing in the eyes of the law to be the innocent party. This article is assuming that the reader has absolutely zero fighting experience- self-defence cannot properly be taught online- it requires real life practice.
1- Appreciate the terrain. Are you on slippery ground? Do you have 2 possible exits (if not, put yourself in a position where you do have 2 possible exits)? Does he/she have back-up? Are there people watching? Is there a video camera pointed in your direction? Could he/she pick up something and use it as a weapon?
2- Try and make an exit. It is possible to talk down a fight without appearing to be the ‘weaker’ party. Use calm, deliberated language, whilst smiling and offering your hand to shake there’s. Most people will react to this positively unless antisocial or intoxicated. When talking down a fight, it is important to remain in a posture that appears passive yet will still be able to deal with an attack. Similar to a boxing stance, be slightly side on with feet shoulder width apart, pointing in the aggressor’s direction. Rather than have your hands raised in fists, you can appear passive by adopting a prayer pose. This will make it look like you’re trying to resolve the dispute, however it will still give you the important inside control should the argument escalate.
3- Never be over confident. Assume that your opponent will be a better fighter and make preparations accordingly, but always appear confident in your abilities.
4- Should you manage to talk down the fight, when walking away, take steps backwards whilst facing the aggressor in order to avoid being sucker punched.
5- Apologising for something that you haven’t done can often be quite an unnatural to do, but be prepared to do it none the less. Try and empathise with the other person’s point of view and explain how it has all been a misunderstanding.
6- Know your limits. How far are you prepared to go? Are you comfortable with breaking bones, knocking the other person unconscious, using a weapon? Do you understand the consequences of your actions? Appreciate that one freak punch or similar could lead to the opponent slipping and hitting his/her head resulting in their death. This should be something that you have thought about prior to a confrontation. Should the person be of greater stature to yourself, understand that it may actually be best to be completely subordinate in order to avoid injury. Most people will not continue to attack you once you are in a ball on the floor (unless in ‘mob behaviour’ mode)
7- Should the confrontation be progressing to a fight, attempt to appear to be the innocent party to possible onlookers or a video camera. Making the first strike will place you as being the aggressor in a court of law. It is best to be seen to be defending yourself, so be sure to have your opponent throw the first punch. Remain on your front foot but keep your head down and your guard up. Attempt to not be on the very end of the punch as this will be where it is most powerful. Step in to the inside of their reach but to the person’s side. Be aware that being in grappling distance, providing neither fighter has any proper experience, will always favour the bigger person. Should you be smaller, step into the inside of their reach, slightly to the side, and strike to the joints or the chin as hard and as fast as you can. Soft areas consist of the throat, temple, solar plexus or eyes. Stay balanced. Furthermore, should you be concerned about appearing to be the aggressor, strike with the ball of your palm rather than your fist- knuckles will often swell or break when used to strike- this will be the first thing a police officer will check. Kicking is O.K. if kept low, as high kicks will off balance you and/or make you slip. Aim for the knees with your shin.
8- Remember to breathe and stay as relaxed as you can. If you tense up, the more prone to injury you will be and the weaker you will strike.
9- As soon as an exit option is available, take it. Should you have been the aggressor, take it swiftly to avoid arrest. Should you be losing or see your opponent’s friends approach, exit to a well-lit, public place.
10- Should you need to call for help, oddly enough, “help” tends not to work. “Fire” tends to work much better in attracting attention, and will, at the very least, confuse your attacker.
11- Should you have no fighting experience, act fast and hyper-aggressively. Masculinity and posturing can often be enough to scare an average, equally unskilled opponent. As previously mentioned, you have to make sure that you look like the innocent party, so any hyper aggressive act needs to come after it looks like you’ve tried to appease the situation. If physical violence is inevitable, take the initiative and disrupt the ‘rhythm’ of the conflict (fights will naturally escalate but you want to break this cycle and go ‘straight to 100’ rather than work your way up). When you attack, attack hard, fast, and don’t stop until the opposition is subdued. DO NOT CONTINUE TO HARM YOUR OPPONENT ONCE THEY ARE UNCONSCIOUS OR ADMIT DEFEAT.
12- Exit the situation by keeping an eye on your opponent; do not let them sucker punch you.
Should you be up against more than one opponent and not be able to find an exit, you literally have to go crazy enough to deter them from attacking you. Pick up a large object and swing it wildly, screaming as you do so.
Using “Reasonable force” should be at the forefront of your mind when fighting a single opponent. Again, be aware of the damage you can do and the legal and social consequences of your actions.
If you wish to properly learn self-defence, appreciate that 80% of fights end up on the floor. Many of the more ‘romantic’ forms of self-defence such as kung-fu or even karate, take years to master. To maximise your economy of interest, join a no gui (not in pj’s) jiu-jitsu gym, as very few people can effectively ‘take down’ and fight on the floor therefor a little knowledge here will go a long way.