8 Ways to Survive a Street Fight

Neil StraussNeil

Whether you’re into the Game or Survival, there’s one situation that a lot of people ask me about–even though it happens very rarely.

So for your ease of mind, I’ve gotten permission from the Art of Manliness to post their tightly packed primer on surviving a fight.

Here’s hoping this is some advice you’ll never have to use.

How To Survive and Thrive In a Street Fight in 8 Simple Steps

by Brett and Kate McKay

Let’s say you’re out with your buddies (or maybe a lovely young lady) having a good time, when all of a sudden some jackass shoves you. You didn’t do anything to instigate the guy, but it doesn’t matter.

There is a special breed of males, that when inebriated, start fights with random people. This breed, when found in their wild habitat, are often accompanied by their similarly boneheaded buddies.

Or perhaps you and your posse end up in a rumble with the Socs because one of your buddies killed a Soc while trying to save Ponyboy from being drowned by a douche bag Soc. Man, I hate them Socs. Stay golden Ponyboy.

What can you do to prepare for a street brawl and protect yourself in this type of situation? Here are 8 simple steps you can follow to avoid ending up in the emergency room after a street fight.

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.

Inspired by The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook and Man Skills.


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