MyCityByNight’s guide to surviving a fight


Growing up on the rough and tumble streets of Cape Town, Kreg and I have had many an occasion where we’ve fought back to back, dishing out People’s Elbows, Tombstones and even the odd Stunner to would be foes that have offended us. So we reckon that we’re pretty qualified to provide you with some essential advice on how to survive a fight and leave with your street rep and hopefully your face in tact.

1. Be aware! If someone begins to threaten your well-being take a quick look around for any objects in your environment that could be used as a weapon- chairs, glass bottles, a kettle. Also make sure to look out for a place to escape if you happen to be outnumbered.

2. Try your utmost to defuse the situation. Try to use words to defuse the situation and attempt to calm everyone down. If you did indeed do something unknowingly that offended the other party (like setting their shoe on fire), then apologize. Don’t let your ego get in the way of apologizing for something you didn’t do either, as the main goal should always be to avoid a brawl. Make sure to maintain confident body language- show no fear.

3. Walk away. If talking doesn’t work, try your best to leave the situation. Never, ever turn your back- if they’re not of the finest moral fibre they probably wouldn’t hesitate to smash you over the back of the head. So go for a slow reverse walk- try to NOT look retarded while doing this.

4. Assume a solid fighting position. If you have no choice other than to fight to the death, assume a stable fighting stance. Spread your legs about shoulder width apart and slightly bend your knees- this will help you stay upright even if you do take a couple of shots. Keep those hands up to protect your face and clench your teeth. A solid punch to an open mouth can lead to a broken jaw- also you will look really weird with that ring thing around your head while your broken jaw heals.

5. Defend yourself. At the end of the day you are trying to defend yourself against violent and unjustified aggression, so don’t be afraid to fight dirty. If you have any object to use as a weapon, use it at this point.

If you are weaponless, here are a couple of our favourites:

* Knee to the groin. No explanation needed why this is effective.

* Low kicks to the knee, groin, or abdomen. Kick like you’re kicking down a door, using the bottom of you foot. A solid kick to one of these areas can incapacitate your attacker long enough for you to get away, or to pee on them.

* Headbutt to the face. Your forehead is one of the hardest bones on your body. Use this to your advantage by headbutting your opponent hard across his nose. If done correctly, you can do some serious damage.

* Throw a swinging punch. If done correctly, a well placed punch can put your attacker out of commission.

6. Take punches effectively. You should always try and avoid getting hit yourself but the reality is you are not Steven Segal and you might have to rely on more than swift wavy hand movements and a weird squint, to survive. If you have to take a punch, strive to absorb it in a way that minimizes the impact and damage to you.

* A punch to the head.

Move towards the punch, tighten your neck muscles and clench your jaw. By moving into the punch, your attacker may miss the mark wide to either side. Absorb the punch with the top part of your forehead as it’s the hardest part of your body. If your attacker hits you there, his hand will probably break and you’ll have minimized the damage to yourself.

* A punch to the body.

Tighten your stomach muscles, but don’t suck in your stomach. Try to shift so the punch lands on your obliques rather directly in the stomach or vital organs. Kidneys are hard to come by if you don’t shop on the Brazilian Black Market.

8. Make a hasty exit. After you have incapacitated your attacker using the methods described above, get the hell out of there- the police are coming and they WILL want to put you in their van.

So there you go… now you too can survive a fight should you ever land up in one.

1. Wake up! When someone threatens you, snap to attention. Be aware of your environment. Look for objects that you can use for weapons. Searching out a place to escape to is especially important if you’re outnumbered.

2. Try to defuse the situation. Try to talk with the guy and calm him down. If you did something unknowingly that offended him (like looking at him funny), then apologize. Don’t let your ego get in the way of apologizing for something you didn’t do. Your first goal should be to avoid fighting. Maintain confident body language. Don’t show the guy you’re afraid.

3. Walk away. If talking to the knucklehead doesn’t work, start to leave the scene. But maintain alertness and walk away backwards, still facing your opponent. If he’s a no-good, yellow-belly rat, he’ll attack you from behind.

4. Assume a fighting position. If the jerk is still threatening you and you have nowhere to go, assume a stable fighting stance. Spread your stance to about shoulder width apart and slightly bend your knees. The goal is to maintain balance so you don’t end up on the ground. Keep your hands up to protect your face and clench your teeth. A solid punch to an open mouth can lead to a broken jaw.

5. Defend yourself. The goal is to defend yourself from violent and unjustified aggression, so don’t be afraid to fight dirty. If you have any object to use as a weapon, use it. This can be anything like a chair, a bottle (extra man points for first breaking the bottle and then thrusting the jagged part at your opponent), or a 2X4. Here are some other techniques that could be used in this sort of situation:

  • Knee to the groin. No explanation needed why this is effective.
  • Low kicks to the knee, groin, or abdomen. Kick like you’re kicking down a door, using the bottom of you foot. A solid kick to one of these areas can incapacitate your attacker long enough for you to get away.
  • Headbutt to the face. Your forehead is one of the hardest bones on your body. Use this to your advantage by headbutting your opponent hard across his nose. If done correctly, you can do some serious damage.
  • Throw a punch. If done correctly, an overhand punch can put your attacker out of commission.

6. Take punches effectively. While you should do your damnedest to avoid getting punched, you can’t avoid them all. If you have to take a punch, strive to absorb it in a way that minimizes the impact and damage..

  • A punch to the head. Move towards the punch, tighten your neck muscles and clench your jaw. By moving into the punch, your attacker may miss the mark wide to either side. Absorb the punch with your forehead. It’s the hardest bone your body. If your attacker hits you there, his hand will be hurting and you’ll have minimized the damage to yourself.
  • A punch to the body. Tighten your stomach muscles, but don’t suck in your stomach. Try to shift so the punch lands on your obliques rather directly in the stomach or vital organs.

7. Give your best war cry. While defending yourself, make as much noise as possible. There are two reasons for this. First is the intimidation factor. Yelling may distract and intimidate your attackers, leaving you a better chance of getting in some good blows or getting away. The second reason is to draw attention. The more people who gather around you, the easier to call a douche bag’s bluff.

8. Make your escape. After you have incapacitated your attacker using the methods described above, get the hell out of there.

Im a guy with a very particular view of life... im not quite sure what that view is just yet, but when I find out I'll be sure to let you know...

Comments 4

  1. You left out the Flathand!

    This is used once it is clear there is no other option, but to fight. A good solid unexpected flathand (catching the ear and the nose) is the ultimate insult, and often rather disorienting.

    A cupped hand directly over the ear is another. (this can do some serious damage.)

    A large opponent can also be incapacitated for long enough to get away with a blow directly to the solar plexus. Or to the “floating rib” the last rib, which is most easily broken.

    Dont forget about a good rake to the eyes either.

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