Most people don’t want to fight. The key is conflict avoidance. It’s always better to avoid a fight altogether. However, there are times when deflection techniques fail and a fight is simply unavoidable. When that time comes, you best have some solid fighting techniques to tall back on. Here are some things to consider and fighting techniques to make sure you walk away as unscathed as possible.
Body Language Before a Fight
Don’t ever truly trust what someone says to you. Many times a person’s true objectives are masked by what they’re directly telling you. However, if you tune them out and pay attention to their mannerisms, gestures and posture—in other words, their body language—you can make an assessment of their intentions.
Increase in Chest Size
Someone who’s nearing the point of physical contact will often push out his chest and lift his head upward to appear bigger and try to dominate the other by shear physical size. If you notice these signs, be wary of his next move.
Change in Stance
If he goes from facing you directly to giving you a half stance with one leg back and the other forward, this may be a sign that he’s about to throw a punch. Often a person will adjust himself to get the maximum amount of power generated through his arms, and proper positioning of his legs will help with just that. Don’t play his game; subtly open the distance between you and him to disrupt his plan.
Often an aggressor will loosen clothing directly before he gets down to business. Sleeves rolled, a jacket taken off or a hat thrown to the ground are sure signs that the situation is escalating to a dangerous degree.
This is an obvious one, but equally important. When a person is about to fight, he tends to tighten up areas of his body as a way of protecting himself from harm. These parts include the stomach and chest muscles, legs and thighs and, of course, the fists.
In a conflict situation, you can talk calmly, try to diffuse the problem or basically just mind your own business. Sometimes the opposing party has other, more violent plans. When a physical confrontation is unavoidable, it’s time for you to defend yourself.
Attack the Vital Areas
Punching or kicking a bigger guy in his overly developed pecs or mega-biceps will have very little effect on him. Instead, attack his vital areas, such as his eyes, throat, groin, ears and nerve endings close to his skin (also known as pressure points). No matter how much iron he pumps in the gym, he can’t develop these areas, so target them relentlessly.
Take Out His Foundation
As clichéd as it may sound, if he can’t walk, he can’t fight or chase you. It’s a sound idea to destroy his foundation. This can be done using a sweep that takes one or both legs out from under him, by attacking his knee with a low kick or punching the sciatic nerve that runs down his thigh. All three will drop him.
Use Objects Around You as Barriers
Trash cans, chairs or even entire automobiles make for useful blockades to avoid the erratic onslaught of an aggressor. Lighter items can be thrown into his path or dropped in front of him at the last minute. The more difficult you make it for him to get to you, the better chance that help will arrive before he can connect his fist to your face.
Use Makeshift Weapons for Damaging Results
Think you’re defenseless? Think again. Car keys, tools or even a pencil or pen can make great on-the-spot weapons. Use them to attack your opponent’s vital areas or as stabbing weapons to keep him off-balance and unable to focus throughout the fight.
Fight Dirty to Get the Job Done
Your job is to stay safe and make it home at night, so fighting dirty is always on the table. Grab and twist his groin, throw sand, dirt or rocks in his face or yank his hair until he goes where you want him to—no move is off limits. His intention is to seriously harm you; your job is to do anything possible to avoid it.