Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Reality of Street Fights

Where ever you come from in the world, if you have had the unfortunate pleasure to be involved in a street fight or have even seen a street fight you shall have noticed that they can be quit intimidating. Before sparring in a martial arts school, there is either a hand shake, a bow or some other gesture to show that the sparring is to be kept respectful. This should also happen after the sparring is over. Unfortunately in the street though, it never happens like this.

Normally there is swearing, pushing, intimidating looks, spitting, throwing things at each other etc. It can be very different to how you train in the dojo. This is the reality of street fights however and it should be something practised within your training regime.

By having someone shout at you “im going to f*&$%”g kick your face apart” while pushing you with full force (or something along those lines) before a physical confrontation can be quit daunting. It can raise your adrenaline, shock you and sometimes make you freeze up. Defending yourself effectively when in this state of mind can be difficult to say the least.

Training in the gym/dojo, we prepare ourselves to be able to defend ourselves if involved in a street fight of some kind, and yet it is very rare to see this kind of preparation.

Im not saying that from now on, before you start sparring, swear and taunt at each other to feel the fear factor of a real fight, but understand that you cant just expect to be able to deal with it effectively, if faced with it in the street and that some preparation by acting out these conditions is necessary.

Im sure that there shall be some who disagree with this and that this type of training should be prohibited from the dojo, but it happens on the street so it should be something that we should keep in mind.


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Anonymous said...

I Agree with this, I just got into a confrontation not to long ago for no real reason at all, I thought my year and a half of Kempo Karate and Japanese Ju Jutsu would give me the reflexes to block a couple punches to my mouth but it did not happen I did not get badly injured because I was in shock, so I stayed on my feet, but I think I need a lot more training with my stand up. Besides it all started with just playing around and then the opponent got serious and I was not sure maybe that could be another reason.

Adam @ Low Tech Combat said...

Good point. Like you say, that type of more realistic training doesn't have to be all the time. Just every now and then to keep people aware of the differences between the gym and the street.

I really worry about students where the instructor is of the opinion that swearing and yelling in a dojo or dojang or whatever is uncouth and is not the place for such carryings on. These people claim to be teaching a form of self defense yet are clearly choosing to ignore it and are giving their students a false sense of security and understanding of real world violence.

just a little rant. good post.

John W. Zimmer said...

I used to tell my students that if you get into a fight - it will be when you are worst prepared for it, meaning you will be injured, drunk, sick or otherwise ill prepared.

I suggested that students train occasionally with injuries (favoring them) or with a few beers (so they could see the effects) so simulate a real world situation.

I used to be a bouncer in a bar for two years (21-23) and I got into several skirmishes each week and about one fight a week. The think I tried to focus on was critical distance, trying to figure out who was with who and doing whatever I had to do to come out on top.

While I was working the door I was dump and drank the free beer so I actually have lots of experience with drinking and fighting. The advantage of drinking is you are very loose and if your fitness level is good - you can respond fairly well.

The downside of drinking is if you ever actually fought someone that could fight - you would lose. Luckily most of the bar patrons were not disciplined fighter or were as least as drunk as I was.

So you are spot on with doing some perpetration before hand.

MARKS said...

John, Thats right. The only way to truely be prepared for typical street fight scenarios is to train them, just as the only way to be ready for a grappling tournament is to grapple.

Anonymous said...

Some arts work for the street, some dont.
Karate is best left in the dojo. In karate you train to fight against over exageratted single attacks, not a barrage of punches and ground and pound. Ive been in one fight since my training, on my way home from a freinds a man tried to jump me for my possesions, me being 21, he looked around 27 and had a significat height and weight advantage, with my training in muay thai i was able to hurt the inside of he's leg with a quick kick, and i prevented a takedown to the pavemnent with my bjj training, although i coulda punished him on the floor, i did not know my surroundings or if he had any freinds in the area so i kept it standing. I believe with a a background in mma you will be much more preapared for the street, learn how to fight rather than self defence.

Anonymous said...

Just google "kinfe wounds" under the images filter. That should give you a dose of reality combat. I used to be a neanderthal street hooligan when I was a kid. I'm not tough, only lucky I didn't die. Right before my 18th birthday, I was in a fight that ended up with me in surgery for 8 hours of artery reconstruction. I was fighting with a stranger from out of nowhere over words. The fight lasted under 4 minutes,I went through plate glass, and cost my parents a year's salary to keep me alive. I lost pints of blood.

I've also been bit in the fight. A nice imprint on my arm. That guy went down, but what if I had contracted a life-long disease? Who would have won that one?

There are so many unexpected variables. Training is good, can give you some advantages under certain circumstances, but be realistic.

Ironically, when I began my training in martial arts later in life, I never felt the need to fight. I grew up. Now, I (or a loved one) must be in danger to fight.

And all these people who think their MMA will save them, remember this, an estimated 70% of all males carry some form of knife. And when they start to slice into you, it won't be until the blood starts running that you know your in trouble. Weapons change EVERYTHING and are omnipresent on the street.

Self-defense? Avoid places where you know there will be trouble and walk (or run) away. There can be DIRE consequences for those few seconds of action (legal and medical or both). So don't worry about what is the right art for you. In the end, it will be about your will anyway. You cannot simulate a real experience in the dojo, no matter how hard you try(make sure while your down grappling that you have 3 other members kicking you in the ribs and head with shoes/that might help).

Train hard. Train sincerely. But be wary of the street. Be happy to be alive and remember that the warriors of old were not training for sport, but life or death and few made it to old age. Live long and strong comrades.

matkasim said...

i think mac young and geoff thompson's info on street fight is quite realistic.palm strike, front n shin kick, a good right hook and some judo basic moves are all that you need. getting out of a hold or choke is a must too.

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