Fight or Flight?  This Time It's Fight!

Guest Blog Post by Matthew Arrell

The confrontation has got to a point beyond fleeing. There is not a moment to think or even a second to spare; this is the millisecond in which the outcome of the altercation will turn. Everything depends on how you next react.

We ‘ll assume that you are in a situation where only the fight option is available. I won ‘t go through all the various levels of force you can use as the scenarios are endless. However, I will say that if you believe your life or that of your family or friends to be under threat, attack with 100% force and 100% aggression. Do not use any less than all the force you can summon to your fists, feet, elbows, knees or makeshift weapon.

In this scenario, the attacker and you will both be unarmed. If you wish to learn techniques to use against weapons then you need to attend a weekly class to rehearse these skills.

Attack in front with distance

1. Eye strikes both hands alternately with fingers and thumbs

2. Palm strike with a slap or straight palm strike (like a jab), to the face, ears, throat or groin

3. Punches if you are able to punch correctly, to the face or throat

4. Kicks straight downward to the groin or shins (forget about those movie high kicks unless trained)

Attack in front – distance close

1. Eye gouges both hands, grab the head or ears and work your thumbs into the eyes

2. Knees to the groin, abdomen or face if they lean forward after groin strike

3. Head butt lean back and quickly drive your forehead into their nose

4. Elbows to the middle of the head

Attacker behind

1. Hammer fist to the groin

2. Elbows to the face, abdomen or groin

3. Eye gouges reach round and go for the eyes with fingers and thumbs

4. Reverse head butt lean forward and quickly throw your head back into his face

On the floor with attacker on top

1. Eye strikes/gouges strike for the eyes or hold onto their ears and get the thumbs into the eyes

2. Upward kicks if you ‘re thrown to the floor, start to kick up to the groin/abdomen/head as they try to get down to your level (kick straight with the sole of your foot)

3. Shin/knee kicks if they stay standing, go for their shins or the front of their knee, again kick straight with the sole of your foot

These are the most common scenarios you could face on the street. I ‘ve kept it as brief as possible because the last thing you need at this time is an army of options marching around in your head. As for blocking punches and kicks from an attacker, this is something that you would have to be well practised at for effectiveness.

Another way to avoid kicks and punches is to simply move out of the line of fire. Watch a boxer or kick boxer. They will always circle towards their opponent’s weakest side. They have watched previous matches in order to determine which side this is. In real life we don ‘t have this luxury, so try and stay out of the way of whatever they are throwing at you.

Some boxers simply become overwhelmed with their opponents aggression. Notice I didn’t say ‘skill’; I said ‘aggression’. It doesn ‘t always win the fight but it certainly puts them on the back foot, confusing them and disrupting their game plan. This is the exact same with an attacker who expects you to be submissive or at least an easy target. Their game plan is to prey on the weak. So what you should do is this:

1. Distract Ask them a question like why are you picking on me, or make a statement, I ‘m not a fighter, I don ‘t want any trouble . (This uses the criminals own dirty trick of asking people for the time or directions to somewhere in order to distract a victim for long enough to initiate their attack.)

2. Attack Go for it while they are thinking for an answer and keep attacking until they are incapacitated for long enough for you to escape. This may take one strike or a number of strikes. Be aggressive and violent, as you will increase your chances of doing damage, and if not, it will at least make them think twice about continuing their attack on you.

3. Pull back Once you have that opportunity to get out of harm ‘s way, use it and run to a safe area.

Geoff Thompson is the expert from whom I’ve taken many of my tips on personal security; some of his ideas are incorporated into this blog. He would recommend that punching is a must and I would agree, but only if you are comfortable with it it is an awesome tool to have. For more information on the wider subject of how to protect yourself against aggression, please read my previous blog post, as well as Allen’s realistic thoughts on self-defence for women. Finally, draw your attention to the fact that a good level of physical fitness goes a long way to keeping you safe on those mean streets. It’s difficult to flee or fight when you’re fat!

Image credit: polinasergeeva.

Matthew Arrell is a Strength and Conditioning Coach. You can join his Facebook Page to find contact details. Matthew’s previous Guest Blogs:

The Benefits of Exercise

12 Tips for a Lighter Christmas