Thursday, November 17, 2016

How to Actually Win a Fist Fight

It has to be said, first sentence, first paragraph: the best way to win a fist fight is not to get into one in the first place.

No shit, Sherlock.

Every single mens’ magazine who has ever attempted to publish an article like this has started (and ended) exactly that way and is usually devoid of any real information – sometimes because someone on the editorial staff wanted to avoid putting the periodical at risk for a lawsuit; other times because the author has absolutely no clue what they’re talking about, so they cop out with this “Verbal Judo Wins The Day!” crap. In fact, that’s precisely why I wrote this guide in the first place.

It’s common sense – avoid fighting if at all possible. No one likes to get hit (and if you do, there’s no need to go crawling pubs to find it. There’s any number of clubs filled with rubber-suited men and women who will give you a safety word and a few bruises for the right price…). But sometimes, diplomacy erodes to a good old fashioned bust-up, or worse, your opponent is just a big bully who’s looking to drive a knuckle into your nose. In either case, you are – at some point in your life – going to be called upon to defend yourself.

So… What to do? Well, I can’t promise that the following information will turn you into a hands-of-steel cage fighter who can handle any MMA bruiser in a back-alley match… In fact, if you’re actually in NEED of the information in this article, I can guarantee you that a trained martial artist or fighter will destroy you. But all things being equal, if you’re simply an untrained person who’s facing a bully, or someone looking to simply get the basics under your belt in case something gnarly goes down, I can assure you that you’re way better off knowing this stuff than not.

Note: This guide has been on the net in some form or another for 9 years now. In that time, I’ve gotten lots and lots of feedback. I’ve decided to incorporate my notes on that feedback throughout this latest version. I’ve formatted those side notes like this — bold “Note:” and italic text — so you can tell at a glance which sections have been argued over (and over and over and over), and why I’ve decided to go with the advice that you read here.

Some things before we begin:
  1. I’m giving advice based entirely on my own experiences and training. There are as many opinions on fighting techniques, stances and behaviors are there are people fighting in the world, and really, there’s no “right” and “wrong” – simply “effective” and “ineffective”.
  2. My advice is intended specifically for inexperienced people for whom there is no escape from a fighting situation. Flight is not an option. Training is non-existent.
  3. The entire goal of the guide is to keep instruction minimal and intuitive – stuff you can readily recall when you’re in a dangerous situation, and stuff that won’t set a beginner / inexperienced person up for failure. “Everyone has a plan until they get hit in the face” is true for a reason. Panic makes thinking tough.
The Basics

First, you need to know a few things:

You are going to get hit.
When you get hit, it does not feel good.

Knowing and accepting those two things as fact will free your mind up enough to begin thinking about much more important stuff, like strategy and technique. If you’re petrified with fear over how much it’s going to hurt when the big bad guy hits you, you’re going to be out of focus. Thus, you’ll be much more vulnerable to taking damage than if you can just accept the reality of the situation and move past it… And perhaps, walk into the situation with a bit of confidence.

Confidence CANNOT be overvalued in a fight situation. If you walk in knowing you will win, your chances of winning are far greater… If for no other reason than the fact that you will gain a psychological edge on your opponent. If you don’t have confidence, fake it. Seriously, it’s important. (...)

Your Stance

Your stance is the way you stand and position yourself during a fight. It’s by far the most important part of your actual fighting technique. Your base – the position of your feet and legs – determines how much power you can deliver in a blow. You should keep your feet about shoulder width apart, with your “strong” foot slightly forward (note: if you are a trained fighter, this advice might sound suspect, but follow me here: if you’ve never fought before, you have no idea what a “power hand” even is, much less how to use it. The main goal is to keep from being dragged around or pushed over, and a slightly even stance with strong foot forward is far more stable for a novice in a street fight). Your knees should NEVER be locked – keep them slightly bent, but not so much so that you feel a strain in your upper legs.

As far as your “guard” goes, there are any number of techniques and positions that you could adopt, but the most simple is your strong hand in front of your face, your weak hand slightly below it guarding your chin, and your elbows very slightly pointed outward guarding your chest.

Never, EVER drop your guard. Keep your hands in front of your vital areas at ALL times, unless actively delivering a blow or in the midst of grappling with someone.

Keep your chin tucked to your chest as much as possible, and ALWAYS keep your eyes up and on your opponent. You will find that, if you take away the chin and neck as targets, your chances of becoming disabled (knocked out or unable to breathe) are reduced by an order of magnitude. We’ll cover more of this in “Taking A Punch” – for now, you just need to know how to stand.

by Joe Peacock, JP's Website Thing |  Read more:
Image: uncredited