In the dangerous and unpredictable world we live in, the knowledge of self-defense can often mean the difference between life and death. Without a doubt, one of the most important skills we can have is the knowledge of what to do when we’re faced with a life-threatening situation in the streets. And though violence should be avoided at all costs, sometimes it is the only solution we have to protect ourselves from harm or death. The realities of self-defense situations and street fights are harsh and the consequences are severe.
WARNING: Graphic and violent videos below. Do not watch unless you genuinely want to learn how to protect yourself. This article highlights the realities of self-defense situations and what to do in the event you are caught in the middle of one.
Please note that Evolve MMA does not condone violence of any kind. We believe martial arts is a last resort method of self-preservation against threats to life or bodily harm.
It’s critical that you adopt a safe, smart and realistic approach when it comes to a street fight. Today, Evolve Daily gives you 7 Things You Need To Do In A Street Fight:
1) Avoid one at all cost.
As the saying goes, “prevention is better than a cure”. When it comes to surviving a street fight, the best solution is not to get yourself into one in the first place. In other words, if you believe you are about to be attacked or have entered a hostile situation, do whatever it takes to avoid physical confrontation.
Avoid eye-contact, apologize, reason, talk your way out, or simply walk away; a bruised ego will do you no harm. Be humble and submit to the would-be assailants to the best of your ability. Remember, no matter how confident you are in your knowledge of self-defense, getting into a street fight is always risky. Always walk away. Physically defending yourself should be your absolute last resort!
2) Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
In the video above, a man’s wife was harassed by a group of strangers in a nightclub. The ensuing altercation occurs in the alley behind the club.
Self-defense experts would say that one of the best ways you can protect yourself from an attacker is to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Whether you’re alone or with your friends, you should always pay attention to what’s going on around you.
If your instincts tell you that someone close by is suspicious-looking or behaving oddly, chances are that you are probably right. Instincts are a very powerful self-defense mechanism inherent in all human beings. So keep your eyes and ears alert at all times; putting a little extra focus on what’s going around you when you’re walking home alone at night could save you from a whole lot of trouble.
And when it comes to a street fight, assessing your surroundings for other potential threats will undoubtedly help you decide what to do next. Is your attacker alone or with friends? Is he/she carrying a weapon? Where are the nearest exits? Is there a wall where you can protect your back and prevent a situation where you are attacked from behind? There are many things to observe before engaging into an altercation. You will not want to engage in a street fight without knowing the risks of getting jumped by another person or by a group of strangers. Often times, street fights end up in multiple-party situations. Unlike the movies, it is very rare to find yourself in a one-on-one encounter in a street fight.
3) If the attack is imminent, strike first.
This video above is a great example of the power of surprise in a self-defense situation. When the bullying victim realizes that there is no way out of the situation, he attacks first and ends the fight with a single blow.
If you have tried to avoid the situation and truly believe that your life is at risk, then it’s time to use the element of surprise while you’re still ahead. A general rule of any self-defense situation is that the person who attacks first is usually the winner. Most people can’t take a punch to the face and still be coherent. Whatever attack you have planned, be sure that you attack first, if and only if, you are 100% sure that there is no other alternative to the current situation.
4) Be quick to establish dominance and control.
In the video above, the bullying victim does everything correctly from a self-defense point of view. As a last resort to his personal safety and when he realized that he had no choice with the bully, he struck first with the element of surprise, followed it up immediately with a double-leg takedown, and a finishing blow to end the threat of any harm.
If you only need to deal with a single individual (though this is highly unlikely), the best way to end the situation is to take control of the situation as quickly as you can. This can be done by striking first, going for a takedown, and establishing a highly advantageous, dominant position such as a full mount, where you can safely execute your attacks.
In a street fight, forget about armbars or joint locks as the rush of adrenalin might be able to mask the pain for your attacker; focus on chokes to end the threat as quickly and efficiently as possible. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that will allow you to have the upper hand in one-on-one, self-defense situations. The techniques you learn in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu will enable you to execute a takedown, establish a dominant, controlling position, and apply a choke. While BJJ is the best martial art for one-on-one situations, it is important to remember that most street altercations are not one-on-one situations.
5) Stay smart and keep it standing.
In the video above, he gave ample warnings to the attacker and pushed him repeatedly away to create space. When the certainty of harm increased to the point of no return, he did the correct thing by striking first and throwing a surprise roundhouse kick to the head.
In almost every real street fight situation, it is best to keep the altercation standing. It gives you maximum mobility to escape or to get into a safer position (such as moving into a spot where a wall is behind you to avoid getting jumped from behind).
If the fight is standing, there is perhaps no better martial art to use than Muay Thai. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the best martial art for one-on-one situations, but it is very dangerous to go to the ground in a street fight due to the threat of getting jumped by other people. (Imagine taking someone to the ground in a crowded, outdoor marketplace or a nightclub). The safest way is to keep the altercation standing. It is no secret in the martial arts world that Muay Thai is the best stand-up art because it incorporates all the weapons available to the human body in kicking range, punching range, and the clinch, making it effective in all ranges of standup fighting (unlike most other striking based martial arts). The conditioning of mind, body and spirit involved in Muay Thai also gives practitioners the confidence needed for real-life self defense situations.
6) If you strike first, strike to the finish.
In the video above, he correctly strikes until the attacker is 100% neutralized and the threat to his safety no longer exists. As brutal as the video might be, it is an example of good self-defense practice. He gained a dominant position and used multiple strikes to end the fight.
As the revered Japanese rōnin, swordsman and author, Miyamoto Musashi once said, “When you decide to attack, keep calm and dash in quickly, forestalling the enemy… attack with a feeling of constantly crushing the enemy, from first to last.”
So when you do strike first, you must strike solely with the intention to end the situation. This means throwing a combination of multiple strikes or attacks with everything you’ve got until the fight is over. Also, target all the critical strike zones on body, which include the eyes, throat and groin. This will most certainly incapacitate the assailant, no matter how big or small he or she is.
7) Do whatever you can to draw attention to yourself.
Once the threat is neutralized, run towards safety and yell at the top of your lungs for help. Find a place that is well lit with a lot of people around. Do whatever you can to draw attention to yourself so that others can be aware of your predicament and are able to lend their aid. This would discourage your assailant to come looking for you as well.
One of the best ways to fuel and empower your knowledge of self-defense is through martial arts. There are hundreds, if not thousands of martial arts styles across the globe, that can be helpful in self-defense situations. However, Mixed Martial Arts, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, and Wrestling are widely regarded as some of the best martial arts on the planet; they are ring-proven, street-tested, and reality-certified. Learning a combination of all these martial arts will equip you well in most self-defense situations.
Are you now convinced that you should learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones? Kick-start an active lifestyle and embark on your martial arts journey now!
If you’re looking for a place that offers all these martial arts under one roof, be sure to check out Evolve MMA.