How to Avoid Getting Your Face Smashed In, Or Worse5 min read
I was asked to write an article about punching; however, I don’t think I will get around to it at this time. Punching is a simple concept but not simple when approached from the point of view of a survivalist. From what I have seen, heard and experienced in my years on the planet, I feel it would be morally irresponsible of me to immediately jump in with an article about how to punch someone.
Punching or fighting is something you should only be engaging in when all other options have been exhausted. I mean, it and I cannot stress this enough.
Yeah, I know it sounds cliché.
From the last decade or so working law enforcement I have seen the after effects of many a fight that went horribly wrong. In most of these scenes of carnage, the poor bastard lying on the concrete had the opportunity to walk away from the conflict, but for whatever reason they chose not to. More often than not, alcohol was involved in this person’s decision-making; although I sense bravado also had a lot to do with it.
Not long ago, I assisted in a case where a 6 foot 4, 250 pound trained Mixed Martial Arts fighter stepped up to a group of subjects. After a very short exchange of words, less than 10 seconds, the MMA fighter had been shot dead. He left a grieving family that included a wife and an infant child. I have seen the after effects of fatal, or crippling shootings, stabbings, bludgeoning or even unarmed beatings.
So here’s a few things to think about before you decide to throw that punch.
- Assume that person every person is armed. – Early on in my career making arrests and searching people, I started noticing almost everybody I searched carried at least knife on their person. Not only do you need to worry about guns, knives, pepper spray, or whatever, you need to consider glass bottles, rocks, skateboards, bar stools, or thousands of other things that can be used as an improvised weapon. I worked a homicide case a few years back in which a guy had literally been stoned by a group of suspects.
- Never assume that a person is alone. – Frequently part of the reason why that person is being so bold is the simple reason they are there with a group of friends who would like nothing better than to gang up on some poor sucker and kick his head in. Very common is the cold cock, where a person’s attention is focused on one opponent while a second, or even third opponent, knocks the person out with a punch they never saw coming.
- Assume that person is a better fighter than you – If that person is in your face challenging you over something as idiotic as “You were mad dogging me!” chances are that person engages in this type of behavior a lot. Sadly, they have just learned some new technique they are just dying to try out on some poor unsuspecting soul.
- Is it really worth it? – Is your wallet, your purse, even your car really worth going to the hospital or even dying for? How about that parking space, or that lane of traffic when someone cuts you off? How about your ego?
Every time you avoid a potential fight by walking, or even running away if needed, you should rejoice in fact that you are alive. Hug a loved one, listen to a good tune, watch a favorite movie or enjoy a satisfying meal: You are still alive. Could you have beaten that person who wronged you in some way? Who knows? Who cares?
That being said, I will now get back to punching. For whatever reason; all other options have been exhausted and/or no longer apply. You are now in a fight. Unless you have trained in some type of martial arts, boxing, MMA, whatever; don’t try to punch the person.
Even a trained fighter, used to punching with gloves on, will often break a hand trying punching somebody in a street fight. Don’t punch – Instead of punching, I recommend Hammer strikes, palm strikes, knees, foot stomps, hair pulls, whatever it takes. Remember, you have no other option at this point, just because you hold yourself to a higher code of ethics doesn’t mean your opponent does. Don’t concern yourself with fighting “dirty”, concern you self with survival.
Simple body mechanics – Keep things simple. Many martial arts / self-defense techniques I have seen are way too complicated. When stressed we tend to lose many of our complex motor skills.
Many advanced self-defense techniques also rely on pain compliance that require precise strikes or holds; additionally if your opponent is drunk, crazy or under the influence they often won’t react to pain like a normal person would. Finally, don’t try to throw those high Bruce Lee kicks: Keep them low and make sure you have good footing before throwing one. Knock your opponent down – A good strong hip and shoulder shove, one hand in the area of your opponent’s hip and one hand in the area of your opponent’s shoulder can often send your opponent flying or at least unbalance them.
If you set the shove up with a low kick or foot stomp to your opponent’s lower legs, this can really increase the effectiveness of this simple technique. Once you opponent has been knocked down or even unbalanced enough, now is the time for a quick re-assessment as to whether or not you should get the hell out of there.
Keep your hands up high and in front of you – This will help you keep your head protected. I have seen people do the typical; chest puffed out, hands balled up down at their sides, trying to intimidate someone, stance get knocked out. I have also seen martial artists drop their hands when throwing kicks which always makes me cringe.
I will likely go back and revisit many of the concepts in more detail later. We’ll discuss concealed carry in later articles.
Until then, keep surviving.