If You Consider Fighting Fair, Then You Probably Shouldn’t Fight
by Keith Pascal
Bruce Lee spread the idea about there being “no such thing as a fair fight.”
The definition of that phrase has come to mean that if you really and truly have to defend yourself, then all rules get thrown out the door.
It’s a question of survival, and you do what it takes to come out of the altercation as safe and sound as possible.
Sounds reasonable, right?
Well, this past week, not only did I read a question about unfair fighting on Quora, but a subscriber wrote in and asked me for examples of fair and unfair fighting.
Rather than providing you with the standard, and probably boring,
definition of unfair fighting as “kicking him in the groin,” I’d like to create two scenarios:
1) Someone is Picking It with My Wife
Let’s say, at some venue, some guy is engaging, not in a good way, with my significant other.
If it’s at the point where I’d calmly ask Kate if she needed assistance, then I have not switched into “dirty fighting mode.”
If I can get her to walk away, then we leave the dude.
If we have to keep talking, then I’m NOT fighting, and I certainly wouldn’t haul off and hit the guy.
We’re just talking.
If the guy asks me to “take it outside for a fair fight,” then there is an almost 100% chance that I WON’T take it outside for a fair fight.
If we’re in discussion mode, then I’m not actively/physically defending myself or my loved one.
No need to allow him to verbally escalate the situation.
It takes the guy starting to physically aggress for me to respond … and then all rules are off. I’d fight dirty and quick.
In fact, I don’t consider what’s dirty or not; I simply respond with the most efficient “answer” possible.
But let’s back up a minute …
Remember how the dude was arguing with your/my wife?
What if, instead of only talking, he got rough with her as you approached?
What if he hit her or slapped her?
Then the rules “went” out the door early!!
I mean all rules and all the way out the door!
I wouldn’t even get his attention, first…
I’d approach from behind, and deal with him … where he wouldn’t know what hit him.
No warning! No speeches before the fight, like in the movies!
I have all sorts of options:
- kicking him in the groin from behind
- collapsing him down with an arm around his neck
- a solid kick to the side of the knee
- a hair pull combined with a strike to a vulnerable area
You get the idea.
No rules. No fair fighting.
Goal = Protect my lady at all costs
2) After a Street Festival
Imagine that you and your significant other are walking back to your car after a big street festival, late at night.
You are confronted by a small gang of “thugs.”
They are not being nice, and you are pretty sure that you can’t talk your way out of this one.
Well, then …
I’d start thinking efficient self-defense from the get-go.
The very concept of there being some “set of rules” that we have to stick to doesn’t even enter my mind.
Not for one instant.
And just to take this scenario in an interesting direction…
Say there were five guys (no burger and fries); four of them are concentrating on one of you, and one is dealing with the other.
Maybe four of them are focused on me, while one guy is supposed to detain “the little lady.”
Or maybe the group is interested in my wife, and one dude has the boring task of keeping me out of the action.
Either way, the one of us dealing with one guy, would drop him as quickly as possible …
(Can you say eye jab? Popping the groin? Punching the throat?)
And then move on to help the other … in the most unfair ways possible.
Remember the element of “unfair surprise” from the first scenario?
Any thoughts of fair fighting went out the door the instant you had to deal with multiple assailants.
By the very definition of many attacking few, they have already disregarded any thoughts of fairness.
Note: And even one person attacking me has discarded his “rule card” by getting physical in the first place.
From behind … kicking low, maybe on the side of the knee again, or the achilles tendon, or into the crotch.
If I can pick up a makeshift weapon, then I’m using it … again, with the element of surprise.
If I had a stick, for example, I’d be whacking backs of knees, shins, faces, ears, knuckles … whatever.
One or two hits to each attacker, and then move on to the next.
Our ultimate goal is to get to safety. Or one might say that we’d want “to safely get to safety.”
What I’m trying to say is that if I’m thinking of fighting fairly, in self-defense, then I would most likely choose not to fight.
If I have to fight… if I’m forced into it … if there is no chance to talk or leave … then I will fight.
And to me, “fight” means no rules.
Final Self-Defense Thought
I am good at avoiding fights.
You might not be as talented at NOT fighting.
Because of this, and the ramifications of witnesses telling what you just did, I can’t recommend my defense actions for you.
There can be legal consequences even in defending yourself.
I can advise that you think about all of this now, before you have to defend yourself … and your loved one.
P.S. If you want to further define when you would and wouldn’t fight, and if you want efficient, no-rules ways of dealing with attackers, then check out How to End the Fight with One Hit.