Fighting in the ring has rules, weight classes, (sometimes) balanced skill levels, a referee and other physical protective measures including relatively soft floor padding, ring boundaries and hand, groin and mouth protection. On the street there is obviously none of this. 

For this reason alone, a martial arts practitioner should do their best to de-escallate a situation, for 3 reasons:

  1. Your opponent may be unskilled and delusional.
  2. Your opponent may be more skilled, more aggressive, or have weapons, or friends nearby.
  3. You may end up hurting your opponent and innocent bystanders.

What’s worse? The punch or pavement?

In all cases, if you are a practitioner of the fighting arts, you may have a higher “response ability” and therefore are more “responsible” to act as appropriate as you can. However regardless of your training, environmental factors and the nature of street fighting may lead to bad things happening.

For example, you may slip on wet pavement, trip on a curb, backup into traffic – OR even worse, you may successfully land a powerful, well-timed strike knocking out your opponent, causing them to fall unconsciously to the hard pavement. Check the video below, where words escallate to action resulting in 1 punch, leading to a loud collision of head hitting the pavement.

You must consider that throwing a punch in a street fight is like firing a bullet. Once you throw it you can’t return it, because if it lands successfully your opponents head may be heading towards the pavement to a potentially lethal impact. It’s not the punch that is dangerous. It’s the pavement.

Get Real

Many prison fights are filled with a flurry of gross motor skills. They are simple and effective. No hollywood kung fu. Just raw punches, kicks and chasing. There’s nowhere to hide and no referee to save you.

A Bit of Humility is Good

Here’s an example of 1 prisoner who requires 7 trained men to take him down. Going head to head with this guy on the street would be more than a challenge. Perhaps it best to just avoid street fights. You don’t know who you’re dealing with…

Stay Cool and Humble

You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone. And in the case of the video below because of the drama caused by these two, someone else gets hurt.

Do your best to turn negatives into a positive. Avoid pride. Avoid escalation. Be the best “you” that you can be. Build confidence so when conflict comes, you can just walk away, knowing you’re doing the best for yourself and others.