I was chatting with my wife today during our morning cup of coffee (she drinks tea) wake up process.
We stumbled upon the subject of bullying, then bullying turned into talk of self-defense, and self-defense quickly became street fights and finally we got to how MMA applies to real world situations.
What started out as a little morning “chat” soon turned into a full blown breakdown of the steps needed to be successful out on the streets, were anything goes.
So this mornings conversation has now turned into this afternoons blog post. I’ve got to admit, self-defense is one topic I don’t have any trouble writing about.
Before I go any further with this let me get say this: Avoid street fights if possible. Street fights are unpredictable and very dangerous, even for the skills fighter.
I say this because I know how guys are. They take a few MMA classes and they’re eager to test it in the real world.
Just because you know how to throw a 1-2 punch combo and do a paintbrush doesn’t mean you’ll kick ass in a real fight.
It’s a start sure, but still a ways off from being fully capable of defending yourself.
Read on and learn from my mistakes and experiences. Below you’ll find what I feel are the key ingredients everyone should know when it comes to self-defense.
My story and why you should listen to me
I got in my first street fight at 5 years old. No exaggeration. I’ll never forget, it started over an arcade game.
Well, i got my ass kicked pretty good by the other kid. Even at 5 years old I knew right then and there It sucks to get beat up, and I was pretty bummed for a while.
More fights soon followed for various reasons. All over dumb kid stuff I know that. I was learning how to street fight the hard way, by taking my beatings.
I gave some beatings too but mostly, I took them. Over time I started to understand how to fight better from a tactical standpoint.
I started to understand the nature of street fighting and how to have success in them.
Still though, you can understand all you want about fighting but without the skills you’re still going to get your ass kicked a lot.
It wasn’t until I started taking Gracie Jiu Jitsu classes that I gained the skills to go along with my tactics.
I’ve been in well over 100 street fights, most of which took place back in Philadelphia. I’ll just say that I’ve seen my far share of craziness.
I’ve gotta be honest, I’m lucky to be alive today. In fact I’m surprised I made it. I’m not proud of being in so many fights. It’s a subject I try to avoid actually.
But the one good thing I can say about my wild days back home is it gave me a much deeper understanding of real world self-defense, including what works best from a martial arts standpoint and the tactics needed to be successful.
Successful pretty much means not getting killed. At least that’s what I consider success haha.
The 1950’s are over…street fights are a different (more dangerous) game these days.
It ant like the good old days where it was one on one and after a few good punches all was well and the dispute was settled.
Those days are over my friend. Now it’s fighting one guy then getting jumped by his 3 friends, or getting some scumbag in a rear choke only to have his girlfriend break a beer bottle on your head.
These are all things that can happen during the course of a real fight. I know cause it’s happened to me, too many times.
When it comes to street self-defense remember this – Fairness be damned. No one fights fair anymore.
The #1 most important tool you can have in a street fight is…
The number one thing I learned about street fighting is this: Reaction time is key. No wait, let me restate that, reaction time is EVERYTHING!
How quickly you react to a hostile situation is many times more important then acutely fighting skill. It’s the different between winning and losing.
Let me explain.
You can be the best MMA fighter, or Kickboxer, or Wrestler in the world, but if someone attacks you and you freeze up like a deer in the headlights, chances are you’re going to get hurt.
When things get hairy, and when it does it happens lightning fast, you need to be aware, confident and ready to get dirty if need be.
It’s that split second of time between you just standing there wondering if the situation is gonna turn violent to all the sudden it’s very violent.
If you’ve got any martial arts skills, now would be the time to break them out. And you’ve gotta get into that attacking mindset in the blink of an eye.
In that split second you need to tell yourself yes it is indeed go time. That’s not easy for a lot of people to do. But to win street fights it’s a must.
I kid you not, I’ve seen many martial artist, too many really, just stand there totally frozen and scared for their life.
Everything I just said about this reaction time, that’s what made me good in a street fight.
I don’t think I was taught this, and if i was I don’t remember, I just know that the second I sense things will get violent I go into attack mode.
As I sit here typing this I can’t help but think that this attack mode, the ability to react and use your skills, it’s more of a mindset then anything else.
You’ve got to #1 – Believe in not only your martial arts skills but also yourself and #2 – it’s okay to be scared, but don’t stick your head in the sand, stand tall and fight.
Reaction is the Difference Between Getting Shot vs. Not Getting Shot
The ability to be fast on your feet is also important when it comes to dealing with weapons like guns, knaves and stuff like pipes, baseball bats etc.
You see a gun coming out of someone’s coat, you better make a move…fast. Pick something but for god’s sake don’t just stand there when someone pulls out a weapon.
The reality is that you could get hurt, hurt really bad actually, or even killed. That’s why you should do all you can to avoid street fights.
In tomorrow’s blog I’ll dive into part 2 of this self defense series. It’s too long for just one blog so take a breather and let your brain digest all that.
We’ll catch up on this tomorrow morning. See ya then.
P.S. I almost forgot, I’ve included a video of me talking about this subject too. I thought what the heck, I’ll film this and toss it up to go along with this blog. Check it out.