I like the story of the baby faced fighter versus the ex-con.
Fight Guide — Part 16
To check out the previous day’s issue… click here.
Okay… let’s continue on where we left off. Last time I gave you the first four “Principles Of A Fight”. Today we’ll cover the rest. Onto principle number five…
5.Violence of action: As Fight-Fast instructor Tom Cruse puts it: “You want to do something that demonstrates to your opponent that you have a total disregard for his well-being.”
The object here is to trigger your opponent’s own “internal dialogue” through a display of extreme violence. Remember that the Bully, the Predator, and the Emotionally Highjacked all have a movie-like scenario playing in their head that doesn’t include them being hurt. You need to change the movie reel in his head to Nightmare On Elm Street as quickly as possible.
Because the more you can “disrupt” this movie and snap the idea into his head that he may have made a HUGE mistake – that he may actually be hurt or killed by you – the more likely you are to trigger his internal dialogue. This leads to hesitation, doubt, distraction, and “back peddling” – all good things for you to take advantage of with continued forward pressure.
And the more adept you are at choosing an appropriate “tool” to strike an open target, the quicker you can convince your opponent that he’s in trouble. So it’s important that you choose targets and techniques that can deliver high damage potential. You’ve got to let your adversary know that you are willing and more than able to hurt him – which means that learning and understanding specific fight techniques is key. Now, you’re in control of the fight.
Let’s cover the two general classes of fight techniques, or tools.
Fine Motor Skills – These are typically complex moves that require a high degree of training to learn and continual training to maintain. Your typical martial arts class will teach you these skills. By the time you’re a black belt (which may take ten years) you’ll know all sorts of fine motor skill techniques, including flying round house kicks (originally designed to knock a man off a horse), flying knees, spinning back kicks, and a lot more.
Now these “Hollywood” moves look impressive, and they draw a lot of attention when they’re used in a real fight. But once again, we are talking about possibilities vs probability. Sure, it’s possible to make a reverse spinning high round-house kick work in a real street fight… but it isn’t probable. My research has exposed me to thousands of documented street fights, so I’m not saying I have never seen these Hollywood moves work successfully. I have – but they’re the exception.
It’s understandable why many fighters want to use fancy moves. It’s the same reason why basketball players want to swish it through the hoop from half-court – it looks cool. But fighters who actually put “looking cool” over winning a street fight often meet a rather ugly end. Don’t risk it – use the tools that consistently win.
Because my research shows that – when it comes to real world street fighting – using fine motor skill techniques are for all practical purposes useless. It’s mainly because (once again) traditional training is all about technique with little or no concentration on finding vulnerable targets. You’re left pondering about how to use your fancy moves instead of looking for open targets. Pondering is not a good idea in a street fight.
Another reason fine motor skills are often ineffective is that when the “fight or flight” hits, higher thinking processes begin to degrade and fine motor skills deteriorate. It’s how the sympathetic nervous system works. As heart rate goes up, fine motor skills decrease, there’s simply nothing you can do about it.
Gross Motor Skills – These do not require a lot of complex biomechanical skills. Nail down a few simple kicks, head-butt, elbows, knee work, and ground moves and you’ll be on your way.
Now don’t get me wrong – these skills don’t come to you in your sleep. You’ll have to actually learn them. But they don’t require a “high level firing pattern” in the brain to work. They’re based on natural movements that don’t require years to learn and they’ll stick with you in a clutch.
In fact, most fights are won with these simple (but well executed) skills – mainly because you’re simply tapping into your body’s own natural movement patterns instead of forcing some overly-complex process that will often fall apart in a real fight.
Okay, some of this may seem to run contrary to what you’ve seen in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) “Sport Fighting”. After all, you may have seen some pretty nifty stuff used in these “cage fights” that actually worked. Well there are four reasons for this:
Ring and Rules– The ring is an open area with plenty of fighting room and there are plenty of regulations on hand to protect the fighters. This creates an environment far more suitable for fancy-dancy moves that work.
Training Time – Prevailing in the ring requires a fighter to be well trained and highly conditioned. MMA fighters are incredible athletes who train for 4 to 10 hours a day – so they are far more capable of complex moves. But winning a street fight rarely depends on conditioning (as it only lasts seconds), and is more about your ability to use every nasty dirty trick at your disposal to end the fight as quickly as possible.
Risk vs. Reward – Scoring a beautiful back-flip strike in the ring can make you a name in the MMA world. Guys around the globe will be watching that move over and over again for years and crying out your name in awe. So ring fighters are more willing to take the chance and shoot for glory. After all missing that shot in the ring is no big deal. Sure, it may give your opponent an advantage, but the ref will stop anything before it gets too ugly. But failure on the street is different. You can’t depend on mercy from your adversary, or good citizens stopping the fight, or the cops showing up in the nick of time. So you’ve got to use high-probability moves that won’t open you up to unacceptable risks.
Adrenal Stress Accommodation – This is probably the biggest reason why complex fine motor techniques can be successful in the ring. Typically MMA fighters (or boxers) prepare themselves for days, weeks, and months before a fight. And when the bell rings, many take the first minutes to “acclimate” to the high stress levels they’re experiencing. All this allows the fighter to accommodate his own stress reaction and stay out of “hyper vigilance” (which I talked about earlier) and retain much of his cortex’s higher thinking. Of course this is NOT how a street fight plays out. Instead of months… you have mere seconds to prepare and respond. There’s simply no time for fine motor skills.
6.Total Commitment: Fight-Fast instructor Glen Boodry calls this “laying on the hate”. It’s a similar concept to “continued pressure”, but “total commitment” is a mindset or way of thinking and “continual pressure” is a specific technique. And it all starts with the internal question, “am I willing to hurt this guy?”
First, it’s important that you understand that street fighting is a zero sum game. That means there’s no such thing as a “win-win” outcome. You either win or you lose… period. And losing can mean hospitalization, permanent injury or death.
Even “friendly” fights that start with a couple buddies wrestling for fun can quickly turn serious and become lethal. I’ve seen the police reports.
The smart fighters – even experienced match fighters — avoid personal combat on the streets when possible as they know that the “rules” are different. How? Well, unlike the ring, there are NO rules. They understand that even a “little guy” can use an improvised weapon, or get in a lucky strike for an instant knock out.
You should never resign yourself to taking a beating under the assumption that you’ll take a couple shots then lick your wounds and go home. My research has shown that one of the most popular “gang-banger” moves is “stomping” your head once you’re down. There’s no guarantee you’ll live through something like that, and if you do, that you won’t be drooling from a wheelchair for the rest of your life.
Here are some assumptions you’ve got to keep in mind for any fight that’ll help you stay totally committed in a confrontation:
Zero Sum Game – There is NO potential win-win. There are thousands of “let’s step outside” kinda fights that end in permanent injury or death every year.
Defeat is not a temporary set back – and it’s NOT an option. Because keeping the option open that it may be “okay” if you get a good ass beating means that you’re also okay with the possibility of permanent injury or death – or that the people you’re supposed to be protecting will be left to the mercy of your adversary.
Never get comfortable with the idea that if you simply let this guy beat you up a little it’ll be better than really pissing him off by fighting back. This is why getting the first question right in your head is so important. “am I willing to hurt this person?” Not, “am I willing to fight this person?” you must be 100% committed to victory.
Your adversary has NO rules. Let me tell you about an “underground” match fight I witnessed between a baby-faced “tough guy” and a hardened tattooed ex-con.
I touched on this earlier – but let me tell you the rest of the story.
This videotaped fight was supposed to require bamboo sticks and “Baby face” said, in private, he’d use his stick to break his opponent’s fingers.
The ex-con (on the other hand) said, in private, his goal was to “kill” the guy. That’s it… didn’t even mention the sticks.
When the fight started and the ex-con simply threw down the stick, leaped on his opponent, and tore half his face off with his teeth. In those seconds of terror, baby-face could only scream “he’s biting me… he’s biting me… he’s not using the stick… he’s not using the stick.”
Certainly an ugly… brutal… and shocking way to make my point, but unfortunately it’s all true. A real fight means NO rules. You cannot expect your adversary to show mercy or fight “honorably”.
It’s like the fighter pilots in WWI. Both sides used to use airplanes to spot enemy troop movements. There was an unwritten code of honor where – as enemy planes passed one another – they would salute the opposing pilot. Nice guys, considering that they each held critical information about how to slaughter thousands of opposing troops on the ground. One day the Germans figured they could stop the British flyers by simply flying over them with a brick hanging from a rope. Brick into the wooden prop and game over.
The British were appalled at such a cowardly and dishonorable act. My goodness, how naïve. Don’t you dare make the same mistake – you MUST assume that your opponent has no rules and will do anything he can to hurt or kill you.
These principles aren’t designed to make you a smug tough guy – they’re designed to allow you to avoid or, if necessary, win a fight.
Always leave immediately. Don’t stand around “waiting to see what happens”… because winning the fight is as good as it gets – it’s all downhill from there. Get you and your family the hell out. Hanging around means there’s a good possibility you’ll be caught up in the next round of drama from friends or from citizens who might perceive you as the “bad guy” or even from the police. That doesn’t mean you’re necessarily running from the law – it’s just that you want to talk to the cops on YOUR terms – without all the confusion. Bottom line – as Navy SEAL trainer Paul Vunak points out… “Get out while you can.”
Okay… we’ve covered a LOT of ground, but there’s still more to come. Look for the next part in your email soon where we’ll cover how to actually prevail in a fight. I know you’ll want this, so keep your eyes peeled.
Til next time…