Often, when I tell people they should learn to fight, I get, "I'm not worried, I conceal carry." I read a really great article on SOFREP by Alex Hollings that I wish I could just post here which explains this better than I have ever seen anyone explain it. The title is, "Three reasons to bring a knife to a gun fight (or any fight for that matter)" One of the most important parts in this article has to deal with not being about get your weapon out and on target before your attacker gets to you.
"'A gun is almost useless inside of twenty-one feet.' Some of you are already familiar with what's commonly referred to as the 'twenty-one-foot rule' - and I can already sense some of the more experienced firearms handlers thinking to themselves that it doesn't apply to them - which may be true. Twenty-one feet was a number made up by Lt. John Tueller, a firearms instructor for the Salt Lake City Police Department in the eighties. He came up with the idea by placing an aggressor twenty-one feet from a police officer with his pistol holstered. He then directed the aggressor to attack and the officer to defend himself. From inside of twenty-one feet, most officers were unable to draw their weapons and fire at the aggressor accurately enough to subdue them before the aggressor was able to cover that distance and engage the officer with a blade or other short ranged weapon.
When training with the LAPD SWAT team as a part of a counter-terrorism response force in Twentynine-Palms, California, we made our own attempts at beating the twenty-one-foot rule using airsoft pistols and 'sharkies' (plastic knifes) with red lipstick on them to show when and where the blade was able to contact the officer. Some of the Marines and police officers we trained with were able to beat the rule a few times, but none of us were able to do so consistently.
It's worth noting that we were staring directly at our opponents, waiting for them to come running before we drew our weapons. In a real-life scenario, you'll rarely have that kind of advantage, placing the odds in the favor of the aggressor even further."
Please note that it should also be common sense that there is a point at which you won't be able to get your knife out in time to use it so you better learn to fight with just your hands, especially against all weapons. Also, if one or more bad guys are going to attack me with just their hands and I am certain they are packing heat, if I escalate the fight by pulling a knife, they will escalate the fight further by pulling guns making my situation even worse. You ALWAYS escalate or de-escalate the fight to where you have the best chance of survival. Pulling a knife or gun is not always the best thing to do.
The first thing you always do is try to talk your way out of a fight but, if it becomes obvious that they just want trouble, then there will be a fight so that talking won't work. At that point, try to "walk your way out of the fight" but NEVER, EVER, EVER turn you back on them when walking away. They will jump you as soon as you turn you back 100% of the time. ALWAYS keep a very close eye on them as you try to leave. If it becomes obvious they are not going to permit you to leave, turn back and start breaking stuff.
I had a friend who was a very good street fighter and he would listen to their trash talk until he was certain they were just looking for trouble and there was going to be a fight and then he would seriously say, "Shut up and fight." At that, most people would just walk away; the rest would get carried away. Sometimes, the right attitude alone can prevent a fight.
The ugly truth is that, often, you won't have time to pull anything so you better be able to fight with your hands.
Alex also stated, "We tend to devote a lot of time to discussing firearms, in large part because we love them, but also because they're an essential tool for the warfighter - and in some cases - for the defense of ourselves and others in a domestic setting. I carry a full frame 1911 every day, not because I don't like the Glock, but because something about how my brain is wired to my hands just makes me a bit more accurate and a bit quicker with the 1911, and like the debate between the iPhone and Android, I prefer what I'm most comfortable with.
So when I visited a friend who lives in a more urban setting recently and we got into a discussion about self-defense, he wasn't surprised to learn that I was carrying, but lamented about his cultural environment and how it wouldn't be socially acceptable for him to carry on a daily basis. He punctuated his complaint with, 'It seems stupid to worry about my friends' feelings when someone could sneak up on me in the subway, I know, but I've got to work with these people.'
That's when I produced my other every-day-carry, my trusty pocket knife."
Alex also said, "A knife is still effective, even if you freak out. This is a touchy subject for most wannabe tough guys. 'I wouldn't ever freak out, man, I'm a stone cold bad-ass!' The truth of the matter is, you might be just such a bad-ass, but I'm not, and most of the scariest dudes I've ever talked to also train for the possibility that their reasoning could be hindered by stress. Even the most battle hardened of special operator may not be able to think clearly when his child is in danger - and there's nothing wrong with that, provided we prepare for that possibility.
A gun is only dangerous if you can get your opponent within a very narrow trajectory, which can be really difficult under extreme stress or in a tussle. Pistols, in particular, demand very specific sight picture in order to be accurate, as the short barrel allows for even the tiniest cant in your grip to translate into missing even a fairly close target. Adrenaline, shock, and panic, can all make establishing that proper sight picture more difficult even for those with extensive training. If you're a recreational shooter who takes calm, practiced shots at a piece of paper a few times a year, the chances are even higher that you'll be unable to replicate that accuracy under duress.
A knife can be handled poorly, even flailed in panic, and retain its ability to injure or kill an opponent. If adrenaline is making your hands shake, a pistol will become less accurate, but a knife doesn't stop cutting. We all have a great deal more practice with knives than we do guns because we use them constantly in our daily lives, and that familiarity may even help steady your nerves - but even if it doesn't, the sharp end is always sharp. It takes a great deal of training to be reliably deadly with a pistol, and even with all that training, you'll often find the best gunfighters reach for their blades if the opponent is close by... which leads to my final point."
In the 1980s, the LAPD stated that most people are shot at 8 feet or less and most shots fired at that distance miss because of the stress Alex talked about in his article.
If you can carry a gun, don't just carry a gun, also carry a knife.
Also, I am in a situation where I can't carry a gun. I am poor so I can't afford the $1,000 per year for a concealed carry permit, I checked with the local police about self defense and they told me that, for open carry, you can't carry a gun most of the places I go when I go to town, such as any place which sells liquor or banks and all local grocery stores sell liquor. I asked them about carrying concealed knives and they told me that I could carry up to a six inch blade concealed so I carry an old "pig sticker" we used for street fighting before they were replaced with switch blades, which are illegal in many places. It is a folding knife with a narrow 4 inch blade that is primarily used for cutting but, if you know how to use it right, it can be used for thrusting. The knife was designed in Italy specifically for street fighting and was brought to the US by the Italian Mafia. They called it a stiletto but we called it a pig sticker.
If I could afford a nice new 4 to 6 inch dagger, I would carry one because it would be a slightly better weapon but you have to know how to use such weapons. Don't carry any weapon you don't know how to use and are not willing to kill with. If you are bluffing, when you pull a weapon, and they call your bluff, they will use your weapon on you, after they take it away from you.
I tell people that I used my street fighting experience, college education, sports experience, and other information to develop my own fighting system. Some people look at me like I am nuts because they think that it is not possible for someone to develop their own fighting system but someone had to develop the first fighting system thousands of years ago when they knew less, so why can't I develop my own fighting system today, when we know more?
The truth is that I have much better science and information for developing a fighting system today than the people who developed those fighting systems thousands of years ago. Alex said this very interesting thing; "Over the years, I've had the opportunity to train with guys who have mastered all different kinds of fighting disciplines, from knife specialists to snipers, from BJJ to boxing, and the one thing that I can say I've truly learned is that martial arts and self-defense is all about what works for you. Although I had to learn and demonstrate a mastery of a number of techniques to earn my black belt, I can tell you honestly that I've modified many of them to better suit how I roll, what my body can do, and what just feels right for me. I've tried to incorporate things I've been taught by others into that amalgam of Alex-jitsu that has worked for me when I've called on it, and a large part of that is acknowledging the things I can't control, and trying to adapt to overcome them."
You see ALL martial artists use their training and experience to develop their own personal defense or fighting system just like I did and it is my goal to teach you how to develop your own personal fighting system, which will work best for you.
Now, we have to start with and build on the basics or what good coaches call the fundamentals or "fundies". Every professionally trained coach knows that, if you get away from the fundamentals, it isn't going to work, so you have to learn and stick with the fundamentals.
First, we have to start with learning to fight the individual bad guy in spite of the fact that you are much more likely to have to fight two or more bad guys because everything you learn about fighting two or more bad guys builds on how you fight the individual bad guy.
The first thing EVERY good instructor or coach teaches about any sport or competitive activity is footwork because everything you do, offensive or defensive, starts with your footwork. Even a good shoulder punch, thrown from just your shoulder without moving any other part of your body, is only made possible because of good foot work because, if your feet are good and solid to provide a good solid base for your legs, which provide a good solid base for your hips, which provide a good solid base for your torso, which provides a good solid base for your shoulders, which provides a good solid base for you to throw a good solid shoulder punch, then and only then can you throw a good solid shoulder punch. Without the solid base, your shoulder punch will be much less affective.
Everything you do in sports or fighting starts with the feet and works up through the body to your hands so, if any instructor doesn't start teaching you fighting by teaching good footwork, go find another instructor. You need to understand that learning to fight right is going to require time and patience, which is why you need to get started as soon as possible.
The next thing they should teach is blocking or defense because you have to have a good defense to keep from being killed so you can do the killing. If you get killed before you can kill the other guy, because you don't have a good defense, you lose. It is all about staying alive. But, you can't fight with just a good defense because common sense fighting should tell you that is will only be a matter of time until they get a good punch through your defense to take you out. It requires a good offense to stop them attacking your defense before they can figure out a way through your defense.
Then they should finally start teaching you some offense and you have to practice, practice, practice.
So, what can you study, why, and what do you need to focus on learning?
We have to do a fighting analysis of what you will probably be up against and, surprisingly, most street fighters, better than 90%, are actually pretty lousy fighters but 1) so are most good people and, if you have two lousy fighters fighting each other, a lousy fighter will win and think he is a good fighter because he won, and 2) most street fighters gang up on people so that, when you get two lousy fighters ganged up on one lousy fighter, most likely the two lousy fighters will win. Common sense should tell you that it is very difficult to block four fists with only two fists. That is one reason why you need to learn to be a good fighter. The other reason is because the rest of the street fighters are good fighters so you need to be a good fighter to beat them.
First, I am going to teach you how to beat the lousy fighter, which is also the first step towards beating the good fighter.
Why are most street fighters lousy fighters?
Because they throw what are called "hay makers" or "round house punches", which are very powerful because they put their entire body into the punch but they are wild and moderately accurate, with good technique, they are easy to defend against, and they are very easy to counter attack against with good fighting technique. But you need to know that hay makers are so powerful that, if you get hit by one, especially in the head, it will at least stun you and probably knock you out so even hay makers are dangerous.
What is a hay maker or round house punch?
It is a punch which is started from behind the shoulder, usually comes around the side but can come over the top or up from below and normally hits the person on the side and is almost always aimed at the head with the intention of knocking you out with just one hit or as few hits as possible. The reason most people throw hay makers is because they don't know how to fight right, which most people really don't know, and they are a very powerful punch, which can easily knock most people out with just one good solid hit to the head.
How do you defend against a hay maker fighter and what do you need to know?
This will surprise you; all you need to know to beat hay makers is good boxing form. You don't need tojo ballet or any of the fancy stuff. That is right; all you need to know to win about 60% of your street fights against individuals is good boxing form with a good base, good footwork, good blocking, and a few good punches and combinations. Most good boxers make good street fighters but they have to make some modifications I will teach you later.
Let me talk you through the basics of a good boxing fight against a bad guy throwing hay makers and you will see. Too keep it simple, we will assume you are both right handed.
You will have good boxing form so that you will have good base and footwork with your feet just a little wider than your shoulders, your left foot leading and your right foot just behind and to your right. Your left shoulder will lead your right shoulder so that your left arm and fist will lead you and your right arm and fist, with both forearms vertical and you looking just over both fists and leaning forward on your toes slightly.
Since the other guy is also right handed, he will start with a wild right hand hay maker coming around your left hand side, usually aimed at your head. All you have to do to block that hay maker is mover your left arm out to your left a little to intercept his wild right. That is it, it is that simple to block a hay maker with good boxing form.
As his right hand hay maker makes contact with your left arm, he is going to start a hay maker punch around the other side with his left hand you will easily block with your right arm but, with his right hand hay maker blocked by your left and both of his arms outside of both of your arms and you in close, this is every boxers best dream because you are inside with him wide open and you are about to unload on him and end the fight. It is just that simple and often happens this fast when a good boxer takes on a hay maker.
As he starts to pull back his right, your left is now free and his face is wide open so you will very quickly hit him in the face with one to three very quick left jabs to get his head rocking back and forth to set up your right cross to knock him out. The left jab is meant as a set up punch to get the person's head rocking back and forth because it disorients, confuses, and throws the person's aim off plus he won't see your right cross coming and won't be able to block it.
When his left hay maker hits your right block and you are punching him in the face with left jabs, he will start his right forward with another haymaker while pulling his left back to load up for another hay maker, which will free your right just before you block his right hay maker again with your left and hit him in the jaw or side of the head with the right cross to probably knock him out and end the fight. You will find that a left jab followed by a right cross will win more fights than anything else.
You need to know that a right cross is called a right cross because it is thrown by your right hand (you can do a left cross) and it crosses his head from your right to your left. It turns his head in such a way that the force of the blow contuses his brain in the right parts to cause him to lose consciousness or, at the very least, be stunned and start wildly flailing.
If he is still standing and stunned after your right cross, you simply quickly step in, square your shoulders and throw a left, right, left combination to his head until he loses consciousness and goes down ending the fight. That is the basics to winning about 60% of your street fights and why good boxers make good street fights. That is right, all you need to know is good base work or footwork, good blocking, and a good left jab, right cross and a good left, right, left combination to win most of your street fights because most street fighters are lousy fighters but only against just one fighter. When you are fighting two or more people at the same time, it gets much more complex.
With additional skills and modifications I will teach you, a good boxer can be a great street fighter and win almost all of his fights, at least 90%.
So, if you can find somewhere, like a good boxing gym or a college level course in boxing, where you can learn boxing, you will begin to learn the basics for street fighting. You can also learn these basics from the martial arts, especially Krav Maga and Kempo Karate, which do still teach some street fighting but, almost all of them have modified their fighting by the Queensbury rules. Let me give you an example of that.
The hip throw is a very good move for street fighting you can learn from Judo, Jiu Jitsu, and other martial arts. For practice, exhibition, and tournament fighting, they have to modify it with the Queensbury rules to keep people from getting hurt but they don't teach you how to modify it for street fighting so you hurt people and put them out of the fight.
The proper technique you are taught is that, when you have the person off the ground, on your hip and heading for the ground, you "pull them through" so you don't slam their head into the ground, causing serious injury to their head and necking and possibly killing them. You are taught to slam them on their back against the ground to "knock the wind out of them", which temporarily incapacitates them without causing serious injury.
But, on the street, when that guy just has the wind knocked out of him, he will take less than half a dozen deep breaths, get his wind back, get up, get back in the fight, and will probably jump you from behind. Plus there are techniques some street fighters know to prevent them getting the wind knocked out of them when they hit the ground on their back. Therefore, you are just going to throw the guy to the ground, he is going to get up and jump you again, probably from behind, if you don't finish the fight and there are several ways to finish the fight pending the situation, only one of which most martial arts teach.
The one method most martial arts teach is to drop down on your knee into his stomach to knock the wind out of him and punch him in the head until he loses consciousness but, if he has one or more friends attacking you while you are trying to do all of that, you either won't get it done or could get knocked while trying to do it.
Now let's use some common sense or "street smarts".
On the street, why do you want to pull the guy through to land him on his back to prevent injury to his head and neck and not put him out of the fight, especially if he has friends you are also fighting?
You don't pull him through; you pile drive his head into the ground to crush his skull and break his neck so he can't get back up and jump you from behind and so you can immediate turn to fighting his friends without having to worry about him jumping you from behind. You make the move right to finish the fight for him to save yourself. You break everything you touch and touch everything you can as fast as you can.
Now you see the difference in fighting by Queensbury rules and street rules and why?
Queensbury rules are fine when fighting another Queensbury fighter in a Queensbury neighborhood but will get you killed when fighting bad guys like street fighters, liberal thugs, and Muslims thugs in any neighborhood and you need to know how to modify your fighting for street when these bad guys are in your town or coming to your neighborhood or they will kill you. Basically, you need to learn how to fight street.
I'll end this essay here because I don't want my essays to be too long because a lot of people don't like really long essays. Later, in other Street essays, I will teach you modifications for boxing and other martial arts for street fighting to help you win the rest of your fights. I pray that my essays help you.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.