Before we even kick this blog post off, fights are scary and unpredictable. The human body is pretty fragile and no matter how great your technique is or how great your timing is – there is always someone out there who can whoop your butt! With that being said, try to avoid fights at all cost. The only time it is a good idea to fight is if you must defend yourself from preeminent danger. [Related: 7 Deadly Sins of Street Fights]
Targets: This is especially important for those who have little to no fighting experience and find themselves up against someone stronger and running away is not an option. Though you may see it all of the time in the movies, do NOT strike someone in the abdomen. If they are bigger and stronger, you will not knock the wind out of them. Most people have a generous amount of muscle and fat to power through a tummy strike. Instead, go for eyeballs, throat, kidneys, and groin. Random fact: It only takes 5lbs. of force to rip an ear so get to tuggin’!
Don’t be there: Maybe you belong to a boxing or martial arts gym, so you might know something about timing. In the case of a fight, stay calm and be extremely attentive. One thing that could save you from injury or greater harm is to be mindful enough to move out of the way from big strikes from someone stronger than you. This does require some skill in timing, but a dodge-and-run move can go along way too. [Related: Improve Your Timing]
Throat punch: As mentioned before, the throat is a great target. When you throw a punch at the throat, imagine yourself punching through the throat and if possible, run away immediately after doing so.
No ground fighting: Unless you are trained in BJJ or some other grappling combat sport, do whatever it takes to stay off of the ground. A larger and stronger opponent can crush you on top. Literally. Especially if you find yourself on a hard surface like asphalt or cement. This is where a groin strike, ear rip, bite, or eye gouge can save you from a terrible ground fight.
Know how to take a hit: Mike Tyson once famously said, “everyone has a plan until they get hit.” Don’t be so shocked by the pain or discomfort that accompanies a hit that you cease to function in a self-defense or fight scenario. This does not mean that you should go around looking for fights – NEVER be that guy or gal! The best way to prepare for a hit is through training. Find a martial arts, Muay Thai, or boxing instructor in your area who emphasizes technique + timing and encourages sparring. In sparring, though you will have protective gear on, it will prepare you for what it feels like to sustain an impact.
If you live in Northern Virginia, we hope to see you around at the gym. Our Chief Instructor trains law enforcement in addition to students at T.A.G. Muay Thai on self-defense. Our gym is great for all ages! Not in the neighborhood? Check out beginner Muay Thai techniques on Youtube.