View Full Version : Reality Check

08-20-2000, 02:05 AM
I've never been in a real fight before, but I have been wondering for the longest time now, what is it like in a real street fight? They show fights on tv and movies but are people so stupid that they really don't see the attack coming at them?


08-20-2000, 09:13 AM
I can't say in general how streetfights progress, but from the experience I had this summer, it did happen very fast and unexpectedly. I was walking home from a store when all of sudden I hear these guys yelling. I turned around to see two guys hooking it toward me, and before I could even begin running they began to beat the living crap out of me. I imagine they were vets at that sort of things judging from their build and power of their punches. I had absolutely no defense against them. I think the reason fights can happen so unexpectedly is because you don't realize someone has the intention to attack you until they're actually close to you.

08-20-2000, 01:08 PM
For one thing, I have never seen a real fight last as long as they do on TV. I have been in a couple fights, not too many, but all of them were over within 15 or 20 seconds. It usually happens so fast that you don't even remember what happened. I remember what I did in the last fight I was in because it was the first time I felt I had been able to use a little of what I had learned in class. But we stood there talking smack to each other for 5 minutes before and I don't recall any of that. I don't even remember why we fought in the first place.

That sucks, man. Getting jumped is no fun. But can you honestly say there was NO warning? You didn't see it coming at all? Not even a little feeling in the back of your mind or your stomach? I am not harping on you, I just firmly believe that you can predict and avoid attack by paying attention to your surroundings. That includes people's body langauge and actions. Maybe it is just me. I have always been able to feel "bad vibes", that kinda stuff. I have good instincts most of the time and when I get a real gut feeling, I follow it. The few times I didn't follow my gut I wished I had. This is one of my favorite quotes about this

In all situations
be aware, be mindful, and be
Wandering aimlessly invites attack.
But if one is attacked,
retreat three times
before retaliating.

[This message has been edited by Iron_Monkey (edited 08-21-2000).]

08-21-2000, 09:01 AM
If I would have been more aware of my surroundings I might have seen them coming earlier. I think I just got kinda stunned when I saw them charging at me and didn't know what to do. I always assumed if I was going to get jumped in the street it would be at 2am in some dark alley somewhere, not at 10 in the morning on a Sunday. The lesson I had to learn the hard way is that some thug that wants to do you in isn't going to care what time of day it is or where your at.

08-21-2000, 12:06 PM
My point is that ne'er-do-wells, thugs, hoodlums, gypsies tramps and thieves, and other assorted riff-raff look for easy targets. If you are alert and making eye contact with people, you will seem less attractive to them as a target.

08-22-2000, 03:35 PM

[This message has been edited by yungak (edited 08-25-2000).]

08-23-2000, 05:48 AM
In my experience, real fights are NOTHING like the ones on TV...with the exception that occasionally somebody will assault you with a bunch of Schwarzenegger type one-liners. Ususally THAT doesn't even happen.

On TV, the punches and kicks are so telegraphed that you could go make a sandwich before they make contact.

The real fights that I have been in, happen VERY fast. It is hard to tell what is going on alot of times because you eye sight is swirling around either because you go hit in the head, or you're getting thrown to the ground or whatever.
It makes me think that we rely WAY too much on eye sight most of the time. If we could not rely so much on eye sight but on body feel and senses...I think we could better understand our opponent's movements and perhaps evade or counter an attack. (things that make ya go "hmmmmmm...") /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

"There is only ONE martial art"

08-23-2000, 08:07 AM
Ironmonkey...Gypsies are people of Romany decent. They are an ethnic group. They are not all ne'er do wells, they are people in your community that you probably think are middle eastern or mexican. They are a minority all over the world, but have assimilated into modern life. As for fighting. I haven't had a street fight since I learned kung fu. Its always ended quickly with a lock or control and I've never had to exchange blows. When I was a know nothing it was like a cloud of fog covers you. Your fight flight hormones are going off and your adrenaline is skyrocketing. YOur lower back quakes, you get butterflies in your stomache and it's no fun at all. One person gets beaten into submission and both parties go home and tend their wounds. As for time I can't recall your sense of time kind of goes out the window when you see everything in slow mo. It depends on the strengh and skill of the fighters, but it usually never goes over a minute or so. More often than not it takes a few seconds. If you have more of an organized brawl it can take 5-10 minutes, but these are more bloody because there are spectators. Don't ask me why, but spectators = blood. Hope that helps

08-23-2000, 11:53 AM

The remark about Gypsies was a reference to a song I heard talking about Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves. I think it is an old Cher song or something....It wasn't intended to be serious...


You seem to have a problem with me. As I have already stated, It was stupid to let that incident come to blows, and I am ashamed enough of it that I do not want my teacher to know it happened. My colorful language is purely for the entertainment of people like you, who have nothing better to do than hang around insulting and trying to tear down others. Have a very pleasant day. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

08-24-2000, 10:16 PM
It's obvious that real fights are unlike TV and movie fights because in real fights flashy techniques go out the window. Not only that, but the fights happen so quickly that you might find yourself on your rear end before you realize that the other guy has pounded on you and taken you down to the ground. I don't really remember the techniques that I've used in most of my fights because they were fast and I simply reacted. It's quite different from sparring if you ask me. Nowadays I see fights in movies and I might say "That looks cool" but I'll know that it's not the same as a truly real fight. It's sad that most people that I know look at that and think that real streetfights end up that way. I'm saying this from experience, though I don't have as much as you might think.

08-25-2000, 01:22 AM
the biggest difference between RL and the dojo or movies is the chaos factor.Your senses will be altered(remember the opening scenes of "Saving Private Ryan",thats what adrenalin does to eyesight and perception).You may very well feel stiff or disconnected.Your opponent(assuming worst case here)will smash into you and grab,knee and bully you.
This is the reason so many of us recommend a base in a "simple" style like boxing or thai boxing.The simplicity of the attacks allows one in any frame of mind to execute them,and the full contact of these styles tends to significantly reduce the adrenaline factor,at least its neagtive side.
Also, a real fight may take place in a bathroom stall or moist parking lot,and you might be wearing shoes or clothing that inhibit your movement or make it easier for your opponent(s) to grab ya

08-25-2000, 01:41 PM
I spent several years working as a police officer in a small but very busy little burg which, for many reasons, was prone to a lot of violence. As a result, rarely a week (or two) would go by that we didn't find ourselves in some sort of physical confrontation with some violent moron who simply refused to get with the program. While I certainly don't claim to be an expert "street fighter" (assuming there is such a thing and, if so, who'd want to be one), I can say that I've been in a lot of honest-to-goodness violent confrontations on the street and have discussed such confrontations with 'lots of other cops (generally over a couple of beers at a park-n-ride after work). Accordingly, I suppose I have a bit of (inebriated?) insight into this topic.

First of all, I know that whenever things got crazy, the first thing that went out the window was anything that had not been internalized through a process of constant repetition and training. As a lot of you have already pointed out, in the uncontrolled environment of the street, where you really have no idea what you might be getting yourself into, it is hard not to feel a bit overwhelmed by the situation itself. The adrenalin starts to flow, visual acuity and overall awareness begins to narrow and center on your opponent(s) and the heart rate jumps. When this happens, you tend to lose some of your coordination and mental quickness, as well as some of your confidence. Hence, although I was aware of a lot of different techniques for controlling and neutralizing bad guys, I always, always, always found myself reverting to what I knew best — the simple techniques that were easy to remember, quick to execute, and hard to screw up.

I'm not sure who it was, but one of y'all mentioned that things get pretty chaotic. I agree. You know, as much as I love watching corny-ass martial arts flicks and the like, the fights I've been in simply never looked anything like the astonishingly well choreographed fight scenes from any of these movies. In reality, things "turn to brown" very quickly, the situation deteriorates, and before you know it the battle is on. What passed for form at the dojo becomes flowery impracticality in a real life encounter. I think it's good to know this going in. If you don't expect to look like you're in a fight scene from an episode of the Green Hornet, you won't question your ability when you realize that your particular fight scene looks more like the lady mud wrestling matches on dish TV (shot live from the "World Famous Bahama Mammas" in Reno, Nevada!).

Similarly, while fights tend to end pretty quickly, it's rarely the case that the fight ends with one or two punches. Every confrontation is different, of course, but I've got to say that I agree with those who say that a grand majority of fights end-up on the ground. The fact is that we do not generally choose who we're going to have to fight, and more often than not, the guy is going to be as big or bigger than you. For whatever reason, even if you are able to land a couple of good punches or kicks on the guy, his adrenalin is flowing to the extent that he will inevitably resort to swinging like a wild man and then try to take you down. Chances are, he will likely land a couple of glancing blows on you and will ultimately succeed at grabbing your clothes, hair, etc. and cause you to go to the ground with him. And even if he doesn't take you down, the fight is likely to go to some sort of clinch at some point in the fight. The bottom line is that it's just natural for an otherwise unskilled ass to grab on to you as soon as you give him any hint that you know what you're doing with your hands and feet. Thus, I found that some of the most practical defensive tactics training I ever received as a cop was that which focused on controlling the fight (and keeping my gun!) up close. While I commend anyone who takes the time to learn any fighting art well, I think you do yourself a huge diservice when you train yourself to be a complete ass-kicker on your feet only to be embarrassed if and when the fight goes to the ground.

Also, in my experience, when it seemed clear that a fight was imminent, I always felt that things went a lot better when I took the initiative. That is to say that when the bad guy refused to respond to all efforts at reason, I would simply take the first shot, and I would go all out to the extent it was necessary to subdue the idiot. I know this kinda' flies in the face of a lot of well-intentioned dojo doctrine (not to mention the lessons our mothers taught us about never starting fights); nevertheless, cops are trained that by taking the initiative, it is easier to control many aspects of any one particular confrontation. For whatever reason, it seems that people who pick fights generally don't expect the person they're picking the fight with to come at them first, and come at them hard. And in the case of the half-drunk idiot who simply thinks he's a bad ass, it's often enough simply to overwhelm him with a hard hitting first strike before he ducks and runs or simply gives in — a good outcome in any thinking person's book. Thus, it pays to put your "warface" on as soon as possible and, if it looks like there's no reasonable way out of it, accept that you are going to have to get it on and just go for it.

Finally, of all the fights I've been in as a cop, I can say that one thing that I always had going for me was the fact that I knew in my heart of hearts that I was on the moral high road, while they, on the other hand, knew that fighting a cop could never turn out good, even if they beat my ass. Although I could never hope to prove it, I have always suspected that this psychological advantage is rooted in a sense of moral superiority (real or perceived) which helps allay a lot of the natural inhibitions most of us have about getting into physical confrontations. I believe it has just the opposite effect on the bad guy. Along with having to worry about the physical consequences of the fight, the bad guy — even if to only a slight degree — has to worry about the potential criminal and civil consequences as well. In my view, knowing you are "in the right" goes a long way toward winning the battle.

Okay, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Take it for what it's worth.

08-26-2000, 04:58 AM
I certainly agree with you about people ,in general,holding back some when they fight a cop.Ive seen thisseveral times,and,like you said,even beating up a cop means you lose in the long run(and will probably get a real whooping once you are arressted,not legal but a natural human reaction,and one that is hard to prosecute or prove).The biggest danger of this that I see,Mulva,and Im sure youve seen this with inexperienced police,is that a lawman may forget this holding back factor and get surprised and overwhelmed,or,more likely for newbie cops,get in a bar fight and get pounded when hes out of uniform.I had to fight an off duty cop once as a bouncer,and despite his formidible reputation I took him down pretty easy,and I believe it was because of this(not knowing he was acop until afterwards,I went all out on him and he was way overconfident.He wasnt a cop for long after that either,bad apples have a way of getting weeded out of good departments).
Also, Mulva,we are in total agreement on the first strike issue.If violence is unavoidable(this is much more rare for the civilian than for the officer),then youd be best to be the one to start it.Thx for a good post.

08-26-2000, 11:38 AM
Jimmy's response reminds me of something I forgot to include in my post. When I was working on the street, we did a lot of bar checks. As a result, we got to know a lot of the bouncers at the local watering holes and clubs. Talking to these guys, I noticed that a lot of them carried themselves similarly to the way cops do — i.e., with a sense of authority and a kind of passive "don't screw with me" appearance. Looking like bad asses went a long way to keeping them out of a lot of scrapes. Law enforcement trainers consider this something akin to "omnipresence." It's amazing how many altercations you can avoid simply by carrying yourself as if you know how to take care of business. (Let me hear an "amen," Jimmy.) Now I know that there are a few guys out there who simply want to take on the bouncer (or cop, or big guy, etc.) simply for the challenge of it, or because they have a problem with authority. And I'm not saying you should walk around like you're Frank Shamrock (‘cause, admit it, few of us even come close) or some jerk with a chip on his shoulder. Nevertheless, if you walk like a giant, people tend to treat you like one — even if you're not. Don't tell anyone, but I've been getting away with it since grade school.


08-27-2000, 08:51 AM
First I will admit that I have a biased opinion on this cop subject because of past experience (Not very Zen-like, but hell...)
I believe, while there are some well-intentioned police who are in it to help, the majority of police I have dealt with have been jack-booted thugs on a power trip. They tend to over-react before anything has even happened. I understand that it is a dangerous job and they are scared sometimes, but it does not justify some of the things I have seen. I have had excessive force used against me only twice, but I have seen it many times. My best friend was beaten and thrown in jail because he was playing hacky-sack and the hacky rolled into the street. A van rolled up, full of Narcs, and they were told to leave, even though they were in front of his residence. My friend tried to explain this to this, and the officer got beligerant. As my friend was trying to get his badge number, he was taken down by 5 cops.........Another incident at a concert here ended with 14 (I counted) cops on one kid and his girlfriend. How the hell does it take 14 cops to get control of one kid who is not even resisting? He had been trying to leave when he was accosted by an officer, who started taunting him and pushing him with his chest. We saw the whole thing from where we were, and when we started making fun of the cops, saying how brave they were for so many to take on one kid, we were threatened also. Last time I checked, I had a right to say anything except threaten an officer's life. Of course we did shut up, because we knew they would make up some bull**** story in order to charge us with something and who is going to be believed, the young punk kid, or the fine, upstanding policeman? I know one or two cops personally, and I can respect an individual, but in general I think the police are Gestapo. They use their power to throw their weight around and they lie to cover up for eachother. Pardon my language, but **** the Police. You should've seen what went down at the WTO demonstrations in Seattle. Pigs on Parade...........

[This message has been edited by Iron_Monkey (edited 08-27-2000).]

08-27-2000, 09:42 AM
Iron ,what youre saying is legimate but beside the point.I will address this however.
When you have a system that declares a "drug war",when you train street cops to be soldiers,when you confiscate property and make moral choices about what substances people put in their bodies and enforce these with criminal penalties that can mark a person for life,you will get police that behave in the manner you have described.Dont blame the police though,blame your legislators !They make the laws,they set the penalties,they issue directives to the police and allow the incidents you describe.Register to vote,get active,and go****** speak up in public when discussion of these issues comes up.Remember,the Seattle police were TOLD to bust up the protesters,they didnt all on their own decide to do it.
As for 14 on 1,well, that sounds like a classic case of poorly trained officers.On the other side of the coin,Ive never been a lawman,but I was a bouncer for many years in some of the worst crap holes youll find in the South.Its hard to describe the attitude one develops when you barely escape with your life and then are accused of brutality .I fought a crack head once(he was beating his girl up in my bar),and we ended up rolling down some stairs ina clinch.He landed on bottom(with a little help) and was knocked out.When he woke up a minute later,not only did he try to fight me again but his girlfrind attacked me.A cop buddy of mine was shot in the back by a 13 year old girl during a routine traffic stop.I was sued after 4 guys jumped me,a riot ensued(I had great back up,they got there to help me fast),and two of the guys that attcked me got seriously hurt in the fight,and IM the one who got sued.If you deal with cops,be polite,say yes sir and no sir,and realize that maybe,just maybe,the guy has been through things that most people will never face.If he (she) wants to cuff you,then let them do it,dont even passively resist or he will bust your ass and ,believe it or not ,you deserve it.I cant tell you how many major fights start with passive resistence,then an onlooker gets involved,and before you know it its you and your crew against a crowd.If in doubt take em out.
Im sorry to come off so harsh,and I hate police brutality more than most do,but a lot of what people think is brutality is what has to be done to survive.The time to question the cops is after the incident,with a lawyer,in a court of law.
Mulva,I dont think that the "look"(youre dead on right about how useful it is ,BTW) can be faked,I think its a side effect of 1)physical confidence,usually from experience and 2) awareness of ones surroundings.Most civilans live in a cloud,most "combat professionals" pay close attention to their enviroment.Even now man,not having bounced for 4 years,I still cant be in a bar or crowd without constantly scanning and evaluating.I still sit with my back to a wall if I can.Thank goodness I was never a lawman,Im sure Id be a lot worse /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

08-27-2000, 03:05 PM
Jimmy23: Excellent post--this from a former US Marine MP.
Monkey: I'm sorry that you feel that way about the police. I have a feeling that you live in a bad neighborhood; these tend to have a pretty crappy talent pool from which to draw their officers, and even the good ones get hassled so much that it interferes with the performance of their duties.
Follow Jimmy's advice about dealing with cops; make sure that the bad apples get pointed out to the precinct, but don't hassle a guy who's trying to do his job. Especially when his job is keeping you safe.

Jason C. Diederich
Pax Nobiscum

08-27-2000, 03:44 PM
A friend of mine tapped an officer on the shoulder to get his attention, and the next thing he knew, he was on the ground with a knee in the back of his neck. That was in Seattle. And yes, the cops were told to break it up, but they were not told to beat people with riot batons. I had another friend who was tackled from behind without any warning for something he didn't do. The kid had a broken arm. What kind of ***** attacks a guy with a broken arm? I personally was not beaten, but I was cuffed and thrown around and had my arm wrenched out of my socket (almost). They also let a BIG German Shepard get a little too close for comfort. I was minding my own business, and supposedly there was a gang fight or something in the area. I was walking to a friend's house and a K-9 unit with 2 officers stopped and got out, hands on their guns. They started asking me questions like "Where are you going" things like that. They wanted to see ID and I asked them why. Then they wanted to search me. I told them " No, I'm walking to a friends house." I informed them of my right to use a public sidewalk without being harrassed and I started walking away. They tackled me, and threw cuffs on me. By the time that was over I figured, what the hell, so I started talking **** to them. Calling them f*cking pigs and the like. I sat there for 30 minutes, until they could bring a witness down, only to tell them I wasn't involved. Then they let me go. No apology, no anything. I continued to talk **** to them as I was walking away.

I am active as far as politics go. This will be the first year I will vote (although I don't believe it makes a **** bit of difference) and most of my experience with out-of-control police has been with demonstrations. I protest and write letters about things I feel need changing.

You can't fight cops in the courts. The system is biased in the cop's favor. By the time anything gets to court, they have lied and covered up and shaded the truth so much that you can't get anywhere. BTW the so-called "Drug War" is complete bull****, but that is for another time......

Bouncers are different from police. Less power, but you guys can be twice as mean. I know, I've seen Roadhouse /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif No, not really. You guys are working for a private company and are not responsible for the good of the people. You are responsible for the property you are protecting. That sucks to get sued for something where you were in the right, but I have beef with cops, not bouncers. I know a girl who does security at a club out here. Between Hung Gar and longfist she has something like 6 years of experience and she take drunk men 3 times her size out by their ears.

I dunno. Maybe if I was more Buddha-like, and would take each cop as just a person, then I would stop setting myself up for confrontations with them. I guess it boils donw to the fact that respect is earned, not given, and with the exception of a few, no cop has ever earned mine..........

08-27-2000, 04:25 PM
Instead of the big post I was planning, I'll keep this short (I feel guilty for continuing a conversation this far off topic).
If a K-9 unit stopped you on the street, then you probably matched the description of a suspect in a recent crime in the area (something violent). Unfortunately, you do NOT have the right to walk down a public sidewalk unmolested by police, if they can articulately state what made them suspicious enough about you to warrant stopping you.

This is because criminals don't wear signs.

Next time, try cooperating. Put your hands in the air and say "Search me, I got nothin' to hide" (I've been searched several times myself--WHILE I was a cop). They should be done in two minutes (if you aren't the guy they're looking for). If you feel that something was excessive, take it up at the precinct. No satisfaction there? If you have an honest complaint of bad cops, try a lawyer. Believe me, you will find a whole LIST of people in the legal system who are WAITING to bust a bad cop.
And, if you can give me examples of how the legal system is weighted in FAVOR of the police, I'd love to hear 'em. They'd probably make my day (no pun intended): you can catch me at kenshi@onebox.com

Jason C. Diederich
Pax Nobiscum

08-28-2000, 01:00 PM
You are probably right. It would have been easier to cooperate with them. I will admit I have a general ditrust and dislike for cops and it interferes with my judgement.
I was ****ed because because they were supposed to be looking for suspects from a GANG FIGHT. Believe me, I look in no way like a "gansta". I had blue hair at the time, for god's sake........

Oh yeah, and about the courts being in favor of the police, try asking my friend with the broken arm. He was tackled because the cops thought he was starting a fight. In truth he had been just watching but had already started walking away when he was tackled with out any warning from behind. In the process of his arrest he was trying to defend himself against five of them and hit one officer with his cast. So now he is being charged with aggravated assault for the original fight he DIDN'T start and assault on a police officer. What is funny about the whole thing is, he is a high profile Animal Rights activist, which the gang task forces here are trying to weed out before the Olympics. They consider them "terrorists"........it's complete crap.....

09-02-2000, 10:09 PM
Ya win some ,Ya lose some.It,s no fun
Don,t think ,only act,and nothing fancy.
Fear is your ally once you learn to control it. lastly all bullies are cowards.


Rolling Elbow
09-02-2000, 11:07 PM
Hit anything you can when the attack comes....arms, hands, bicep, it all hurts...you will most likely get hit so keep moving so that the impact is absorbed somewhat. Hit with elbows and knees, forget the high kicks or defense #6 from a grab that you learnt in class...decide once they come at you that you are going to F#%k them up. Hell even if you are outmatched and have no choice, don't think that by being passive you will get it any less. Bottom line, if they wanna knock yer block off they'll come at you. You have to decide that you have no choice and the sooner you throw something in or make contact against their bodies, keep going and look for openings. It ain't like the movies, if you block a punch the guy isn't gonna sit there and let you do a spinning Norris back kick! lol, stay grounded as trouble makers tend to get excited and bounce around allot. power comesfrom the ground. As they will usually try to smack your face in or tackle you, just get comfortable o resoponding to any type of punch (in terms of how you distribute weight) and how to drop your center of gravity if they go for the legs...very general, but you can't rpedict what someone will do in a fight so expect to get hit and minimize the pain of his/her attack. That's it i guess... I mean come on, there is no way Mr. Miyagi could have taken out all the Cobras in the bathroom at the highschool dance no?! They were Cobras, well trained at that too!!!