An alternative to the How to fight and not get your ass kicked node. Most of what that node says is good, but the basic philosophy behind it is flawed. Assume you're in a situation where the only option is to fight another human being in single combat. The ideal goal in that situation isn't to avoid getting hurt, but to hurt the other person as quickly as possible, so as to make it impossible for them to hurt you. Every moment you spend on the defensive is another moment in which your opponent has a opportunity to attack you. Give someone enough opportunities, and you're bound to get hit sooner or later, no matter how good you are at defense.

The only option is to hit them before they hit you. Start with something quick and painful, but not necessarily damaging. A good solid kick to the shins is a great way to start things off. Below their peripheral vision, impossible to block, hard to dodge without throwing yourself off balance, and damn painful to boot (pun fully intended). The kick is just meant as a distraction. Once you've done that, go nuts - punch, kick, gouge, claw, anything you can to do damage. Go for the soft spots - eyes, throat, stomach/solar plexus, groin, anywhere and everywhere. The point of fighting isn't to be fair and sportsmanlike, the point of fighting is to win.

As was stated in how to not fight and not get your ass kicked not fighting at all is a much better idea than fighting. At any point during the fight, if you see an opportunity to run away without exposing yourself or someone else to harm, do so. At the start of my very first karate class, my sensei made it clear that the single best self-defense equipment available was a good pair of running shoes. If you see a chance to run before the fight starts, do so. If your kick to the shins distracts them enough to give you an opening, take it. No matter what, leave at the first opportunity. The less time you spend near someone who wants to hurt you, the less likely it is that they will succeed.

Attacking first and furious is all well and good in theory, but here in the good ole US of A, our legal system has a bad habit of making victims into criminals when they try to defend themselves. If you are in danger and you are the one to move first, then as far as the law is concerned, the fact is that you struck first. You can then be charged with aggravated assault, and may find yourself involved in a lawsuit.

When the issue is fisticuffs, you have the luxury to let the first punch be thrown. Anything more serious than that, the law be dammed, you best protect ya neck.

Here is my advice:

Try to get your opponent to attempt hitting you in the face. Eye contact will keep the focal point on your head. A lot of information as to what his plans are can be seen in his eyes. Now that eyes are locked, unflinchingly inform your attacker that you are not interested in fighting, but if this is what must happen, you offer him the first punch, and promise him that after that punch, you will inflict the maximum amount of damage in the shortest amount of time, and that this is his last second between rage and regret.

Perhaps this alone will diffuse the fight, but more often than not, your aggressor is some meathead itching for a fight. The speech is more for any of the spectators who can be called on in the event of a legal battle.

now for the goods

If you are successful, the punch is now heading toward your face. Step to one side of it, turning sideways to stand on the outside of the punch facing the extended arm. Catch the fist with your right hand, and twist the arm so that the elbow is pointing up and your hand is underneath his. Then bring the elbow of your free arm up (add a hop for more inertia if the arm you are holding is big and strong) in an arc and crashing down on the elbow while pushing the fist upward. This move should bring a swift end to hostilities, as well the usefulness of that person's arm.

(these instructions vary due to various left/right handed issues that arise in the real world, but you get the general idea.)

If your enemy just smiles at you and continues to attack… RUN!

This idea is the heart and soul of Naval tactics. The basic rule of thumb is this: The first hit and/or the largest force will always win. In naval battles, especially when using the big guns of battleships, it is just a matter of staying power and striking power.

Look at it this way: two equal forces go into battle, who ever gets the first hits in will win. If force A sends over a volley and scores some hits. Force A has damaged force B (and possibly reduced B's capacity to fight) with no damage to themselves. Now force B returns fire and the battle begins. But since both forces were equal we assume they are both being worn down at the same rate. Since force B was damaged first it will be the first to be disabled, but not before doing significant damage to force A.

There have been exeptions to this rule. The Battle of Jutland in WWI and the battles to sink the Bismarck in WWII.

Fighting from a military mindset. Consider that you have a mission you must complete, and can't wear yourself out. Also remember that this is real, and you must fight for your safety.

If your objective is to disable your enemy permanently, I can help!

Let's get started!

Fighting Stance

- Square off your body about 45 degrees from your enemy, feet in a loose "L". Trail arm tucked into your side, elbow protecting the kidney. Lead arm in what looks like you are flexing position. Leave the elbow forward, pointed at your enemy's feet, placing your fist about cheekbone level. This protects both your front torso and face.


    - Proper punching takes practice. You MUST MUST MUST impact with your whole fist, or risk a fracture. Remember, your don't have to hit the hardest or fastest to cause damage. Quick jabs can setup your enemy for a trail-arm punch, or quick hook, or upper cut. *Remember, use your body too. The force in your arms is multiplied by your body. When punching twist the torso and shoulders. E = 0.5mv2. But, at the same time, it is paramount that you maintain balance, and DON'T over extend. Keep your center of gravity close and low, and with as little pitch and yaw as possible. Jabs use your triceps, while hooks and upper cuts use your biceps. You aren't wearing boxing gloves, so the punch is more effective than on T.V.

    • Effective Areas - Nose, Throat, Jaw, Ears, Gut (beneath rib cage), Kidneys*.


    - Your legs are excellent offensive tools seldom used. Pulling the knee slightly in towards the stomach, and snapping the leg out, impacting with the heel can lay a excrutiatingly painful blow to the legs or torso, easily crushing the knees, shins, or ribs. If you can grab your opponent, step in and bring your leg behind you, pulling it across his legs. At the same time, push his shoulders with a snap. He'll go down, giving you a precious split-second to shut him down. Using the legs can keep your enemy at bay and seriously degrade his effectivness.

    • Effective Areas - Knees, Shins, Toes (stomp), Stomach, Ribs.


    - Chokes are excellent tools for submission or simply killing your enemy. There are a few here that I will teach to you:

    • Rear Naked - Wrap one arm around enemy's neck. Place other arm over his shoulder, at your bicep. With the choking arm, grab your other forearm. The non-choking arm will provide leverage for one son of a bitching hard and quick choke. There are two variations: Blood, Air.

      • Blood - With your enemy's trachea in the crook of your elbow, apply pressure to the area below the corners of the jaw. Major veins and arteries run here, and you can restrict bloodflow to the brain, causing your enemy to pass out rather quickly. Not as lethal.
      • Air - WARNING: LETHAL - Same as blood positioning, but rotate your shoulders just enough to place your forearm over your enemy's windpipe. Apply pressure. You will hear a reassuring gurgle as you crush his windpipe.

    • Collar - Now that I've taught you the rear naked, "How do I choke 'em out from the front!?", you ask! Easy, use their collar. Place hands inside the opposite sides of the collar, facing out. Bring arms together and downward in a scissor motion. When you do, twist your hands until your palms are down. This places the outsides of your wristbones right in the same (blood choke) area as before. Pulling down provides control and causes your enemy to lose balance. When the body is off balance, it can conciously apply around 20% strength as before, while the rest of the body is unconciously trying to maintain balance. Throwing them off balance will prevent them from counter attacks and struggling. By the time they either fall or regain balance, they've lost sufficient blood to the brain and will soon be rendered unconcious.

    • Forearm Choke from the front - With your enemy facing you, wrap one arm around the back of their neck. Place one forearm across their neck, either in the blood or air position. If you have a shirt on, grab your sleeve with the hand behind the enemy's head. Use it to push your enemy into your forearm, engaging the choke. If not, just grab your tricep and do your best.

      REMEMBER that your enemy has use of their hands during these. These chokes must be employed QUICKLY to prevent counter attacks. If you deftly employ these chokes with precision, your enemy will be struggling to hard to strike you.

These techniques I've picked up along the road. Some are military, some are martial, some are experience. They are by no means the book to fighting. Fighting depends on YOU. I rely more on my fists, and what we call cock diesel more than anything else. But, a very! important tip is to stay cool. Loose your wits because of fear or anger and you've disabled your most important tool.


- You are limited on stamina. Punches will degrade you reserve quickly. Grappling and ground fighting is less strenuous, but can leave you in a bad situation, especially when weapons or a stronger opponent is involved. Don't try to Mike Tyson anyone, you will run out of steam and an experienced opponent will take advantage of this. Use combinations, working different muscles. Remember that your opponent has stamina too, and you can wear him down using pain. Use your legs, kick him in the legs, make him block his body from side kicks. Land solid punches, stay sharp. Keep him moving, and if you have to take him to the ground, eliminate him quickly before you run out of energy. One or two solid punches in the face will cloud his head a bit. Land one on his nose, and he will be seeing stars and tearing.


  • try and Bruce Lee anyone. You're using steam, and the average person isn't good enough to use fancy fighting techniques effectively.
  • get drunk and pick fights. Most people have absolutely no hope of fighting while drunk.
  • fight out of anger, unless you can still think clearly. Use you head to evaluate your opponent and take advantages of openings.
  • stand and deliver. Going blow for blow will leave you drained, and you will use valuable energy better spent continuing on your mission.
  • stand in one place. Keep moving. Get beside them, keep them off balance. Remember what I said about balance.


    rootbeer277 - Helping with my math skills. I should be good at math, I took Geometry twice.
    in10se - Bringing my unorganized HTML to my attention.

  • Quick punches are a good thing at any time. When in doubt, hit. Snappy punches to the solar plexus (down and in), jaw, nose, bicep, kidney, liver are good. Downward chopping motions with hammer fist work well on nose, forehead, collar bone, solar plexus. Upward bolo with forearm to groin or arm is good. Sideward bolo to head is good. Bolo strike uses bony portion of forearm behind wrist.

    Kicks: you don’t have to, and probably shouldn’t, kick higher than waist level, as anything higher should be taken care of by the hands. Stomp the instep. Use the inside edge of your shoe to kick the shin or knee with a ‘purring kick’. Thai style shin kick (using your shin as the striking surface) is good against the side of the shin, knee or thigh. A shin shot is more likely to cause the opponent to fall, a knee shot can severely damage the knee, and repeated hip shots can cause great cramping and dysfunction of the leg muscles. The old knee to the crotch is good, as well as a snappy front kick to same.

    Never spend too much time going toe to toe. Hits should be thrown HARD and FAST while closing to initiate grappling. The objective should be control of his skull, using a neck crank, front face lock or other such neck manipulation. These are painful at a low level of force application, and lethal if more force is applied, snapping the neck. This can inspire great fear and respect from someone, having such control, and can diffuse a situation.

    It's also good to get him down on the ground as fast as you can, and from there you can run away, or stomp his guts out. Judo throws are effective after lots and lots of practice and study; learn the three most popular judo throws: Seoi Nage, Osoto Gari, and Ogoshi. Also effective is to grab both of his clavicles with your fingertips and pull forward and down.

    When you hit, hit as hard as you can, preferably to the head. The jawline just in front of the ear is considered the ‘button’ for a knockout, as the shockwave of being hit here goes straight to the brain stem. Knife-hand strikes to the back of the head can also cause unconsciousness for the same reason.

    Don't block. Blocking is basically just waiting to get hit. Be proactive. Attack his hands, grab his wrists. Attack his targets. Overwhelm him with force and speed. Make it hard for him to attack you. Have an offensive defense.

    The wing chun Bong Sau/tan sau principle is very useful, the idea of a protective bar in front of you. It is much more effective at deflecting attacks than the traditional cross body block, and it is able to counter attack at any moment.

    Trapping should be intuitive. Use your hands, grab and push his arms to keep them from hurting you. control them. Position your arms for optimum power. Be fast and economic. Don't over extend. But as the experts say, don’t seek to trap in a fight, just let it compliment your boxing, and if you need it, use it, but don’t look for a chance to use it.

    Footwork is constantly changing. Don't just imitate Bruce Lee, make sure you are able to advance, dissolve, shift direction, in any combination and all the time.

    The original SPBK stance is observed.

    Physical training was a big part of Bruce Lee's personal style but it did not carry over to the art as it is taught in modern JKD schools and I believe it should, as physical fitness was a big part of Lee's philosophy. He desired strength and speed, minimum body mass, maximum muscle density (high reps low weight after low reps high weight), and a high power to mass ratio. Many of the principles of JKD, like no telegraphing punches and kicks, require a lot of explosive power to work. For punches, train the abs, lower back, lats, chest, triceps, and deltoids. Lots of waist twists. For kicks, train the hip flexors, lower abs, lower back, quads, calves, hamstrings, iliotibial band, abductors, and buttocks. Train for flexibility, strength and stamina.

    Observe animals. Watch the chimps at the zoo, the monkeys. Watch two house cats fight, how they use downward circular clawing motions, like those found in wing chun.

    Study wrestling. Study greco roman wrestling and freestyle wrestling. Learn the old time illegal holds. (catch as catch can.)Compare these styles to Brazilian jiu jitsu and judo.

    Study boxing, especially old time bareknuckle boxing. You will not be wearing gloves, so you must learn to hit with bare fists and learn to condition them. Make a fist by rolling your fingers up to your hand. Ladies, if you have long nails, you can fold your fingers flat against your palm. Strike with the knuckes of the last three fingers; pinkie, ring and middle. These knuckes line up in a straight line. Also, make sure the back of your wrist is in line with the back of your forearm. Do not curl it out or in. Looking at the inside of the fist, the bottom of the hand should be in line with the bottom edge of the forearm. Making sure of these things will ensure you doin't sprain your wrist when you punch. Both bareknuckle fighters in England and the states used the vertical fist and hit with the bottom three knuckles. This is the same as found in wing chun. Karate paractitioners use a horizontal fist and strike with the knuckle of the index finger, but this is for pressure point strikes. Those bones can break easily so I wouldn't recommend punching this way.

    The palm strike/slap is largely underrated. More power can be generated with a slap than a punch. Use circular swings to the side of the head, aiming for an ear. Swing your whole trunk into the blow, arm fully extended for maximum velocity, and step with it. You see this a lot in Tai Chi.

    Never hit someone in the mouth, mouths are full of sharp teeth.

    The knee is a good target, especially against a larger adversary. Keep this in mind in your footwork that your knee is a target as well.

    Study epee rules of fencing. The whole body is a legal target. Therefore the closest targets are the most popular; foot, knee, wrist. These are relevant targets in fighting.

    Train your grip strength. Pull-ups, towel pull-ups, rope climbing, grip devices. Your life may depend on wrenching a knife or gun from someone’s hand, or a bomb switch. But most importantly, grip strength is essential in grappling, for controlling the opponent’s hands.

    Pain compliance techniques and submissions can be good for competition, but unless backed up by lethal force, like the neck crank, or maiming force, like an armbar used to break the arm, they only offer temporary control of the situation. It is likely you will have to do some damage, and you must be psychologically prepared for this. If you wrestle submissions, you are used to being friendly with your sparring partner. It’s important to remember a fight is not sparring and an assailant is not your sparring partner. He’s the real thing. ‘Nuff said.

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