Basic Street Fighting Tactics to Stay Safe

Win a Street Fight
You should never try to use physical means to settle a problem with someone on the street. The first thing that you should do is try to resolve any issues or diffuse any problems with words. However, if you do find yourself in a situation where you must defend yourself, it’s important that you understand basic street fighting tactics to stay safe and come out on top. If you try to avoid fights, learn how to defend yourself, and use the proper martial arts techniques and tactics to defeat your opponent, you can feel safe and confident if you end up in a confrontation with someone violent.

Method 1 of 3:Defending yourself

1. Stay safe at all times

Stay safe at all times. Though you may not get to choose where a fight breaks out, there are things that you can do to increase your safety in a self-defense scenario. Avoid fighting in the middle of the street or on hard sidewalks, concrete, or places with sharp or hard edges like concrete steps.

If your aggressor pulls out a weapon, like a knife or a pipe, then you should just try to run away from them.

If someone is trying to rob you at gunpoint, you should give them whatever they want instead of risking serious injury or death.
Sometimes self-defense and self-preservation means submitting to force to stay alive.

2. Damage the soft spots on your opponent

Damage the soft spots on your opponent. Attacking areas like the face, temples, throat, kidneys, solar plexus, may eventually incapacitate your opponent. Scratching, biting, clawing, spitting, pulling hair and attacking eyes can also be used. You are defending yourself from a violent aggressor, not fighting in a ring with rules. Use anything you can to ensure your safety. Use eye gouges and attack their throat with strikes.
Hitting the nose blurs the eyes and causes pain, and it just might leave your opponent dazed long enough to get away.

3. Attack their legs

Attack their legs. Low kicks should be aimed towards shins, ankles, the insides or back of calves or thighs and kneecaps (if their legs are straight). Do not aim higher than knee or waist height because they will grab your leg. If you have an object like a bat or pipe, you can also aim for their legs. If your opponent is unable to walk or pursue you, you can get away safely without continuing the fight.

4. Attack your opponent from behind

Attack your opponent from behind. Attacks from behind are difficult to see and avoid, and in a real fight, it is not cowardly to strike from behind. Watch your back, and attack that of your opponent(s). Use lateral movement to move side to side and circle your opponent. Attacking your opponents legs or getting control of his arms from behind may allow you to hold them down long enough for help to arrive.

5. Head butt your opponent fast and hard

Head butt your opponent fast and hard. Bring the top your forehead down to their nose and face. A headbutt can easily knock someone out or break bones in a person’s face. Make sure to tuck in your chin and strike with the top of your head. Aim for the area containing their eyes, nose, and mouth.

6. Learn to grapple

Learn to grapple. A successful grapple can put you in control, even if the attacker is much stronger or faster than you. Popular grappling styles include Brazilian jiu-jitsu, sambo, and wrestling. Learn how to submit, slam, or choke your opponent if you want to end the fight early. Getting positional control when the fight goes to the ground is also incredibly important.

Method 2 of 3: Using Strategy

1. Be aware of your environment

Be aware of your environment. Aside from various objects that can be used as weapons and traps, knowing where to run is very important – especially when you’re outnumbered. Use all of your senses. Don’t just look around aimlessly, stay focused on what you might have to do.

2. Stand at a safe distance

Stand at a safe distance. You should stand safely away from your opponent unless you are ready to strike. The attacker needs to close distance to strike you, so staying just out of their reach means they cannot hit you. Try to stay on the side of the opponent, rather than face them head on. Remember that they can be an obstacle to themselves. Keep your guard up. You can cross your arms, which will allow you to bring them up and protect your face if they lunge at you.

3. Obtain a weapon

Obtain a weapon. According to the rules of “reasonable force,” it is your right to use as much force as necessary to ensure your own safety. If you pull a knife (or another weapon) on a guy and he continues the confrontation, then he pushed you to defend yourself. Living is your priority – damaging or intimidating your opponent enough to let you get away is your method.

4. Close the distance when you’re ready to attack

Close the distance when you’re ready to attack. Most people find it uncomfortable and unexpected for someone they attack to be right up in their space. Another advantage of staying in close is that your attacker won’t be able to fully extend their arm, and it will reduce the power of their punching. Try to wrestle the person to the ground and get control over their body. If they are laying on their back, they won’t be able to punch as hard as if they were standing up.

5. Stay as relaxed as you can, and breathe deeply

Stay as relaxed as you can, and breathe deeply. The more relaxed you are, the harder you will strike and the less susceptible to injury you will be. Regulate your breathing by breathing in deeply through your nose and exhaling out of your mouth. Short shallow breaths will tire you out quicker and could tip the fight in your opponent’s favor.
The more excited or stressed you are, the quicker you will fatigue in a fight.

6. Establish your balance so that you can stay on your feet

Establish your balance so that you can stay on your feet. Spread your legs to shoulder width and bend your knees. Going to the ground is very dangerous to the untrained fighter, especially if the opponent has weapons, back-up, or ground-fighting experience. If you find yourself tangled up with them, break away any way you can.

Method 3 of 3: Avoiding the Fight

1. Walk away from the fight

Walk away from the fight. Although obvious, the best way to win a street fight is to refrain from fighting in the first place. In the majority of street fights, there will be a warning before actual physical aggression occurs. Try to resolve the fight before it breaks down into fighting. In verbal disputes, stay calm and take a firm stand, but take an apologetic approach. Remain neutral and non-confrontational. You can try to Apologize to the person and explain that you didn’t mean to do whatever angered them in the first place.

Signs that someone wants to fight you include clenched fists, an aggressive posture, and yelling or cursing.

You can say something like, “Hey, I’m sorry that you took it that way, but I didn’t really mean anything by it. Sorry for the misunderstanding.”
If they keep approaching you, remember to keep your hands up or arms crossed just in case they attack. You can say something like “Hey man, back up!” or “I’m not trying to have a fight right now, please give me some space.”

2. Know when and how to run

Know when and how to run. If you are outmatched, outnumbered, or just not willing to fight, then you should run at the first opportunity towards a public, well-lit area with other people. When escaping in the middle of a confrontation, try to impede your opponents as much as possible by blocking them with obstacles.

If you can put a trashcan, car, bus, or another barrier between you and the attacker, all the better.
Run between narrow paths, such as between cars, a narrow stairwell or a narrow hallway. This will prevent the opponents from ganging up on you.
If you know you won’t outrun them, don’t try. If you are caught (especially with multiple attackers), you are more likely lose the fight due to a simple lack of energy. If you find yourself in this situation, turn around and get ready to defend yourself.

3. Be as loud as possible

Be as loud as possible. Don’t be afraid to scream or yell out for help. Look for any authority figures like the police or security guards. Being loud and shouting brings unwanted attention that your attacker would rather not have. It also distracts them and could make them panic, making them less conscientious fighters. If other people see the potential fight, your attackers may be less inclined to use physical violence.

You can yell something like, “Help, this guy is attacking me and trying to hurt me!” or “I need help, someone call the police!”
When you ask for help, identify a person and look them in the eyes before you begin to yell at them.
If you make a scene, then your aggressor could just walk away.

4. Escape as soon as your opponent(s) are incapacitated

Escape as soon as your opponent(s) are incapacitated. Phone the police or alert some other authority as soon as you can. Let them know where you are, where the attack occurred, and describe your attackers. Don’t try to stand your ground and beat up everyone if you have to fight multiple people. Find your first opportunity to leave and take it.

5. Apologize for your actions

Apologize for your actions. If you’ve done something to anger someone to the point where they want to physically assault you, there’s a chance you may have done something to provoke them. Think about your actions and apologize and walk away from the person. Try to understand things from their perspective, and make sure that your apology is genuine. Even if you don’t understand why they got mad, try to feel empathy towards their anger and diffuse the situation instead of escalating it.

For instance, if someone is yelling in your face and getting aggressive, you can say something like, “Hey, I’m sorry I spilled your drink man. It was really crowded, and I got bumped into you. I really didn’t mean to mess up your shirt. Are we cool?”
If you said something to offend someone you can apologize by saying, “I didn’t mean to offend you with my comment. I thought about it and I realized I was being ignorant. I really am sorry. Can we drop it and move on?”

6. Understand the seriousness of fighting

Understand the seriousness of fighting. Assault charges can range from a misdemeanor to a felony. If you provoke a fight and seriously injure the other person, you can be charged by your state and serve prison time. The penalties for a serious assault charge can range from a year of probation up to life in prison in some states. Fighting also risks your own health, well-being, and life. You should really avoid fighting at all costs when on the streets.

If you want to get out your aggression or you enjoy fighting, consider joining a gym that trains in mixed martial arts.
Other types of gyms that you can join to get fighting practice include Muay Thai and American boxing gyms.