Monday, March 3, 2008

More on Street Fighting and What’s Wrong with This Picture

By Matthew Schafer

Copyright, 2008, All Rights Reserved


I’ve gotten a fairly interesting response to the article “The Street Fighting Myth” and I feel that maybe I wasn’t as clear as I should have been. So let me be a little more clear on the matter…street fighting is bullshit!

Let me tell you a little story about something that just happened here. A few nights ago a young man in his early 20’s left a bar where he worked to make the night deposit. As he walked to his car another car pulled up, two guys got out, walked up to him and engaged him in conversation, jumped him, hit him until he fell to the ground, repeatedly stomped and kicked him, then took the money that he had on him and fled.

I’m not sure if that kid has come out of his coma yet but his doctors say that he will never “be right” again, and that he will need direct care assistance for the rest of his life. This kid was in his early 20’s and his life is basically over. He will be a vegetable that his family will have to take care of for the rest of their lives.

Another story, a young man was standing by his car in the parking lot of his apartment building. Two other young men come up to him and started to argue with him. A friend on the third floor saw the altercation and decided to come to his friend’s aid but he was so intoxicated that he decided to jump off of his balcony and promptly broke both of his legs. One of the individuals then pushed this young man who then falls and hits his head of the pavement.

One little push and this young man is now a vegetable and his family cannot afford to take care of him. They depleted their savings, his father’s business had to file bankruptcy, and his siblings have been reported as using drugs to cope with the situation. This young man can no longer regulate the temperature of his body so his family has to watch him around the clock because he could easily catch pneumonia and die. The thing is though, the family has admitted that maybe it would be best for their son and themselves if he did pass on. They even considered taking the family or Oregon where doctor-assisted suicide is legal.

This is the reality of violence and injury. The Chinese knew this and they had a saying that, “when two tigers fight, one will be killed, and the other will die later of his injuries”.

If somebody is going to try to victimize you, seriously injure you, then there is a very good chance that one of you will be killed or messed up so bad that you will never “be right” again and your family will have to bear the burden of taking care of you for the rest of their lives. The only question is which one of you will it be?

If you are going to try to street fight then it will be you. You cannot fight with a criminal, but you can use various methods of self protection.

The first thing is that you have to know how criminals think, how they commit their crimes, how they pick their targets, what vulnerabilities they look for, and what will make them pick you as a target. Then you have to make a plan, constantly be aware of your surroundings, be looking around, and asking yourself, “what’s wrong with this picture?” and “is this necessary?”

You’re walking to your car and another car suddenly pulls up…what’s wrong with this picture (everything so turn and start running). Two guys get out to “talk” to you…what wrong with this picture? Is it necessary for them to get out of their car? Is it necessary for two of them to get out? Is it necessary for them to try to get close to you? NO! None of that is necessary so the second it starts happening you should run like hell.

If two guys approach you is it necessary for them to do so? What’s wrong with this picture? If you have the distance you should run like hell. If you don’t have the distance between you then you should become assertive, establish your boundaries, and then become aggressive, not with your words but with your voice. This tells them that if they come closer that they have a fight on their hands, alerts others who may be able to call for help, and immediately tells you their intentions. If they leave, which most will, that’s fine, but if you do all that and they don’t then you are in a situation where you could possibly be killed.

If they approach you, guess what you should have in your hands…pepper spray. I always tell my students to have pepper spray in their hands if they’re out and about and I always do the same. If it is in your pocket or purse then it does you no good, you need to have it in your hands.

Getting into a fight with a criminal is a method that just doesn’t work. Your first line of defense is your will to survive and your decision to do so, second is making a plan for when things do happen and then following that plan, third is your awareness of your surroundings, fourth is making brief eye contact with everyone and displaying your level of alertness by making sure that people see you looking around, fifth is your ability to run, sixth is your display of aggressiveness when cornered, seventh is pepper spray or another personal weapon (I much prefer pepper spray, even to carrying a gun), and last is self defense techniques designed to cause debilitating injury to your attacker that will require medical attention. Anything else won’t work.

If someone attacks you chances are they will do it by surprise and your clue that its time to defend yourself will actually be being attacked. If someone does come up to you, you don’t get into a fighting stance because that will just escalate the situation and may cause them to pull a weapon. Instead you assume an aggressive posture with your palms outward and elbows in and down, and aggressively give them short commands that tell them to leave. If they don’t leave then you maintain your structure and your focus until they are close enough to use pepper spray or, if you don’t have it, strike them first.

Step into them aggressively and try to drive two of your fingers all the way through their eyeballs, drive your forearm through their throat, use your palm or knee to hit upwards into their groin, stomp on the sides of their ankles, repeatedly slam your palm into their ears with all your body weight, or you might slap their eyes to give them a concussion in their optical nerves. Don’t just swing your arms at them but step into them and when you hit them keep your back straight and bend your knees to drop your bodyweight into the strike.

I don’t care how big, mean, under the influence, or murderous a man is, if they are standing in front of you and you look at their ear, step in aggressively while keeping your back straight, slap your palm into the ear, push all the way through it and bend your knees on impact, you will rupture their ear drum (which takes their balance, leaves them very nauseous, and 9 times out of 10 they want to lay down on the floor) and most likely, provided you followed all the way through and bent your knees, drive them head first into the ground. If you want to make sure you drive them head first into the ground all you have to do is bring your arm down towards the ground during your follow through from the slap. If that individual goes head first into the ground it could kill him.

One of you is most likely going to be killed or end up as a messed up vegetable for your family to take care of, and it is far better that it is him instead of you.

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