Ever been in a fight? I don’t mean a verbal conflict with somebody but an actual fight! Do you know how to protect yourself so that you don’t get hurt any more than necessary? I am surprised at the number of grownups that are so bad at it, that they literally resemble children when they fight. I have witnessed this enough times to notice that there is a lack of education regarding this issue in the world right now. I am not pro-fighting, but odds are, if you are a guy, there will come a time in your life when you will have to fight. The possibility of that happening is high, and your well-rehearsed logic, sound arguments or flight response will not save you. That means that if you have no idea what to do at that moment, you will definitely get your ass kicked. Here are some reasonable tips to increase your chances of getting through the experience in one piece.
I am not advocating gratuitous violence here, and I hardly believe that fighting is the right answer to a problem. Sometimes, you don't have time to call the cops or ask for help from a friend. Everything is happening so fast that you have to react at the moment or you risk serious injuries to yourself or somebody you care about. The thing is, there are situations in life where standing your ground is more important than being civil. Life is not black and white; conversations can heat up just like that, you meet stupid people whose only response to a problem is a punch, your simple presence can enrage another individual to such an extent, that a fight becomes inevitable, etc. There is any number of reasons why you can get in a fight. I want to discuss what you can do once you find yourself in one, without the option to back out. Do you keep trying to talk it out while dodging punches and kicks? Do you crawl into a ball and hope he gets tired of kicking you before you pass out? WHAT DO YOU DO?
Let’s start with some of the facts that you will have to deal with when engaged in a fight. The fight starts well before punches are thrown. Your opponent will try to psych you out, to scare you because they know, consciously or unconsciously, that if they get into your head and mess with it, you will have less will to fight, less physical power, speed and agility to draw from, less situational awareness, you will be a weaker opponent in all aspects of the fight. The way that he will engage you is different if he thinks that you are mentally strong vs. mentally weak. That is a fact. Many fights are won or lost in this stage. If you show strength in this stage, your opponent might end up psyching himself out, which gives you the advantage.
Protect yourself at all times. It sounds basic but keeping your hands close to your body and head will allow you to react faster when the attack happens and give fewer openings that the opponent can exploit. Keep your body at an angle. This reduces the body surface that is immediately reachable and also protects your groin from a basic kick in the balls(many opponents will use this in real life). Stay centered, which means that you don’t lean too much forward or backward, bend your knees. This will give you stability when the opponent tries to wrestle you to the ground. Most fights get to this point, where one person tries to wrestle the other one to the ground to perform the now famous “ground and pound.” Avoid that if you can.
Unless you mastered the art of dodging like Neo from the Matrix, odds are, you will get punched. A punch hurts like hell and is the number one reason that most people don’t want to fight. Fighting hurts. Get over it! Yes, a punch hurts but I have discovered that you can take much more punishment than you think. Accept that you will feel pain and don’t give in to the fear, because then you will have lost the battle in your mind before it even begins. Most people, in my experience, don’t have any idea how to punch or kick properly, so you will most likely not fall from the first one. Stand your ground and keep your head clear, otherwise, your fear of the pain will exceed what you can mentally take; you will feel overwhelmed, your mind will go blank and taking you out will be child’s play for the opponent.
Learn how to punch. I have seen this over and over. Grownups punch like they are children. Fights between adults often look like playground squabbles. Knowing how to punch is a huge advantage because too few people know how to do it properly. If you do it wrong, even if you land the punch, there is a good chance that you might hurt or even break your hands. I learned this the hard way, so try to learn from my example. You don’t have to punch like Tyson, but a little bit of exercise on the sandbag may save you a lot of headaches(literally) in the future and teach you the proper stance and body weight distribution needed for generating enough power to be effective.
Your body is full of weapons. The traditional idea of fighting consists of using your fists and, if you are flexible enough, your legs to subdue your opponent. You have much more than that at your disposal. There is your forehead, your elbows which are devastatingly powerful when used correctly, your knees and your body weight. Sometimes, in a fight, you may be forced to use them because of the angles that you have to hit at, or because your broader movement is somehow restricted.
A real fight has no rules. If you believe that every one of your opponents will play by the rules, then you are at a disadvantage. I don’t condone fighting dirty, but you should enter a fight expecting headbutts, getting hit in the sensitive areas(groin, neck, eyes) scratching, spitting, biting, getting hit with whatever is laying around. If you think like this, you stand a better chance to anticipate such an attack and prevent it from happening to you.
Don’t forget your environment. It is very easy to get completely caught up in the fight and lose track of where you are and who else is around. This can become a problem really fast. If you don’t pay attention to where you are, you can trip and fall, get yourself cornered, get injured on objects that you don’t pay attention to. Also, you can get attacked by someone other than the person that you are fighting. I have seen this many times. The opponent’s friends come from behind or the sides and punch your lights out.
You know all this already. I haven’t written anything truly new in this article. The problem is that in the heat of the moment, people tend to lose sight of these basic means of protecting themselves and stopping an attacker. I hate violence. I have always steered well clear of troublesome individuals, but sometimes trouble finds you. And when that happens, you need to keep a cool head, resolve the issue before it gets violent and if that is not possible, to manage to get out of the situation relatively unscathed.
Here are some videos describing these simple tactics: