Here are some tips on how to stay out of a fight.
A Huge Amount Of Fights Start Due To Ignorance
Yes, I said it. Ego and all of its misunderstood attributes like pride, envy and arrogance are generally the cause. Imagine this: two guys start to argue. One is trying to prove to the other that his point is right. The other is justifying his position and simply refusing to listen. One feels rejected. The other feels a sense of pride; a kind of ‘fuck you’ attitude. This promotes the pushing and shoving and then Bam! It’s on!
I remember, once upon a time, being in Brisbane and hearing a story from a guy who was a victim of a severe assault. He stood in front of a group of Krav Maga instructors explaining how the situation escalated from seemingly nothing, to severe violence (which rightly left him feeling victimised). Everyone felt sorry for him as he told his story. While what happened to him was horrible (he got pretty beat up), I noticed some of the choices he made and words used could’ve been very inflammatory to the situation. He used words and body language that may have come across as being antagonistic, righteous, and condescending to the other person.
You may think you’re standing up for yourself by talking back, shouting, being aggressive and derogatory, but there is a fine line between that and egging someone on – it could tip them over the edge to kill you.
Most people don’t understand the ingredients of how shit hits the fan. People don’t understand why violence escalates. Instead, most people go right into a fight based on instincts (fight/flight/freeze). Remember, you need to act not react. Be thoughtful, deliberate, keep your ego in check and be smart about it. Most importantly though, you need to know at which point in a conflict is the right time to take certain actions.
To do this, familiarise yourself with The Stages of Conflict. Watch my video here
Keep Your Eyes To Yourself!
What do you do when you see someone staring at you, intently? Do you stare back intently, offended by the fact that they seem to be looking directly at you? Are you threatened? Your response is a good indication of your confidence levels.
One of the Number 1 ways to land yourself in a fight is to stare at someone for too long. If that person feels threatened and switches to fight mode, then you’re likely to escalate the situation to the next level. Avoid intense glare. When you collide eyes with someone, look at them for a split second, showing awareness or acknowledgement. You know the times you’ve been looking at someone for too long, and you end up saying ‘hey buddy’ with a smile? That’s a good show stopper, and it works.
Move your eyes to the side after you exchange this eye contact. Avoid looking down as this can make you look weak and be perceived as an easy target. Looking up can appear arrogant or ‘too good’. I don’t expect you to be perfect, but this knowledge and its application is vital for you.
Watch For Vampires
Real-world Vampires are more than bloodsucking. They’ll stab you in the back, even after they’ve smiled and said hello. These are the insecure guys who grew up with violence in their lives. They likely got bashed by their dads and were shamed in the process, creating hatred within their hearts, to the point where letting go of a little to someone who deserves it is a good thing. You may have confronted them in some way. The thing about Vampires is they are challenged in so many stupid ways, you’d be surprised!
In my past, I’ve become a target just for entering a pub where I met with some friends with a ‘feel good’, ‘Fonzi’ like vibe. Immediately, the big man of the pub, who was playing pool, started staring me down. This has happened more than once. That saying ‘do not be the nail that stands out, or you’ll be the one hit first’ is true. No one should be able to stop you from enjoying life and being yourself, but I feel that in some cases, you should tone it down appropriately if necessary.
That same Vampire might target you for appearing weak as you walk. Vampires come in many forms, with many of their own issues, but deep down, they are looking for ways to feel strong and externalise their feelings. Some people do this effectively with violence, and they’re the ones you worry about.
In another situation, a guy I met through friends gave me a bad vibe. He was after my girlfriend at the time, and I knew it. He knew I knew it. A fight escalated at a party, and I was involved. It was a massive all in brawl. Afterwards, when I thought it was post-fight, within the safety of my friends, this guy hit me in the jaw with all his might. I was drunk at the time and was utterly sucker-punched, but I did not flinch. I turned and looked at him, shocked that he hit me. Confused because no one else was next to him. It was him! I nodded my head, made a noise indicating it was a good hit, but not good enough and walked away. I probably should have belted him, but the whole thing was a bit of a screw-up. He looked at me in amazement. I remember that much!
My point is this: be careful of the guy who’s trying to be ‘the man’. Allow their ego to feel they have control where it is appropriate.
Vampires are looking for people to beat up, but sneakily. They are cowards deep down. Just be aware of them.
Confidence Vs Arrogance
Arrogance is the target for further arrogance and aggression. It mirrors itself. If you’re projecting it, someone bigger will want to knock you down.
Projecting confidence is essential. Real confidence is most important. So fake it till you make it sure, but do make it. When you do, you will no longer need to prove yourself, and you’ll be practising what you preach. Real confidence is a real deterrent. It is read in body language and energy, through vision and gut feel. Stand upright, look level, pull your shoulders back. Avoid becoming a peacock, like those bodybuilder types, as that actually makes you a target. A lot of those guys are insecure idiots who think muscles will make them tough. What makes someone tough is not needing to prove it to others. I see that nature as dangerous as it could potentially be. I see false confidence, ignorance, arrogance for what it is: ego.
This is one of the methods used in conflict resolution. This stands for:
T – Threaten
A – Antagonise
C – Challenge or Contradict
O – Order
S – Shame
Someone is in your face arguing and asks ‘what’s your problem?’. You respond with the exact same statement, which simply challenges them. You have not dealt with the question.
In conflict, we must listen and take on a position where we are trying to solve the problem and de-escalate it, not take it further.
You’re dealing with someone in the workplace who has not been performing well. In front of everyone, you tell them they are useless and worthless. You then wonder why that person is waiting for you at your car when you leave work.
You’ve had a car accident, and you aggressively tell the other party how stupid they are and that they shouldn’t be on the road. They try to talk to you. You pick on things they say, tormenting and antagonising them. Then you wonder why they punched you in the face.
Someone is in your face. You say ‘fuck off, get out of my face’ and then wonder why they’re still coming forward. You have given them a direction without effective posturing skills.
You know what I mean? If you’re going to de-escalate, you first need knowledge and skills, and second, you need a willingness to do it. If your ego takes over and you do the monkey dance, all the knowledge in the world is worthless.
Every man or woman should learn how to be threatening. Pointing, acting crazy, chest out, frothing at the mouth, looking like you’re ready to kill. Just remember this is a tactic, and it can fail.
The key to the success of this tactic is to remove yourself from your opponent’s space as you do it. Use it to gain time in the worst-case situation as you move away from the threat. The further you are, the less likely they will try to close the gap.
Just ensure, when you posture, you don’t insult their mother or make them look like a complete piece of crap in front of everyone. Posturing effectively will not insult the other person. Instead, it will make them think ‘mmmm, maybe this won’t be so easy’ and cause them to hesitate.
Act like a hairy gorilla; completely crazy and unwilling to accept anything said. Dart your eyes about, say ‘Hunga Bunga’ in a devilish voice and salivate a little. You are on your way to greatness!
Feel free to grab a broomstick or some sort of shield or weapon to help you with this.
If you have to fight, you need to learn TO ACTUALLY DEFEND YOURSELF AND FIGHT. If you don’t already know how!
The Department of Health and Human Services in the United States published a report that revealed that U.S. males are, on average, 4,000 percent less effective in a fight than they imagine! I’m confident this is the case for the majority of the world.
So learn some Krav Maga and whatever else you like for self-defence and fighting skill development!
This is far from a comprehensive guide, but it will give you something to digest. If you know it all already, you are already in a good position.
Krav Maga Systems