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5 Simple Self Defense Strategies that Will Save Your Life in Any Fight

Updated on August 17, 2011

Learn to Fight: the dirty secrets hardcore street-fighters know that will save your life in a fight

1. The number one secret to fighting and winning is knowing when the fight has started.

Okay this seems silly… the fight starts when you square off with the guy or when someone throws the first punch. WRONG!

The fight starts several seconds before the first punch is thrown. If you ask someone who has been in a lot of fights they will tell you there are several things to look for to know when the fight is on.

- Listen to your gut. I haven’t been in a lot of fights, but right before the ones I have been in my gut told me something was wrong a few seconds before the first punch.

Your body will tell you this long before you think it. Your fight or flight response is there for a reason and it works remarkably well. When you get that feeling take action (if you have never been in a fight before you will immediately recognize it now that you know about it).

- He gets suddenly quiet. You’re in an argument or cussing match with a guy and he suddenly gets quiet and looks away. He is about to throw a right haymaker at your chin I can almost guarantee it.

He is getting quiet because he is focusing on striking you, and he is looking away to distract you (the most surprising things of all is that he is probably doing this subconsciously).

If you see this kind of behavior you have two options: punch him before he punches you, or get the hell out of there.

-Target Fixation: if you are in a confrontation with a guy and he changes from looking you in the eye to staring at your chin or somewhere else on your body he is fixated on a target (your body).

He is taking aim and psyching himself up to strike. You should do the same as above, hit first or get the hell out.

So you know the three top way to recognize when a fight has started… great… now what?

Well statistics show that the guy who hits first is most likely going to win a fight.

2. The second most important secret to winning a fight, hitting first.

Now that you know the fight has started before he does you have a great advantage, you can hit first and dramatically raise your chances of winning. You just gained the advantage of surprise.

Eye Gouge
Eye Gouge

3. The third secret is to aim for destruction.

The key to making the second advantage (hitting first) matter is choosing a strike that will inflict a lot of damage.

You have a lot of choices here, so you’ll have to use the best one for the situation. Some of the choices are: eye jabs, strike to the neck, knee to the genitals, punch to the jaw, etc.

Whatever you chose do it like you mean it and follow it up with more strikes immediately (don’t stand back to assess the damage or admire your work).

Take advantage of the psychological aspect of the fight. Show him that you have a total disregard for his well being. Thinking that your opponent wants to jab you in the eye can take the fight out of an attacker real quick.

Don't Become A Victim of a 'Ground and Pound' Stay on Your Feet
Don't Become A Victim of a 'Ground and Pound' Stay on Your Feet

4. The forth secret is to never go to the ground.

I hear people talking up their ground fighting techniques all the time, or quoting the statistic that most fight end up on the ground. I’ve got three big problems with this.

Number one: you aren’t in a dojo or ring (with a padded floor), you are on asphalt or concrete where your assailant can slam your head a couple times and you are out (dead or unconscious).

Two: going to the ground allows bystanders (aka his friends) to kick you and you have very little ability to block this.

Three: this statistic is based on police confrontations where the officer’s job is to take the suspect into custody, usually by pinning him on the ground then cuffing him (we’ve all seen the show COPS). In a real street fight ‘someone’ not the ‘fight’ almost always ends up on the ground (your number one job is to make sure this isn’t you).

For a more thorough explanation of this principle check out my blog post on this fight myth.

5. Secret number five is real simple get the hell out.

This doesn’t need much explanation, after the fight is over (aka the threat is neutralized) get away as quickly as possible.

You never know is his friends are going to suddenly jump you or more buddies are running around the corner, or some good Samaritan bystander mistakes you for the attacker and takes you down while you are distracted (believe it or not this does happen).

When is self defense appropriate?

Okay so now that you are leaps and bounds ahead of most people in understanding how to recognize, win, and escape from a dangerous situation we’ve got to talk about when to use this stuff.

But before I go on I want to make it very clear that this is not legal advice and I am not an attorney. Each state and county has its own laws on self defense and it is up to you to find out those laws.

These are not the techniques you use if your brother in law is a little too drunk at the family picnic. These are not techniques to use if you and your buddy get into a scuffle. These are techniques to use in a life threatening situation where you or a loved one is in eminent danger.

Also, don’t get too cocky after reading this. Although I really hope you have learned something valuable from this article, it is not a complete fighting system.

If you want to find out more about how to identify and win a fight, how to protect yourself from the three types of attackers (there is a difference and you’ll want to know which you are facing), and develop an arsenal of devastating striking techniques, check out my web site or stay tuned into my blog at

Stay Smart and Stay Safe,

Bob Pierce



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