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The Principled Fighter.....

posted May 25, 2011, 5:27 AM by Robb Buckland   [ updated Jun 1, 2011, 7:58 AM ]
    A streetfighter placed in a ring with an experienced MMA fighter will lose the “match ”  because the fight comes down to conditioning, training, and following the rules. On the other hand, an experienced streetfighter in his element will often win because the fight now comes down to:
  • Surprise (deception and distraction)
                                                                     A well placed attack can easily defeat conditioning and training. A well trained ground-fighter hasn’t trained for a vicious eye-gouge.


  • Overwhelm (disruption)

                                                   forward blitz that gets him peddling backwards


  • Violence of Action (destruction)

                                                             using high damage potential strikes at high value targets.

    Once your work is done, you’ll want to get out of the area as quickly as possible. Don’t wait for him to recover ... don’t wait for his buddies to show up... and don’t wait for emotionally “jacked up” bystanders to attack you. Do what you gotta do, then leave the area as quickly as possible.

1.Combat Awareness
  Know when a fight is imminent. It’s a skill that few beginners seem to possess as the average person doesn’t get in a lot of fights. It’s common to simply “deny” the obvious danger and ignore the flashing red signals your 'spider sense' sends you when your intuition is correct. If the fight is imminent this kind of denial can place you in a bad spot. Avoid this blinding denial so you can make “total commitment” to flight or fight. The key to combat awareness is to recognize (and not suppress) your own intuition telling you that a fight is imminent. The most powerful tool in your fight arsenal is your BRAIN – listen to it. Keep your head up, eyes open, and always aware of what’s going on around you.
2.Preemptive Attack (Hit First)
 . A military commander will tell you, the element of surprise can often be the most important tool. It has allowed small bands of fighters to wipe out entrenched armies (remember Pearl Harbor... or D-day?). Okay... what do armies have to do with you? Well – whether you’re fighting in an army or in a back alley – one principle is the same -- the human factor.

The military machines are simply tools – the actual fighting is between people. Surprising your opponent by attacking first is the great equalizer for a weaker opponent and can often mean a quick victory.

You can use deception, distraction, or just immediate action to get the job done. Decisiveness is the key here as your objective is to “strategically end the threat”. Notice I didn’t say that your goal is to “beat someone up”. Your goal is to END the fight – not participate in it.

Unfortunately there’s often a strong emotional desire to “teach him a lesson”. I am particularly susceptible to this romanticized version because I started this martial arts journey as a little boy who used to get beat up on the bus. This type of thinking goes against your primary goal – to end the threat. Avoid the romantic idea that you will endure a long courageous battle to emerge the victorious gladiator who dramatically wipes away a drop of blood from the corner of your mouth while swooning women throw roses at your feet.

Simply remove the threat and get the hell out.
I always wish I used a classic quote before I layed out an agressor, woulda coulda shoulda......
3.Sustained continued attack
   This means fighting without pause – a forward pressure blitz.  It comes from the German word “blitzkrieg” and it accounts for the wild success that the Nazis had early on in the war. Essentially the fighting style consists of concentrating your forces on a small vulnerable area then attacking all out without stopping. As a result of the blitz, the Germans were easily able to punch a hole in the enemy’s lines, then defeat their divided forces.

Of course it’s unlikely you’ll be fighting armies of men, but the concept is the same. Concentrate your efforts at your opponent’s weakest areas – then stay with it. Don’t stop until the job is done.

 Rookies tend to stop and admire their work. Joe Lewis called this' taking a picture' he  also refers to this as 'hang time' . The act of lingering on you opponents firing line without staying busy is a critical mistake.Remember my favorite saying, 'Gaps in your offence are the key to your defence' . Don't commit the sin of “stop and assess”.. Keep the pressure on until you END the fight or escape Stay busy always be moving or firing.. Don’t stop and let him regain his composure
4.Target Awareness 
 This is a way of overcoming (not “reducing”, or “ignoring”, or “managing”) your fear by focusing on exposed targets. This gives you the kind of positive mental traction to constructively engage your thoughts.
Bomber pilots flying through heavy flak, for example, talk about being able to overcome their fear of death by simply focusing on the mission and the target. And when asked about a certain courageous act, combat soldiers often later recount that they were simply “trying to get the job done”, and were not trying to be heroic. This is “external focus”.  
   If you can simply look at your opponent as a series of multiple targets, it will keep you from “freezing” and losing focus. Ignore the insults from the emotionally hijacked aggresser and keep your attention on open targets. If you’re not skilled with an arsenal of fight techniques, then just use violence of action  to attack the most vulnerable targets.

  A  simple hammerfist blow to the side of the neck will end the fight instantly. The technique isn't pretty -- and I doubt you’d see Steven Segal performing this in his next Hollywood movie – but the fighter who  clearly focuses on a target and uses violence of action, and the willingness to employ any means at his disposal to attack that target will emerge victorious in a street altercation. 

  After reviewing countless videos,books and doing post-action assessments, most real street fights look like a haphazard tangle of flailing arms – with fighters leaving multiple targets exposed. Kicking – which can be one of the most effective techniques – is rarely used (until someone falls to the ground). I'll talk about  specific techniques in class - but target awareness is the key. Do not spend your precious seconds trying to manage your fear. Recall a specific karate chop movement from a form or bunkai or any other type of “internal” focus.

The clever fighter focuses his attention outward.


“I have never advocated war except as a means to peace.”                Ulysses S. Grant