When I was a kid I used to watch movies and see the kids in the school play yard fighting. I remember reading a Doc Savage novel where Doc got into a tussle with another strong man. The author was narrating this really long fight – justifying the action because each of them knew about every trick in the book. Well I want to read THAT book!
I was fooled into believing that a good fight might last 10 minutes if each guy knew what they were doing. I was further misled by watching boxing matches (these were about the only fights on the TV when I was a kid). A championship match might last 12 – three-minute rounds. Watching Batman and Robin or Gene Audrey was no different. Fighting prowess seemed to be linked to how long you could fight.
Nowadays some kids might watch MMA or kick boxing and think that fights could take a long time on the street. In this post I will talk about what you should expect in case you ever have to defend your life or limb and how long it should take.
Before I started this post I searched youtube for some long movie fight scenes but I found the clips even cheesier than I remember. There were not fighting skills to speak of and of course in the movies – the combatants wait for each other.
Here is the deal – assuming you are fighting in self defense where someone attacked you and you have tried to take all reasonable steps to get away – you are in a real fight! I imagine that the attacker is after your wallet, honer or worse – your life. In any of these cases there is no upside to giving your attackers any chances.
You will have to strike back (or first if the attack is imminent) fast and hard to try to gain a momentary advantage! Assuming you can surprise your attacker with your counter – you may have to option to get away if that is practical. If not – then you will have to turn the tables and defend yourself with overwhelming and maybe even deadly force (if you are in fear of your life).
So to address the title of this post – how long should the fight last? Well seconds is good – a minute is a real long time to fight just one opponent (unless you are wrestling around on the ground). About the only time I think a fight could (or should) go over a minute is if you are defending against multiple attackers.
Most people who have not ever really taken fighting training or tried it out – probably don’t understand how this is possible. I mean in most of the fights we see – the matches take 5 to 15 minutes easy. How come these fights last so long?
It is not because they are evenly matched. A few things could cause a fight to last over a minutes – mostly it is because most people (yes even bad guys/gals) don’t know how to fight – they know how to brawl.
Brawlers try to hit hard and fast and keep going until they run out of steam. Most guys that have what I call beer muscle can get aggressive when they have had a few drinks. Luckily these type of self defense fights are not going to be to the death but still qualify as self defense if one of these drunkards attack you.
Crooks and thieves are not much better than the drunkards at fighting. The advantage they might have is premeditation. They might have weapons if the robbery goes wrong (in their view). The good thing is the crook thinks he has an advantage but if you are a skilled fighter – you can turn the tables in a few seconds!
What about these MMA fighters that fight for 25 minutes? Ok – yes these are highly trained athletes that are for real. They can take a beating and keep on fighting but think about it – how often is a fighter of that calibre going to take up stick-ups for a side job?
So what you need to know:
- Learn how to fight from some striking martial arts discipline first (karate, boxing, muay thai, or MMA)
- Self defense is easy compared to sparring good opponents
- My opinion is the tactician will always beat the brawler – learn fighting tactics
- Learn to strike through your target – it does you no good to hit something if you cannot damage it
- Optimally learn some grappling too – judo, jiu-jitsu, or wrestling (if the fight does go to the ground – these skills are invaluable)
By the way you will notice I did not include judo, jiu-jitsu, or wrestling first – I think those martial arts are great to have in your toolbox too but you should have some striking discipline at a minimum because one cannot easily fight multiple attackers on the ground. I have some wrestling experience that has helped me defend against wrestlers in self defense situations.
Now you may be wondering if you don’t know me – how long have my fights lasted. I will have to say under a minute except for one that lasted 10 minutes. The 10 minute fight was me fighting 6 guys that attacked me at the bar I used where I used to work.
Unfortunately for my opponents – I seldom had to defend myself against a guy that had any fighting training. That included bikers, street toughs, and all sorts of unsavory looking types. Looks and talk does not mean much in fighting – only what you can do.
Now for the $64,000 question and answer – why and how does winning a fight in less than a minute work in most cases? Because in real fights (assuming you know how to fight) you will be the best fighter if you are attacked. Just pick your shots and don’t take too much damage and you will win rapidly (the other guy/gal does not know what they are doing)!
Now go take some training and be ready to take on the one or two altercations most adults will have to deal with in their lifetime.