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Boss Basics – How to Defend Yourself in a Fight


There are times in life when you need to defend yourself (or loved ones) from bodily harm. In these modern times, this usually occurs on the street (typically during a mugging) or in a bar.

But unless you’re armed or skilled in martial arts, these attacks can get you injured or worse. To help you survive such instances, here are a few tips on how you can defend yourself in a fight.

Be alert and read the situation

If it looks like you’re about to get into a fight, be keenly alert of your surroundings. Look for items you can use as a weapon, or watch out for possible escape routes, especially if your opponent is armed or you’re outnumbered.

Don’t act impulsively. Make sure you assess the situation before you act. If an armed mugger is robbing you, hand over your wallet to avoid getting attacked. A good strategy is to:

  1. Plan your escape.
  2. Throw your wallet in the other direction.
  3. Run like crazy.

The thug will likely go after your wallet, giving you time to bolt. Besides, running will make you more difficult to hit with a shiv or bat.

Attempt to defuse the conflict

Try to calmly talk to the other person (without telling them to “relax” or “calm down”). If you unintentionally provoked him, say sorry. Don’t let your ego prevent you from apologizing, even if you don’t think you did anything wrong.

Your main objective right now is to avoid fighting.

While trying to defuse the conflict, make sure you project a confident body language. Showing fear will embolden your aggressor.

Start backing away

If dialogue fails, start backing away while staying alert and facing your opponent. There’s always a chance that he’ll attack you from behind so don’t take that risk.

Assume a defensive stance

If you have nowhere to go, assume a defensive stance. This means you should stand with your feet at a shoulder-width distance while slightly bending your knees, allowing you to maintain balance and be ready for attacks.

At the same time, clench your teeth and keep your hands up to protect your face. Taking a solid punch to your head or face with your mouth open can result in a broken jaw.

Yell loudly

Yelling out a battle cry serves two purposes:

  1. It can distract and/or intimidate your attacker. This may give you a chance to escape or land a few solid hits.
  2. It can draw people’s attention. Having more people around can stop the robbery. If it’s a bar fight, others may intervene.
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