Knowing how to street fight can mean the difference between life and death. Protecting yourself is the key and having the skills necessary to do so is tantamount to survival. Many think that the techniques involved in street fighting are nothing but brutal punches and kicks, but there is more discipline to it than you may previously believe. It takes a lot of skill and confidence to engage in such fights and knowing the right tactic to ensure your safety.

The knowledge required to learn how to win a street fight requires constant practice as well as a training of the mind. Knowing how to street fight involves one being active and practicing on a daily basis in order to master these techniques.



13 Tactics

That Do NOT Work In a Street Fight



Standing still, not moving your feet, especially when facing multiple attackers. It’s critical in this situation to work constantly for a superior position.


Deliberately taking a fight to the ground. This is a bad idea if there are any other people around. Someone will invariably step in to kick you in the head or smash a bottle on your scalp. Happens all the time. Save the ground grappling for situations where you’ve been taken down against your will. And forget about submissions. Your focus should be to escape the position and recover to your feet ASAP.


Failing to adapt. Thinking, “I will do a-b-c.” You must be able to think on the fly and deal with the reality in front of you, not what you have in your head.


Trying to talk your way out of an active conflict. There’s a time to negotiate, and a time to walk away. However if you’re already under attack, that’s the time to fight.


Closing your eyes, turning your back, pleading with the attacker to stop, curling up in a ball, or waiting for someone else to intervene. Maybe someone will help, maybe not. You have to fight as if no one in the world will help you.


Looking for a joint lock. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Hapkido practitioner and a huge fan of joint locks, but locks are techniques of opportunity. You take what is presented. You don’t go looking for it. And if it doesn’t work you abandon it instantly and flow into something else. It’s a good idea, by the way, to build failure into your training. Take a technique and have your partner counter it at various points, then see what you can do.


Over committing to any technique. Of course, every technique should be done with energy and follow through. But if it doesn’t work, don’t keep trying. Flow, move, attack in other ways.


Defending only and not counter-attacking. You cannot win by defending alone. Sooner or later the attacker will penetrate your defenses and wreck you. You must turn the tables and take the fight to him.


Not managing your fear. It’s critical in self-defense to channel your fear into action. Turn it into forward pressure. Become a maniac. This is what animals do when they are cornered. They stop cowering and attack instead. In martial arts this happens through training.


Using hands only. Not understanding that the entire body is a weapon. Elbows, knees, shoulders, head, teeth, fingers, these are all weapons.


Forgetting to kick. Kicks are a hugely important and effective tool. You can use them to create distance, take out the other guy’s legs, and bridge the gap.


Relying only on muscular strength, especially upper body strength. ALL POWER in martial arts comes from three things: body rotation, body weight and footwork.


Forgetting to monitor for weapons. Don’t assume the other guy is unarmed. He might pull a knife and stab you before you know what happened. Always monitor both his hands.

In life, be the man or woman you dream of being. Strive to be your best self. In war, be something no one expects. Be the nightmare they never even knew they had until they met you.





Street Fighting Tactic #1:

There are no rules in a street fight.

The police attacking you wants to hurt you, he's not looking for a fair fight.


Street Fighting Tactic #2:

Distract Your Attacker.

Using a distraction technique before the fight has officially started is one of the best things you can do to set yourself up for victory.

Here are a few tried and true distraction techniques. Beware though, many of these will initiate the fight so don't use them unless you are sure you can't escape the situation without a violent conflict.

One of the best distractions is to simply drop some change on the ground from inside your pocket. This will seem farfetched until you use it. From the time we are children the sound of change jingling on the ground causes an almost reflex like reaction to look at whatever has fallen on the ground. This split second distraction is all you need to ensure that he can't block or avoid your first strike.

The next best distraction is to take that change and toss it into his face. This causes a similar split second distraction. (This is obviously one of those moves that initiates a fight)

If you are in a bar toss your drink into his face.

If you don't have change in your pocket, or a drink in your hand, or any other item you can throw at your attacker your last ditch distraction should be to look behind the person like something is coming, or something has surprised you. This causes a reflex like reaction to see what is going on (similar to the jiggling of change on the ground).

Even if he doesn't completely fall for it he will likely still be tempted to look which will distract his brain just long enough to give you an unfair advantage.


Street Fighting Tactic #3:

Always hit first.

Being noble and letting the other guy hit you first is the best way to lose a fight.

Unlike you see in the moves your attacker won't wait for you to wipe the blood off your chin and get your dukes back up after he lands that first punch. He is going to assault you with the nastiest barrage of strikes he can think of.

In addition to all this, fight statistics from all different sources (Police, FBI, Underground Fighting, Street Fights Caught on Tape) prove that the guy who hits first is much more likely to win.

Street Fighting Tactic #4:

Only Strike High Value Targets.

This is where the nasty stuff comes in. High value targets are parts of the body which cause extreme pain, distract your attacker, or disable him.

These are things like the eyes, ears, throat, groin, knees, and nose. Don't waste your time or energy with body shots unless no other target is open. Having a target focused mindset (where to hit him) as opposed to a technique focused mindset (how do I hit him) is the most crucial street fighting tactic out there, aside from hitting first (but even then you need to know where to hit)


Street Fighting Tactic #5:

Never Go To The Ground.

This isn't a UFC fight and the ground isn't padded. On the streets good things Never happen on the ground. Never fight on the ground, ever. If you went down you get right back up.

When you go to the ground one or both of you are going to get seriously injured. The ground will cut you up, take the skin off your knees elbows and face, your head can be smashed into the concrete, and your head also becomes a great target for kicking.

If you follow these simple street fighting tactics you will be miles ahead of most average guys.



Knowing how to stand

Before you engage in any street fight, it’s important to have the proper stance that maximizes your potential to defend yourself. The basic of your stance is being as grounded and centered as possible, making it more difficult for your opponent to knock you over. The stance can vary from person to person, as people come in a wide range of sizes, heights, and girth. Finding your center ensures that you have enough stopping power behind your attacks instead of toppling over and making it easier for your opponent to take you out.

The best way to find your center is to imagine a line running vertically that divides your body in half. Along this line are some of the most vital and painful parts of the body that need protecting, such as the groin and the solar plexus. The right stance will help to keep these areas of the body protected and provides balance during your fight. You want half of your weight to rest on both feet, which makes it easy for you to move around in a fight without losing your footing.

Another tip when learning your stance is to keep your hands up at all times. You need to be prepared to defend yourself as well as fight back, and you can’t do that effectively if your hands are at your sides. Even when punching, it’s best to keep the other hand up in case you need to protect yourself from a counterattack.


Your head’s position

In learning how to win a street fight, it’s important that you know how to hold your head. Just like a boxer, the best position is to keep your chin angled down, making your head a smaller target. The eyes, ears and mouth can be hit quite easily, resulting in a lot of pain that can distract you from the situation.

Boxers and other martial arts fighters learn this when they’re just starting out. And in the event that your opponent does punch at your face, their fists will meet with your forehead instead, which is the toughest part of the skull. This is an easy way to break their fingers, rendering their punches useless.


Learning the combat ranges

Knowing the various ranges are the best way to help you learn how to street fight effectively. There are three main ranges that you need to focus on, as they will determine what tactics you should use to stay safe:

Factors to look for

When you’re involved in a street fight, there are important factors to look out for that will help you gain and keep the upper hand.

Blocking, parrying, and evading

Before learning the offensive skills, knowing how to defend yourself is crucial! There is even a saying that goes like that: “the best offense is a good defense”. Staying mobile and maintaining your stance is essential, as well knowing how to block incoming attacks. Your arms are likely to be your best source for blocking, but improvising with the items in the environment around you can help, especially if your assailant is armed.

One of the most important elements of defending yourself is to refrain from blinking during the fight when punches and kicks are coming towards you. In that split second, you’re left defenseless, and you can easily lose. It takes time, courage and practice to learn to control your blinking during a fight, but it will certainly save your life.

Parrying is a way to redirect your assailant’s attack. This unexpected tactic can throw him off-balance and make it easier for you to eliminate the threat. This method is extremely useful if you’re starting to get tired during a fight, or your arms are too sore to continue blocking.

Evasion is stepping out of the way of the attack entirely. This can also serve the purpose of forcing him to lose his balance and give you the upper hand without much effort on your part.



How to be offensive

This isn’t what it sounds like. In addition to defending yourself, delivering strikes that render your opponent harmless is important to staying alive and unhurt. Knowing where the most vulnerable parts of the body are and how to make use of them is the key to ending a fight before it becomes too serious.

One mistake many people make is to judge the level of their opponent’s skills by how they carry themselves. Underestimating your opponent is the best way to lose. Treat everyone you face as if they’re a master in all forms of street combat. This way, you won’t be surprised when he does something unexpected and gains the upper hand.

Another mistake most people do is to succumb to the stress of the situation. It’s a given that a street fight, in and of itself, is quite stressful, but it’s important to remain as calm as possible so that you can assess each situation and respond accordingly. Don’t tense up and hold your breath, as this leads to stiff muscles that don’t respond well and can actually make you dizzy. Practicing the proper breathing technique will help to relax your muscles and make your movements more fluid, whether you’re throwing a punch or defending yourself.

A third mistake is telegraphing one’s intentions. There are small movements of body language that give yourself away in a fight and make it easier for your attacker to know what you’re doing. This can involve anything from cocking your arm back for a punch, or taking a sudden inhale in preparation for an attack. Training will teach you how to minimize these “tells” so that your actions will always be unpredictable.

When it comes to actually attacking, it’s important to note that you should only inflict enough damage that renders incapable of continuing his attack. This means targeting certain areas, such as the knees, ankles, groin, and other soft parts of the body that are very painful when hit. The body can be divided into a variety of zones that differentiate the best body parts to strike.

When you’re facing a particularly dangerous opponent, it’s best to strike first, fast, and hard. Don’t give him the opportunity to gain the upper hand, or you won’t make it out of the situation unscathed. A first offensive strike that’s well-delivered can take him out in a second and make it much easier for you to escape.


Grappling situations

Throwing punches and kicks are all well and good, but when you’re on the ground, they won’t be able to do much for you. Learning the proper holds and grapples can subdue the situation quite quickly and effectively. Targeting the neck to knock your opponent out or getting his arms locked behind his back also take a lot less effort than defending yourself from attacks. All it needs is a few pounds of pressure to render your assailant immobile or unconscious.


A quick rundown

In the event that you face a sudden street fight, knowing what to do in a pinch will help to keep you safe. These key tips will teach you how to street fight and avoid being sent to the emergency room.

  1. Pay attention. When someone is threatening you, be aware of your environment and what you have at your disposal. Those few seconds could mean the difference between life and death.

  2. Attempt to diffuse the situation. Before you resort to using your fists, start by using your words. Assess the cause for the animosity and see if some common ground can be arrived at. Letting your ego get in the way of things is the best way to stew up trouble and make the situation worse. At the same time, don’t reveal to him that you’re afraid, or he may take advantage of the situation and start a fight anyway.

  3. Try to walk away. This may seem counterintuitive at first, but trying to escape may be your best first choice of tactics. If he can’t be reasoned with, turn around and walk away. If he pursues you, then the street fight is about to start.

  4. First, assume the fighting stance. Get yourself grounded with your feet at least shoulder-width apart so that you have balance. Keep your hands up to protect yourself and keep your mouth closed. Not only does this spare you from a broken jaw if you’re punched, but it also minimizes the chances of you biting your tongue.

  5. Be prepared to defend yourself. There are no rules here, so be prepared to fight dirty. Use whatever you have at your disposal to ensure your safety, including the objects around you. Some of the best areas to target to end the fight quickly are a knee to the groin, kicking the knees or stomach, or head-butting someone in the face. If all else fails or you miss, don’t be afraid to start throwing a few punches.

  6. Take punches effectively. Dodging them is always best, but you may not have the steam to maintain it. If you’re taking a punch to the head, step towards it or absorb it with your forehead. To the body, tighten your stomach muscles to absorb the blow. Shifting your body with the punch can result in it hitting less vital and painful areas.

  7. Make noise. In fact, make as much as possible. It’s an intimidation factor that will psych out your opponent the louder you get. The noise will also attract attention, hopefully that of someone who can call the authorities.

  8. Escape at your first chance. In the event that you have an opportunity to escape, take it. Continuing to wail on your assailant long after he’s incapacitated can land you in a world of legal trouble.



Quick tips

If you’re interested in learning a few tips to street fighting on your own before you decide to enroll in a class, there are a few YouTube videos that can help you understand what’s really at stake when you’ve found yourself in these situations. Take these videos with a grain of salt, as nothing is more effective than learning these techniques face to face from a real teacher.

When it comes to street fighting, playing it smart is the best way for you to stay alive. It’s easy to succumb to fear and let the situation dictate how we respond, but by gaining confidence in these methods and training our bodies, we can cease control.

Learning to take the punches and defend yourself will make it easier for you to develop a sound strategy to eliminate the threat and minimize your chances of getting injured. These dangerous situations can come at any time and from anyone, so having these tactics in mind and training will make you an effective fighter, no matter the situation you find yourself in.




will be updated ...