When to Fight? Why is this a Question?

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: Self-defense
22 Aug 2010

12 Responses to “When to Fight? Why is this a Question?”

  1. Dr. J Says:

    I appreciate your well thought out column on when to fight, John! I’m glad I don’t have to face this question very often :-)

    I do tend to think about many of the things you mention. It is not in my nature to be the aggressor, but I do have it in my mind that if someone is threatening me, and tends to talk about their intentions, I will probably strike first, no talking.

  2. Matt Klein Says:

    Made a lot of good points John. Avoid the fight if possible, that is the best course of action. You never know what can happen, lucky punch, guy picking up something, arrival of friends, too many variables. Like the advice about fighting multiple attackers–stay on the periphery and fight one at a time. Challenge and defeat biggest one, that demoralizes the others. Yes, sometimes you have to hit first, if the situation calls for it.
    Matt Klein recently posted..Kids Karate Tournaments- Good or BadMy Profile

  3. Wang Says:

    To know when to fight we first have to have decided what we will fight for. It sounds like common sense, but i think it should be written on paper and seriously thought about every now and then. That will later on take on spot contemplation out of the picture.
    Now that we have decided what we are willing to fight for, we have to study how that fight would likely arise. For example, i decided that i am willing to fight the moment i feel that there is a threat to my family or myself and would therefore have to study the imminent signs of attack. What kind of person would put me in that kind of position and how would they do so. Why would they choose that method of attack. How would that make me at an advantage/disadvatnage. What is the “trigger” that will set my body into “attack” mode. These are all things that we have to take into account when deciding when to fight.
    But on thing is for sure, you dont ever wait for them to throw the first punch!

  4. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hey Dr. J!

    I’d take the first strike too if the situation called for it. You make a good point about about not having to face this decision very often… it is better to have rules like for instance if someone gets inside my critical distance and threatens me… there is only stick or move! :)


    Never enough said about avoidance. I remember when I was a new black belt… friends asked me what I had to worry about if street thugs were acting up… I told them that because I can fight does not mean it will always go my way… like you say… too many variables to say for sure. Great insight Matt.

    Hi Wang!

    I sounds like you have thought this out clearly… Good to have a plan in place and like you I have considered this. For me I use the critical distance model to decided if I first can afford to lay back.

    If the attack is verbal and out of range – I can afford to avoid, appease, or run. If they step into my range or are moving that way…. I can either stick or move… no other real choice.

    I could move a half-step back or sideways and then counter if I was fighting one guy (If I knew that). Thanks for your well thought out outline Wang.

  5. John Says:

    This is another useful post about martial arts. I love reading it and I am pretty sure others would say the say thing. It’s very important to learn self defense. :)
    John recently posted..The Little Engine that CouldMy Profile

  6. Kenneth Says:

    Nice article and insights! I couldn’t agree more on that, a trained fighter should find a way to avoid a fight then fight as he was trained when no other option is available.

  7. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Thanks John! Thanks for commenting.

    Hi Kenneth! Agreed. The point of learning a martial art is to not have to use it if possible.

  8. Dorothy Says:

    Like you, I also have all the tools to react and that’s the main reason I opted to really learn self defense techniques, for my safety, security and protection as well as for my kids too. However, I have not yet experienced such situation but if in case, I will. I will first maybe give what they want but if they show that they will not be satisfied by it then I will use my skills. I am not proud yet of my skills, I’m not a master or anything and I’m still honing it but at least I have some knowledge and have been training eversince.
    Dorothy recently posted..Staying On Your Feet For More Effective Self DefenseMy Profile

  9. MarciaisBrasil.blog Says:

    I made an approach in my blog about your post, citing some parts of your comments that I liked (your credits). If you could check it, I would be grateful: http://marciaisbrasil.blogspot.com/2010/09/senador-cria-projeto-de-lei-que-poe.html

    Thank you!
    MarciaisBrasil.blog recently posted..Senador cria projeto de lei que põe auto-defesa nos currículos escolares! – Califórnia- Estados UnidosMy Profile

  10. Ronald Says:

    I have been following most of your blogs and I am quite impressed with all the numbers of responses posted under your blogs. You always put a lot of good points and I have actually noted your site for future visit.
    Ronald recently posted..The 3 Basic Self Defense Tactics That You Can UseMy Profile

  11. Erwin Says:

    I like this site a lot and like always I am interested in self-defense.
    You can think situations over and over, but when you get trapped in a violent situation you sometimes have to go with the flow. I bought a new car and drove out for the first time, while I turned onto a parking lot of a great shoppinh mall another car nearly drove into me. Legally I was ok, but I let him pass. That was not enough for the guy, he followed me, and I wasn’t aware of that. I stopped and before I ever knew he opened the car-door and took me by the troath, I could not move because of the seat-belt. I tried to talk to him, but he didn’t react, he only said that I was getting what I deserved. The thing is that I kept calm, reached for a small maglight (2AA-size)and slammed that straight into his nose-bridge. He fell down, got up and ran to his car. He was arrested within 15 minutes, and that wasn’t his first time ! After the incident, my legs shaked and I was afraid and angry at the same time. When the police asked me what happened I couldn’t speak normally … tears of training in martial arts and I took a weapon and I was glad I did.

  12. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hi Dorthy – good idea… you have to do what you think is reasonable for the situation. If the guy is happy to chase your wallet.. you can run the other way! One good advantage you have is guys don’t think girls can strike… so if you have to – you should be able to get a little head start!

    Hey MarciaisBrasil.Blog! Loved the post… I like how you bring varied content to your website!

    Thanks for stopping by Ronald.

    Hi Erwin! Good show… many get too freaked out to realize they have the upper hand. You know the attacker thinks he has you and does not realize you are formulating a plan. Love the flashlight smash. Great improvised weapon!