T Nation

How Real Violence Happens


This is for all y'all motherfuckers that believe that these combat sports make us invincible.

What sport is good for self-defense comes up often, and there's often a variety of answers ranging from striking to grappling and everything in between. But when it really comes down to it, violence in the streets happens quickly and brutally, and rarely, if ever, involves two guys squaring off like it did back when we were young.

In reality, the shit's bloody and terrible, involves weapons, and is over in seconds. Guys end up with their heads split open in the street - and I've seen that pool left over on the sidewalk. It's unbelievable watching some guy live his last seconds.

Attached are some news clips from papers around my area that show what really happens in the street. If there's anyone that really wants to be involved in this stuff and goes looking for it, remember that you're the wrong move away from ending up like these cats.

We lift, we fight, but that doesn't mean we're invincible. I might be overeacting, but it really bothers me to see these young bucks who show up on here asking if they should have gotten out of the car over road rage, or whether they should have tried to fight multiple attackers instead of calling police.

These are serious incidents that have happened around where I live in the last couple months. Some of these places I'm at all the time.

Man robbed by knifepoint outside Clifton gym

CLIFTON - Police are asking for the public's help in finding two men who robbed a man of his cell phone, car keys and cash at knifepoint last night.

The victim, a 23-year-old Ringwood resident, was in the parking lot of the New York Sports Club on Main Avenue at 9:25 when he was approached by two men, reported Detective Capt. Robert Rowan. One of the two held a knife to the neck of the victim and then fled with other other man in a small, gray four-door sedan, Rowan said. One man had brass knuckles and the other had a knife, Rowan added.


W. Milford man faces charges in slashing

WEST MILFORD -Township resident Adam Q. Hurtado faces a charge of aggravated assault after he allegedly slashed the throat of a good Samaritan who tried to stop him from pushing his girlfriend.

The wounded man, Alan Renta, survived but required 40 stitches to close the cut, police said.

Hurtado, 22, of South Richfield Road, was in the Passaic County Jail on Tuesday night with bail set at $120,000. He is scheduled to appear in Municipal Court on Thursday.

Hurtado walked into Primo?s Pizza & Deli on Lakeshore Drive Sunday evening and appeared drunk, police said.

There, they said, he got into a confrontation with employees and customers that escalated and moved outside.

Hurtado?s girlfriend arrived at the deli, and when she tried to calm him, he pushed her, which prompted Renta, 20, to go outside and try to stop him, police said.

They said Hurtado swiped at Renta with a box cutter, leaving a 5-inch gash on his throat that required 40 sutures to close, police said.

Renta was taken to the St. Anthony Community Hospital in Warwick for treatment.

Hurtado fled, but Patrolman James DeVore and Sgt. Thomas Celano apprehended him in a nearby wooded area.

He faces a count of aggravated assault and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Police charge boy in killing of Guardsman

PATERSON - A 15-year-old city youth was arrested and charged Monday by police in connection with the shooting and stabbing death last week of a 25-year-old member of the New Jersey Army National Guard.

Jaime Bermudez Jr. of West Paterson was shot in the chest and stabbed in the back around 8:30 p.m. Friday on Robert Street in South Paterson, authorities said. He was pronounced dead at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center at around 9:20 the same night.

His 17-year-old brother, who lives in Clifton, was at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center on Monday with a gunshot wound to the hip. His condition could not be determined Monday night.

Detective Lt. Ronald Humphrey of the Paterson Police Department said the incident may have started with an altercation between the younger Bermudez brother and neighborhood residents.

The younger brother allegedly called Bermudez, and they later returned to the scene, Humphrey said. The shooting and stabbing occurred during a second altercation, Humphrey said.

On Monday morning, police charged the 15-year-old with murder and attempted murder, according to Detective Lt. Anthony Traina, a Police Department spokesman. He was being held at the Passaic County Juvenile Detention Center in Haledon.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident, and would not discuss how the juvenile was involved or where he was found. More arrests could be made today, Humphrey said.

Bermudez enlisted in the National Guard earlier this year and was a mechanic in the support unit, said his girlfriend, Ayse Ata, 22, of Pompton Lakes. He was due to leave last Sunday for two weeks of training, Ata said.

Ata and friends said Bermudez also served in the Navy for four years, from 2001 ? the year he graduated from Clifton High School ? until 2005.

"He was so motivated," she said. "He always wanted to do better. He always wanted me to be better. He was so brave."

Bermudez had worked for about five months at Crestmont Volkswagen on Route 23 in Pequannock, friends said. They described him as humorous and a fitness buff who played football, loved staying in shape and ran every day at Garret Mountain Reservation in West Paterson.

"He'd make us go to the gym, and after he was finished, he would take us out to the buffet," said Raquel Lopez, who knew Bermudez for at least five years.

On some nights when he was not working, Bermudez could often be found at home playing video games, including Call of Duty, Fight Night and Madden NFL, said his friend Wilson Feliciano, 25, of Paterson.


NORTH JERSEY - The family of a stabbing victim who lost his life after a night of partying were ?satisfied? with the sentence of 27 years dealt to Michael Coppola for aggravated manslaughter and attempting to rape the victim?s girlfriend.

Yes we're satisfied. It?s been many years,? said Paul Vogel of Bloomingdale, who had called for the maximum against Coppola for turning his son Andrew?s 22nd birthday celebration into his last on March 12, 2005.....

article continues...

In handing down his sentence, Judge Mizzone said, ?There has been a lack of remorse by the defendant even today.? He also cited a ?denial of responsibility.?

Mizzone recapped the nightmare thrust upon both victims? families since March 12, 2005 when Vogel of Wanaque and his girlfriend befriended Coppola, who was staying with an aunt in Pompton Lakes.

"There was no 23rd birthday for Andy Vogel and his girlfriend will have to live with the trauma for the rest of her life," he said. Acknowledging the pain facing the Coppola family as well, he said, All three families are living a nightmare and will continue to be devastated by the events of March 12, 2005.

In dishing out 20 years for aggravated manslaughter, from a possible 10 to 30 years, the judge described the repeated stabbing as senseless, brutal and cruel in nature,[b] noting that the impact was so severe the handle of the 8.5-inch kitchen knife broke off in the victim?s neck.[/b]

Besides the brutality, the judge also weighed in the defendant's admitted use of alcohol, marijuana and cocaine, calling him a risk for further substance abuse. The record shows that Coppola had smoked marijuana and drank alcohol in his aunt's townhouse prior to the tragedy and also went in a Jacuzzi there with the victims.


nope, it's the steroids! :wink:


ya know, most real criminals would eat the average person alive on the street.

but most real fighters would eat the predators alive even quicker.

there are quite a few boxers/MMA fighters where i live, and i've run into them on the street....they usually notice the mild scar tissue on my eyebrows, and get the f&&* out of my way when i'm working(as a cop).

fighters sense fighters...


Could be because theyre minorities.


I agree with FightinIrish in what he said. Most of the time it is better to leave whatever the situation is.

It really is a tragedy to what happens to some folk that get caught up in these things that NEVER expected it or anything.

Does anyone here think some people just don't have that animalistic mindset..or as they grow older they lose it?
Self-awarness is a key to getting out of these types of situations I think. Also expecting the worst. as in if he pulls out a blade, I will get cut. etc.

I was at a bar once, actually the first bar I ever went to..and a guy called me out. Now I was only 18 years old, and never drank..didn't go to drink..just went there to be a DD like always.
He called me out, and really I'm not scared to fight, I will fight this shit out. But it is the fear of the unknown..why did he call me out? Are his intentions more than just to fight? What weapons does he have on him? Because I'm 205 at 5'9 and low BF I have a solid build.

I also had a completely shaved head..say what you want, but there is intimidation factor with those type of haircuts..aside from that So what gave him the confidence to just call me out like that? he must have a weapon. I was with my girlfriend and he was looking at her kind of funny also.

I didn't say anything to him, and I told him I don't want any problems man, and I could see the anger in his face, clenching of his fights...etc.
In these situations..I do not wait, I do not hesitate..if I know he wants some he will probably try and get some. So I caught him off guard by calling someone over, as he looked away...pop. The end.

If he had started to come closer, and wanted some..I wouldn't hesitate to pull a blade out.

For all I know, that's his intentions. I mean good for everybody, but when there is no reasoning for their attack other than to just attack, well you should have no mercy really..
aside from that I also have a pretty good paranoia problem so that doesn't help a situation..lol


One of the guys I train was killed a little over a year ago. Cool guy, 29 yrs old, three kids, his little boy wasn't even 1 yet. He and the other guy had had some problems in the past and when my guy stepped up to the car to talk to the guy about what his issue was the guy shot him once in the chest. He lived about 15 seconds. The other guy is on trial for murder.

The defense attorney is trying to make my fighter out to be some "UFC badass" who was pretty much a trained killer. When actually he was a amateur fighter with only 2 fights.

All that to say this. You have to decide what kind of situtation you are facing. The way I see it, as easy going as I am, if someone forces me to fight they deserve pretty much whatever I can dish out. I worked in a bar for years. I've seen guys stabbed, hit with bottles, and even saw a young track star get punched unawares , hit his head on the curb and die right there on the street.

My ex was always giving me a hard time because anytime I go out, even now, I'm always on edge. Always looking and observing. It's a sucky world we live in that we have to be that way. On the street, I don't wanta fight. If I punch a guy in the mouth, his teeth cut my hand and he bleeds on me and he's got some disease what have I gained?

I'll do what I gotta do to avoid a fight but if it goes that way I'm gonna do whatever it takes to ensure I'm the one to go home. Now in the ring I'd rather fight than eat.

Be safe out there guys! Its a crazy world and its gonna take REAL men to keep it together.


Exactly - I'm not the type to look for trouble, but unfortunately, things aren't what they used to be. You'd get into a dust up with someone, punch each other a few times and that was that.

Now, who the fuck knows what weapon a guy is carrying - so many kids with guns and who have ZERO respect for human life - they'd kill you just as soon as look at you. And yea - you need to always be wary of people, and it sucks. But, that's why we lift weights and train MA - not to take on some psycho with a gun, but to have at least a CHANCE to survive if you find yourself in a bad situation.

If I was being robbed, I'd hand over my wallet/keys or whatever without hesitation. Nor would I try to make any moves - however, if you see that your possessions aren't enough - that look in their eyes that tells you this fuck is going to kill you anyway - well, then you need to at least try and save yourself.

It's a sad, shitty, miserable world in so many ways. I just worry about my wife and kid more than I worry about myself....


"Among all things the conscious mind fears the unknown, and death endures as the greatest unknown of all."


Very true skynett. I'm the same way. If they want my money they can have it but if it's more than that they want then we should feel confident that all the years of training kick in and we do what we have to do to make sure our loved ones are safe.

I think alot of times when you act confident and aware on the street or in a bar it makes the true cowardly punks back off. Its an example of you looking more menacing and threatening than they do and they know its gonna hurt. Then it turns into a case of us who was at once the hunted becoming the hunter.


I have never felt confident that "I can handle myself" or "protect myself" because of my training. In any society where firearms are widely available, it can all be taken away so quickly. ((Not bashing gun laws or anything, it's simply the truth))

Where does that leave us? I train for self improvement, for enjoyment.


I have never felt confident that "I can handle myself" or "protect myself" because of my training. In any society where firearms are widely available, it can all be taken away so quickly. ((Not bashing gun laws or anything, it's simply the truth))

Where does that leave us? I train for self improvement, for enjoyment.


I also train for self improvement. It is actually really fun doing the sport, and if your a competitive person..what better way to bring it out!

Now towards OUTLAWMMA:
That story man:
"and even saw a young track star get punched unawares , hit his head on the curb and die right there on the street."

That is gotta be some of the saddest shit.
There's particular things like that, if he was your family that you would consider killing a man.

Aside from that outlaw..im asked here n there to bounce and work at clubs but i can't see the reward from it..i hear of bouncers getting shot/stabbed..all that dealing with drunk guys who want to hurt you after hours etc.

But at the same time you have seen all this and you develop very good skills in observing..and seeing people pumped with adrenaline and wanting to hurt others/yourself. So if you are in a street situation you are able to handle yourself better because you been there before.


People who get stabbed or shot almost always give their attackers time to grab a gun or knife.

If you feel threatened, you must immediately overwhelm the person before he has time to react. If I am on a person, pounding him with kicks and punches, and aggressively taking him to the ground: He will lack the coordination to grab a gun or knife.

If you immediately overwhelm someone, it's less likely to be viewed as self-defense in a court of law. Then again, if you wait around, you might get shot or stabbed.

Thus, either run away immediately or fully commit yourself. Don't half-step.

I don't look for trouble. If someone approached me, I would say very loudly, "Please do not approach me. I feel threatened." This way, eyewitnesses will view the other guy as the bad guy - even if you hit first.

Once, someone approached me in a threatening manner. I started screaming at the top of my lungs. "I feel threatened. DO NOT APPROACH ME!" He was completely freaked out and GTFO.

Did I look silly? Maybe. I survived the encounter - physically and legally.

You must meditate on these things before they occur. Only then your actions will have purpose.


It's an recurring theme that has gone back to what I've said here for years. LOOK LIKE YOU TRAIN.

If you have big traps or otherwise look like someone who might cause the other person problems, you'll usually be left alone.

I always make eye contact with people and walk confidently. Muggers and other scum bags don't want to fight. It's not about honor. It's about finding an easy mark.

Alert guys with big muscles are not easy marks.



I live in a pretty small town so those type of things are few and far between so when it happens it is indeed a shock. We teach alot of women's self defense classes because we have two fairly large colleges here and the main thing we teach them is to be aware of their surroundings and who is in those surroundings.

Will six weeks of self defense make a major difference in a real life situtation? Luckily we haven't had to find out.

Want to hear a true story of Karma? The guy that killed the track kid,.. while he was out on bond waiting to stand trial for manslaughter, he drowned in a duck hunting incident.



You're exactly right. I'm not a very big guy and I have never had a problem with guys coming up trying to start stuff. Its all in the confidence you project. Thats exactly what I was telling 15 young ladies from a college here Sunday morning. Don't look like a victim.

The back of our Women's Self Defense shirts say on the back:
You think I'm weak?
You think I'm scared?
You think I'll just cry?
If you think that you're dead wrong! Be warned I don't fight fair!

We've had so many compliments on these shirts. Try to bring some humor to a pretty serious issue.




this explosion of mma has more guys than i can remember thinking they are tough guys.

when i was in my teens it was karate, in my 20's it was special forces stuff. now it is mma.

even if you ARE a competent trained fighter, remember to the norte gang member you are about as significant as a fly on a piece of crap. a blade or gun will pass any type of guard.

and for every tough guy fighter, do a tour of Iraq with some real warriors. rampage jackson would be shating himself if he was in the middle of a firefight in Baghdad i wager.

point is i agree with the OP 100%. in any society, there is a fine line between anarchy and civil order. be glad that for most of us we are on the safer side of that line for most of our lives. and be careful. \

we all are only going to get this one life, live it as long and as well as you can.


Listen people. Hand to hand is a last chance option. If somebody pulls a knife or gun, I'm sure as hell doing the same thing, preferably faster then them.


Either that or they sense your gun and know your a pig that can get away with murder.