Whilst it's true that violence is rarely a good thing, there are times when it becomes necessary. This is intended to be simple and practical advice .. advice which hopefully you'll never need.

Important things to remember about fighting:
  • Movie fights aren't real.
  • Getting pissed off and going mental is not a surefire way to win a fight.
  • Anything goes. Anything. Seriously.

I want to elaborate on these points. It's important to distinguish between a serious fight and a play fight for the purposes of this node. In real life you will have no trouble at all distinguishing between the two, but I want to make it clear that this is advice for a serious fight. This advice also assumes you've exhausted every other option and your only choice is to fight. There's nothing wrong with running away. If you don't think you can win, try and get away .. but if that fails fight .. and fight hard.

Fights don't last long. The shorter the better. Ideally, if someone had started a fight with you at the start of this writeup, it'd be over by now. In the movies the good guy and the bad guy punch each other hard in the face and stomach, and get right back up to dish it out some more. You can't do this.

'Going mental' can get you very hyped up and make you move quickly and feel less pain .. but it'll get the shit kicked out of you if your opponent has the slightest clue as to what they're doing.

Anything goes. Queensbury rules? They only apply in the ring. If you can get your hands on an iron bar, don't hesitate for even one second to crack your opponent about the head with it. The only, I repeat the only thing that matters is that you win.

Things you can do to help you win:
  • Move first.
  • Hit them so hard they don't get a chance to hit you.
  • Don't hesitate.

Most 'hard' people get their rep by moving first. The element of surprise is your best ally in a fight, if you can take someone by surprise, you'll almost certainly win. How do you apply this in a practical manner? Simple. Be sure that the other person is going to fight you and you have no alternatives. It's important to be decisive here.

Attack them first. Be quick and brutal. Don't say anything, this is only a waste of time. That killer 'I'm gonna git you sucka' line will have to wait for the screenplay. Kick them very hard to start with. The groin is a good target for this, as are the knees. Follow up. Kicking them and then having second thoughts is going to get you hurt. Kick them as hard as you can in the groin, then when they bend over (they will bend over) kick them as hard as you can in the face or about the head. A knee to the face is just as good.

The main aim here is to prevent them from hitting you, whilst you hit them. The easiest way to do this is to simply hit them so hard that you win outright.

This is not always possible, and things will go wrong. Assuming you've fluffed your opening shots and your opponent is now landing blows on you, the emphasis switches to defense.

You remember the Karate Kid right? Mr Miyagi, "wax on! wax off!"? That's a good principle. If they start trying to kick you block them by raising one knee and using your shins as a guard. Obviously don't stand for long on one leg, bad balance will lose you a fight almost as surely as hesitation. If they start trying to punch you, intercept their punches with your own arms. The idiots guide to punch blocking would be to simply flail your arms about wildly in front of you.

It's important to remember that blocking is something that should be continued for a few seconds at the most. Counter-attacking is the name of the game here. If they throw a punch and you block it, chances are you've put them slighty off balance. Attack. Make a 'V' with your index and middle finger and stab them in the eyes. Press both thumbs against their adam's apple and push hard. Kick them in the knees as forcefully as you can.

Things to avoid when fighting:
  • Being on the ground.
  • Grappling.
  • Standing still.

Being on the ground is almost never a good thing. Get back up again as soon as possible. If you're on the ground you're too easy a target for kicks to the head. Make getting to your feet your number one priority, if that means taking a few punches or kicks in the process fine .. it's less than you'll take staying down there.

If your opponent grabs you in a hold and tries to throw you to the ground, don't try and do the same to him. Instead focus your effort on trying to break his hold. Unless you are skilled in holds and throws all you will do is waste energy which could be better employed kicking the shit out of your attacker.

Standing still is sure to get you hit. Move. Dance if need be. Your opponent laughs at your prancing style? Who cares as long as you get hit less often. Don't try and preserve your dignity in a fight, you lost it when you started. Be careful not to jump around the place though, when you jump your movements and timing become very easy to predict.

But what if my opponent is armed?

Then you have two options:
  • Give in.
  • Take it off them.
You have to judge this one on the fly. It depends entirely on the weapon and the situation. As with the fight itself, only attempt to disarm someone if you think you can do it. Otherwise give in. Give them whatever they want. It really isn't worth getting killed over.

There is some specific advice for certain weapons though:


Knives are nasty things to have pulled on you in a fight, but there are options, presuming 'giving in' has been ruled out. Two things can happen with knives, you get stabbed or you get cut. Hence someone will come at you in one of two ways.

They raise the knife above their shoulder, and attempt to bring it down in a stabbing motion, 'Psycho shower scene' style. Good. You've got yourself an idiot. Grab his arm the second he raises it and push the palm of your hand upwards into his nose as hard as you can.

They do it 'West Side Story knife fight' style (swift slashes). Okay .. you're in trouble here. The only simple advice to give at this point is to dodge any way you can. Do not attempt to grab the knife, you'll only grab blade. Your main problem here is they're unlikely to be putting much force behind the slashes, and hence won't be putting themselves off balance or giving you an opening to attack.

If someone pulls a knife on you your best option is to keep them out of range. Throwing stuff at them will only work if you can hit them on the head with something hard, glass bottles work well. If all else fails grab their knife arm with both your hands. If you get cut deal with it, this is a last resort. Bite their hand until they drop it, try and lever your teeth against their knuckles.


Guns are a whole different ball park. Although the same rules apply, everything steps up a gear. Only attempt to disarm someone with a gun if they're close to you. Many people make the mistake of putting the gun to your head.

Try this exercise: get someone to hold their arm outstretched with their hand in a fist. Tell them to tense their arm and try and hold it outstretched in that position. Then take your hand and quickly as you can snap their arm away from you. Although their muscles are tensed, the fulcrum if you will is the shoulder, and hence you don't need much force to knock their arm aside.

If someone puts a gun to your head like that, you can knock it aside in the same way. This should only be attempted if you believe they will kill you. Similarly, if you act the split second they pull the gun and grab their arm, you stand a chance of disarming them.

I cannot express enough how serious this is. You alone know how much you value your life. If someone pulls a gun on you but you don't believe it's their intent to kill you, do whatever they say. Don't be a hero. Always remember that this advice is relevant only if you have no other options.

However, just like movie fights aren't real, movie gun fights aren't real either. One shot will not kill you instantly unless it's to your head or a high power shot to your heart. Both are unlikely. The most likely place to get shot is your torso. This is going to redefine pain for you. But it won't kill you instantly. If you're going to get shot anyway, you might as well run at the fucker and try and kill him as well.

Anyway, back to the original point of this writeup.

As a conclusion I want to restate the following three crucial points to remember in a fight:
  • Move first.
  • Hit them so hard they don't get a chance to hit you.
  • Don't hesitate.
Most fights will not involve weapons, and you should seriously reconsider your approach if they do. The advice offered here is stuff I've learnt from personal experience, and that gathered from various other sources.

Please take this advice for what it is. Advice. I'm noding this so that you can think about it now, because you aren't going to be able to then.

Glean what you can from it, if anything, or add your own advice below.

I know how absurd advice like this must seem sitting in front of a computer .. I'm noding my advice to you on fighting, how do you know it's any good? How do you know this isn't some sick joke by me to get you into more fights that you'll lose? You don't. One last time: I hate fighting. Avoid fights at all costs. However, it seems pointless to me to be completely unprepared should you have to fight. Some idea of what to do might save your life, or at least save your looks.

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