T Nation

Streetfighting How To?


Hey guys!

I have a question, although an embarassing one. I have been in some fights in my life.
Most of them were stupid bar fights. Just like last saturday. We were at a party and
I accidentally bumped into a dude. He immediatly pushed me away, HARD. I pushed him back.

Then he stands there taunting me, like "c'mon, I'm right here". Then I am going over it in
my mind:

"I am probably stronger than him. But wait, he might do MMA or some shit, and I have no fighting experience. Shall I go for it? Shit, if I cant knock him out, it will be a mess. What if he knocks me out? Etc".

Basically, I have no fighting experience, nor would I know where to start. Swing for his jaw? His throat? Side of his neck?

How would you (experienced) guys handle one to one combat.

P.S I am not asking to pick fights with people, but to just have (train?) for reassurance that I can hold my own agains most people.

Thanks in advance


Streetfights are awful affairs, and you shouldn't let your ego (that's what was talking to you in your head) bait you into them. You'll either end up beaten down, in court, or both. Or dead.

If you're truly nervous, go to a boxing gym- they'll teach you to fight. But you still should walk away from nearly every altercation.


stick and move..I Kid but why do you have do rise to their bait?You can play off those situations with some self depreciating humour most of the time withut having to resort to hitting the guy. If you really want to get better at fighting guys in bars then you should just take up some type of full contact fighting style.


nevermind, Irish said it better than I could.


Kick in the balls, pint glass to the face, and when in doubt bite him in the check as hard as you can.


Like others said best not to get involved. It really is never worth all the trouble that comes along afterwards. IMO fighting is very instinctual, there really is no thinking/strategy your adrenaline/animal instincts will take over. Best way to improve is just learn to throw good hard punches with both hands maybe some combos. You don't need to be a trained mma fighter to be a good fighter in the capacity your talking.


I have learned not to hang out where people drink alcohol or chase tail. Most patrons of places like that are morons who want to start shit. If you are not there you don't have that situation. If for some reason you are in a normal place and you need to defend yourself, the questions you were asking yourself will not go through your mind you will know that you can take whatever measures needed to defend yourself. Basically you did the best thing by leaving him alone. He shoved you because he wants to look hard around his friends or some raggedy ho he wants to hump. If you did feel the need to hit a dumbass who is holding a beer or whatever drink I would want to attack from that side since that weapon(hand) is busy holding something. you could control that arm and attack vulnerable parts at the same time. Just remember you will have to leave after that anyway so you won't have to fight multiple people or get arrested. So just saying sorry man and leaving the situation would be best, if he attacks you then that is a different situation alltogether.


Doesn't anyone chime in telling him he's stupid if he accepts such taunts, and that the other guy might a) have a knife/gun b) have friends around (who might have knives/guns) c) have friends who'll "avenge" the guy?

Ask a champion kickboxer or any other good martial artist and he'll most probably tell you that your options, in the order in which you should consider them, are a) peacefully defuse the situation b) RUN c) fight.
It's not worth risking your life to protect your pride, and even your wallet.


Yes you are right, and the previous posters already pointed out to diffuse the situation. However, it is not a stretch to imagine situations where one has to fight back.

And being at a party, with friends of mine and my girlfriend with me, I'd rather not run. It was already a big deal of self control to not escalate after he pushed me twice and calling names and shit. If that makes me macho or something, so be it.

So please humor me. If any of you know tactical advice, please share. :slight_smile:


If your with a girl that thinks you need to fight to prove yourself look elsewhere. I hate when women do that to me. I have been in very few fights that didnt hurt and they think its great I won and I am hurting for a few days. Not my idea of fun.

Best advice is go for the nuts, throat, or eyes. Those 3 spots can end it quick. The key to any fight is to end it as fast as you can. You might end up in a good amount of legal trouble though even if he started it. So trust me when I say walk away. We live in a society of pussy lawyers so leave other people alone.


Yes, um, everyone.



Did you not read a single post?


They were very...soft. Something the likes of "it's better not to".

@WhiteCrow: Hard for me to imagine, except when you can't run or talk your way out of it. But the others here have way more experience than me.


The only way to train for a fight is to fight. Go to your local combat classes to gain this experience.

With no prior training and with no option to back down:

-Keep your hands between you and him.
-Keep your eyes open and be mindful of your surroundings.
-Keep in mind your opponents mental state. Odds are if it's gotten this far he's angry and or drunk.
-Strike to cause pain and to debilitate - eyes, nose, throat, balls are primary targets. It doesn't need to be pretty, just survive. You can punch, kick, bite, scratch....
-Use force as required, don't arm yourself unless you've no other options.
-Do not yield to pain, do not stop to check your wounds.
-Your goal is simple, escape. That in mind as soon as you disorient your opposition or see an openning take it and get away.

Whilst typing this I'm thinking of a 1000 things I'd want to put in here but it's just not practical. The best advice will always be walk away.

Experience will teach you how to act better than any youtube video or lengthy forum post can. Go get this experience in a controlled environment.

For street defence I can recommend:
Muay Thai
Krav Maga

I'd avoid:

I can't comment on any other forms.

Again though:

WALK AWAY (Well not exactly.....but back off...that way you'll not eat a suckerpunch)


If what youre asking is how to fight in a street situation you must realize how broad the topic is and that you won't get much from reading what to do. Im going to start by asking you if knowing what to do and being able to do it are the same? If someone on here told you "first jab and then..." or whatever, would you be able to execute that? Il give you your answer. No.

Again Im going to repeat that what youre asking is... hard to answer... Every situation is unique.

How is he standing, posture- ie. is he balanced or could he be pushed over/tripped? Where is he standing in relation to fixed objects, like a wall or bar? What is the proximity of his friends? Your friends? Do you have friends there? Does he? Are they standing somewhere behind you?

I know you specified one to one combat but in reality with a situation like this thats not gonna happen.

Also you were thinking: "How should I start? Where should I hit?" First off why would you make the first move? Especialy if he is inviting you to (which btw is just him trying to build up confidence or psyching himself up). Rather wait if the idiot has the balls to make a lunge at you and you wont even have to worry about closing the gap. If he doesn't... first prize. No fight. PS. im not saying act like a bitch just act calm and speak firmly and authoritively (none of the green street holligan bouncing up and down or egging him on bullshit).

Secondly, thinking about stuff like that is not going to help you. Real life fights are not Steven Seagal movies. Youre never going to go into a street fight with a choreographed "fight plan". Its all instinctual as TommyGunz said and often the simpler the better. If you want to get better at this kind of fighting without experiencing real fights more often then simple stuff like boxing will help the most. At least then you can stick to basics and move/punch well.

Ultimately youre going to have to make a choice and stick to it. If you decide that its going to be a fight for whatever reason then commit to it wholeheartedly. Its not going to be complicated. It won't happen the way you imagine it will retrospectively. You will probably get hurt. You have to accept that.

While we are on the topic, you may think that you cant back down because your mates are there and your gf is there or because you are not a wuss. Fair enough. But there are loads of ways to avoid the fight while still looking like you won the confrontation.

The guy pushed you and you pushed him back? What shit is that? Smile, apologise for bumping into him and offer to buy him a drink. Trust me your gf won't think any less of you. Is he an asshole? Yea. But why make it your problem. If he pushes the matter just tell him straight "Look, Im not looking for a fight, but if you are, stop talking I dont have all night. And don't expect a schoolboy brawl either."

while we are on the topic give this a read and you will probably forget all about your fight fantasies.



I am going to quote FightinIrish's post above because it helps to read it again. There is real wisdom contained in it. No, that is not hyperbole.

I would like to second everything he wrote.

Now within that framework I am going to ask that if you reply you give your age. I see you are listed as a student so high school, college, post graduate? I ask not to pull age on you, but because I recognize that the social pressure is different at each of these levels, and it may help with any future advice.

I will state that I agree for you to seek out some type of training. Not so much that you need to be a badass, but more so that you do not judge yourself poorly, even for doing the right thing. Make no mistake about it. You did the right thing. A few years, maybe even months of solid training and you will not wonder what if.

You asked for tactical advice. Going from your post I am of the opinion that you need tactics the least. Allow me to explain. I am defining tactics as being applied once the conflict has started. It is how you apply your skills and abilities when in hostile contact. It is the intermediate in the hierarchy of A.)technique/skills/abilities/attributes to do something to B.)Tactics the exact where's and why's of what we are doing right now in the fight and what we are planning to do next and C.)Strategy, the big picture stuff.

Examples: You are far bigger and stronger than me and have a wicked jab and straight right. Those are attributes and skills. When we get in a dust up you keep your wits about you and push me over a piece of furniture immediately gaining the upper hand(tactically sound). Because I harbor a grudge and am known to be A. unstable and B. Hepatitis C positive you avoid my presence because I am likely to try again and you do not want my nasty blood all over you (Strategy).

Note: The above was purely a hypothetical example.

The strategy of avoiding street fights is a sound one. Irish gave the reasoning. My general advice is to follow the Rule of the Three Stupid's:

  1. Do not go stupid places: Places where there are violent people or other dangers. You know that some clubs and house parties will end with fights/issues. Why go?
  2. Do not do stupid things: Things that carry un due risks.
  3. Do not associate with stupid people: Some people are incapable of making wise choices, that friend or relative who always starts shit with strangers or cannot mind their own business.

Like any good set of safety rules there is redundancy built in. You may be forced on occasion to break one of the rules (e.g. law enforcement, firemen, first responders, and military personnel all go dangerous places), but steadfast adherence to the remaining two rules can see you well. Ignore two and suffering is almost inevitable. Ignore all three and you are at the mercy of Luck. Lady Luck is a vindictive bitch and cannot be trusted with your health.

If the above was too long winded, or came off as too preachy I apologize.

I will leave you with the following completely true statement. I begin every day with two primary goals: First, not to HAVE to talk to the police. Second, not to have to discuss my genitals in an emergency room setting. No day where those too things have been avoided was as bad as it could have been. Fighting with strangers can lead to both.


Robert A


Fuckin a Robert, nice post! I especially like the last paragraph lmao


  1. If someone 'pushes you hard'(presumably in the chest with both palms) in an attempt to initiate a fight they likely don't know how to fight.

  2. If you 'push (them) hard'(presumably in the chest with both palms) back you're leaving yourself open to any number of counter attacks.

  3. If someone 'pushes you hard' in a public place the best thing to do is walk away.

  4. If you get involved in a street fight you are likely to be arrested for any number of offences including; assault, assault occasioning grievous bodily harm, affray, manslaughter etc and you may also get knifed, shot, beaten senseless/to death with a heavy blunt object or jumped on by the guy's friends and beaten to a bloody pulp/death.

  5. If you want to learn how to defend yourself in case you have no option but to fight then take up some form of martial art. Boxing will give you confidence, teach you to read telegraphing punches and how to slip them etc.


It's a safe bet that the situations where you have to fight back will happen maybe once or twice in the average person's life, if that.

The situations where you HAVE to fight back are the ones where you're not fighting- it's self defense.

This is a home invasion, this is you're overseas and someone comes at you with a knife, this is that infamous fucking mugger that's going to kill and rob you.

This shit NORMALLY doesn't happen to people who don't hang out at shitholes and "lead the life" so to speak.

Otherwise, there's a lot of "gray area" ones that we could get into, the infamous "What do i do if 27 ninjas with machine guns come at me" scenarios.

Someone grabs your chick's ass or tells her to fuck herself, someone postures up to you at a bar trying to fight, someone gets out of their car in a road rage incident and comes at you... they're all gray area things in the eyes of the law that might be self defense or they might be assault depending on who the witnesses are and how bad you fuck the guy up (or get fucked up).

It doesn't make you macho. In fact, it might give you some legal ground to stand on if you'd hit him when he came to pushing you.

But then again, maybe not.

You don't want to look like a pussy, I get it. You also don't want to be starting at a judge in a month when you hit the guy, he falls backwards, hits his head on the corner of the desk, and he haemorrhages and dies.

BANG! That's manslaughter bro. Have fun for the next 5 or 10.

And you look like a grownup when you walk away from a fight. I've walked away from some when I knew I was outgunned or outfucked, I've lost many more than I've won. Seriously, don't fucking bother. They're nothing but a hassle.

But, if a guy does put his hands on you...

Go learn to box.

You're not going to learn "tactics" or fighting moves from the internet and even if you could, you'll likely do them all wrong and just ingrain bad habits.

Go to a boxing gym.

For further information, read "The Little black book of violence" and "Meditations on Violence."

The first will tell you how to avoid fighting, and the second will scare the fuck out of you to ensure that you think of NOT fighting before you get your brass balls all up in a tizzy.


I've been at so many good parties that got totally ruined by this situation happening. This is how it goes down:

You're at a college/frat party that is so crowded that you can barely move,
Drunk dude bumps another drunk dude,
Huge brawl starts between groups of allied dudes, cops are called, party's over.

My frat deals with this situation all the time. If you get bumped/bump someone, for the sake of not ruining the good times of everyone else around you, peacefully resolve it. Even if you think it's just between you and the dude, theres gonna be innocent bystanders (including women) getting hit, shoved, and knocked into walls.

But if you have to fight at a party (for any more serious reason), this is what to do:

First thing is being sober enough to handle yourself and move fast. When you're at these crowded parties, never get too drunk.
Land a couple hits, try not to "tie up" with the dude. then GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE, unless it's your house. This is the most important point. Leave quickly. There's gonna be a group of guys (house owners or frat guys) trying to kick you out of the house, and then its gonna turn into a big brawl.

Never take it to the ground, you will get stomped on by the crowd. A submission hold on the ground would work in a 1 on 1 fight, but in a crowd you could just as easily get a boot to the head from a random guy or your enemy's allies.

Never advance into a crowd to fight a guy, he could be taking you to his allies, plus you'll have a hard time leaving afterwards.

If possible, fight with your back against a wall (not a corner) or an escape route. If you fight in the middle of a crowd, a peacemaker or an enemy can grab you from behind and drag you in a standing rear naked choke.

Avoid fights at frat houses in general, the amount of people that will get involved makes it not worth it.