Fighting and Its Consequences


  • What happens if you are in a fight or altercation (in a social violence context)

1. Pre-fight

  • There is a ritual people go through before a fight starts. Learn these signs so as to avoid and deescalate
  • Posturing: the person will act in certain ways to assert dominance and to signal he is ready to rumble
    • Shouting, cursing, pacing around.
    • Throwing out insults to puff himself up and to reduce you in his and other people’s eyes.
    • Dropping the head to protect the neck and to prepare for aggression. 
  • The purpose here is to intimidate the other person and is done unconsciously.
  • If the person takes a stance toward you, beware! They are ready to fight.
  • Steps of the pre-fighting stage:
    • Verbal arguments and posturing and intimidation
      • Psyching self up for the fight
    • More posturing and angling to intimidate.
    • Getting up in the person’s face and they are ready to fight.
      • If you are at this phase, you need to get out immediately.
    • The shove or push.
      • The fight has begun at this point and you cannot get out of the fight scenario
  • You want to do all you can to defuse and deescalate the situation during the pre-fight stage!

2. Physical confrontation

  • At this stage, the fight is on and it is near impossible to avoid violence and physical harm
  • Even if you “win” the fight, you will be hurt to some degree.
  • The point to all this material is to AVOID getting to this point.
  • Fighting is illegal, and you can get hurt and get into legal trouble, so you want to avoid fighting at all costs. 
  • Sometimes, you may have done all that you can to avoid the situation and you find yourself in a fight, what are some tips to help you in this situation:
    • Most likely, your attacker is experienced in fighting and is a violent person.
    • Take a good defensive stance with one foot forward (take a step back with your right, for example) and put up a guard.
    • Try to keep your wits about you during this fight time.
      • Your hot center of the brain is activated and you will be in instinct mode.
      • Try to be rational and get out if you can.
    • Strike the attacker with open handed strikes 
      • Palm heal and shuto strikes.
      • Punching a person can break your hand
      • Open hand strikes allow for gripping and holding and controlling the person.
    • Do not go down to the ground on purpose
      • Other people may start attacking you as well.
      • When on the ground, you focus only on that one person and you lose sight of other threats around you.
      • Sometimes the person takes you down and then you must fight on the ground.
    • Do not show off
      • Do what you need to do and stop.
      • Strike the person, knock them down, and then step away with your hands up saying you don’t want to fight.
      • Stop fighting as soon as you can so as not to further injure the person because that will get you in further trouble with the law.
      • Think about what other witnesses are seeing: do they see you as showing off and being a jerk or do they see you as trying to avoid the fight and to stop fighting as soon as possible. 

3. Health and legal considerations of violence

  • Use of force for self-protection law in PA.
  • Avoid fighting at all cost.
  • Fighting is illegal and people get hurt.
  • This is a litigious society and people will sue you if you hurt them in a fight.
  • You can also go to jail for fighting, and jails are not where you want to be
    • Very dangerous place.
  • Anytime you are in a fight, you risk serious injury and even death.
  • Fighting affects more than just yourself and the other person.
    • You can get so injured that you cannot care for yourself or provide for those who depend upon you. 
    • You can hurt or kill the other person and affect those who rely upon him. 
  • Avoid fighting at all costs.