The average person thinks street fighting is for idiots (and they are probably correct in that assumption). If you end up in a street fight, make sure you’re not an idiot. Check your behavior against this list.
Sloth: Giving up the initiative
Question: What do chess players know about combat that most street fighters never learned? Answer: Never give up the initiative.
In the game of chess, if you keep your opponent reacting to your moves, never giving him a chance to gain the initiative, you trap him in an ever-tightening grip until he strangles to death.
With fighting, it’s the same. Keep him reacting instead of acting, and he won’t be a threat to you.
Pride: PosturingYou can picture it: two guys getting up the nerve to fight, both sticking out their chests, holding out their arms, flaring their lats, jutting out their chins…
This is pre-fight posturing, and it’s the human equivalent of a frightened housecat that gets all puffed up, turning sideways to make itself look as large and threatening as possible.
When someone is posturing at you, you’re already in a fight; it’s just a question of who throws the first punch. If you already know you’re not going to back down, don’t wait for him to stop posturing, seize the initiative and start the fight on your own terms.
Envy: Starting a fight
In the game of Texas hold-’em poker, the last opportunity to bet is called betting on the river. Good players have a rule: they never do this unless they are sure they have the best hand. Bad players who break this rule find it hard to win because the only players who will call their bet are the players who have unbeatable hands.
When you go around trying to pick fights with people, it might make you feel like a tough guy for a while, because most sensible people will turn you down and walk away. But picking fights is like betting on the river, sooner or later someone will call your bluff and you can bet they’ll be a good fighter who sized you up and thinks he can spank you like a red-headed stepchild.
Wrath: Losing itHave you seen a James Bond movie lately?
James Bond is always in control of his emotions. Even when he’s being lowered by his feet into a tank full of hungry sharks, he has something funny to say about it.
James Bond might encounter some snags and roadblocks, but it’s never because he lost his cool.
Be like James Bond. He would never lose it and then start swinging. He understands that fighting is only one tactic in the war of control and dominance over whoever stands in his way.
James Bond never regrets anything he does. Don’t spazz out and start fighting because you’ll end up regretting the legal and social consequences of losing your cool.
Greed: Not knowing when to quit
Everyone knows that street fighting is an easy way to end up in the hospital.
Fewer folks think about the fact that it’s potentially worth a prison sentence too, if you let things get out of hand.
The next time some pompous MMA instructor teaches you that the best thing to do in a street fight is to take somebody down and ground and pound him, take a moment to consider the ramifications.
“Where the plaintiff voluntarily engages in a fight with defendant for the sake of fighting and not as a means of self-defense, the plaintiff may not recover for an assault or battery unless the defendant beat the plaintiff excessively or used unreasonable force. If two people voluntarily enter a brawl, it is unlikely that either will be able to sue the other. However, if one falls, and the other takes advantage of the situation by kicking him and causing injury, that act may well be considered to be an excessive use of force which would support a cause of action.” – Definition of Mutual Combat
Mutual combat can get you charged with a crime, but in most cases, you’ll be given a slap on the wrist (so to speak). But when you let your greed get the better of you and you land one punch too many, you may just buy yourself three years in a cage.
Gluttony: Fighting because you love the rush
Winning fights is addictive.
Fighting should be a means to an end. When it becomes an end in and of itself, you have a problem.
“The thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die.” Kierkegaard
If you really love street fighting so much that you just can’t get enough, all it means is that you haven’t tangled with someone who handed you your ass so completely and thoroughly that, in an existential fit of despair, you are forced to reexamine your motives and desires.
Fight for the right reason(s), not because you like it. Tough guys do what’s best for them, not what’s the most fun in the moment.
Lust: Fighting with your heart, not your headYou’ve heard the oft-quoted phrase “fighting never solves anything”.
Obviously, that phrase was coined by someone who never won a fight.
But it raises an interesting point. What problem, exactly, do you hope to solve by fighting? And does this problem outweigh the consequences, both immediate and potential, of fighting?
Don’t fight because you are so overcome with a passion that you just can’t help yourself. Instead, only fight if you’ve considered the ramifications and concluded that it’s in your best interest.
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