Face to face with your opponent, you summon dormant pugilistic skills, curl your fingers into a fist and prepare to engage in fisticuffs. It’s going to take more than rage and bravado to win this fight. While some scraps may make for funny videos, fighting is nearly always a very serious business. Take it from a former contender, follow these tips and mitigate the damage and serious implications of a barroom brawl.
Avoid a fight at all costs—unless the idea of being ruthlessly beaten to a bloody pulp or winding up behind bars floats your boat. Fights aren’t all cinematic, bloodless roundhouses and neat one-two punch knockouts. Fist fights are messy, painful affairs chock full of cracked bones and displaced teeth. Savage and brutal, bare knuckle brawls reduce humans to their animal nature. Use diplomacy. Use the power of persuasion and words, rather than the power of your fists. Your body will thank you later.
Fight or Flight
Run! This doesn’t make you a coward, merely more intelligent than the brute who is willing to risk bodily harm and jail time over some trifling issue. Plan an escape route. There isn’t a point in engaging in fisticuffs if there’s no doubt in your mind that the lumbering ruffian will knock you the hell out with a single blow. If you’re feeble-figured, thin-skinned and screech at the slightest sensation of pain, use those skinny little legs and make a beeline for the exit.
Often, fights are completely void of any strategy. All instinct and adrenaline. But if you remain calm and composed, you could put into effect some techniques for your advantageous. Let’s say you’re fighting a drunken behemoth—you’re going to want to take him down to the ground. Knock his hands to the sides, and once his body turns, place your head on his upper leg, shoulders to hips and wrap your arms above the back of his knees. Pull in and move sideways, and bingo! Your opponent should be on the floor. Of course, if you’re inexperienced in the ways of martial arts, the outcome may turn out quite differently. Be warned.
Know how to throw your punches, lest you end up with a compound fracture. Go for the soft spots: the gut, the solar plexus and the groin as a last resort.
Know When to Stop
If the guy is lying at your feet, a hot mess, best to lay off the punches. You don’t want to escalate things to the point where you’ll have to consult “How to Dispose of a Body or How to Survive in Prison.” After all, what’d he do? Call your girlfriend some derogatory term? Just as in boxing (and the third rule of Fight Club), don’t hit a man once he’s down. It’s plain unnecessary and increases the chance of serious injury. If a man can’t protect himself, the fight is over.