That one guy in the dojo who has “probably been in a hundred street fights.”
That would be me! I was Born in 1972 in Daytona Beach, Florida as a biracial male raised by a single gay mother. There was no male influence in my home, but there was plenty of violence. I was the only mixed kid in all of the schools, I went to as far as I knew. When I say schools it is because I fought so much I was being kicked out of one school after the next. These are not fights I brought on myself because, hell, I was outnumbered! But there was a lot of racism towards me from both white and black kids. It was even more fuel on the fire when kids got wind of my mother being a gay woman. I was even put in a special school for hard to deal with students called Volusia Ave. That school had to shut down after 4 teachers jumped me one day but that is another story. I went on to street fight even more after I was out of school as a young adult. That can be backed up by a police record. This is not bragging at all, because some of my history I am not proud of. It is just a first-hand account of someone who knows a thing or two about street fights with some proof to back it up. This behavior went on until my son, Shawn Jr was born. By the time I was 21 I figured it best to try not to get into any more fights, if possible. I wanted to set a better example for my son and not go to prison.
I have read Louis Martin’s article where he took a statistical look at street fights on Youtube and want to offer my thoughts and experiences here.
In the Martial Arts world, there are 3 records that count.
- Armed Service Record
- Ring Record
- Police Record
1. An armed service record is accounted for active duty in the line of true danger of losing one’s life or taking lives in battle. This does not account for the many jobs in the armed service that is behind a desk.
2. A Ring record is accounted for in wins and losses in a ring with documented proof. This does not account for the few times your teacher said its a requirement to attend a few matches before black belt.
3. A police record is actually being arrested for assault and battery on more than one occasion. This is not that one where you get hauled in for a one-time bar fight.
So it is important to listen to “that one guy in the dojo” to share his or her personal experience in these matters.
First, let’s address when a fight starts and ends. There is a mental game that, most of the time, comes first. (Think of the posturing, chest bumping, “come at me bro” scene). Sometimes, someone wants to kick your ass so bad, but once your “talking smack” is more mighty than the other guys, he might end up cowering down and run along like a beaten pup. If two competitors show up on fight day, and just before they get into the ring, one competitor backs out, then everyone says it is a forfeit and the other guy won. This happens not only in the street, it also happens in a war, with one country intimidating another into backing down. Mental war games are important. In the street, we just say… “he didn’t want none” and then everyone clowns the dude that backed down.
1) Fights often have no clear winner
If you have a bully and you kick their ass and they stop bullying you, that is a win. I could just stop there on this topic. However, anytime there are witnesses to a fight and one person kicks the crap out of the other one, people, in general, will say that person won. I have rarely seen fights end where people all walk away saying it was a draw. It could happen, but not a lot.
2) Knockouts happen in the first ten seconds or not at all
I totally agree with this 100% This is why I would let my opponent throw a few bombs first. Hit or miss, If you are still standing there, they lose that mental game and the fight is yours. I have never once been KOd. This is risky but it worked for me.
3) Women always clinch
Agree with this statement fully. I grew up in a violent home where my mother fought with her girlfriends a lot. Drama that often turned into some pretty bloody fights.
4) Bystanders usually let fights go on
People often get in the middle of fights when the person they know is losing. Even girlfriends will jump on the back of the guy beating her man up. Buddies hate seeing their friend bloody and act out of emotion to aid their friend. Group fights often start with two guys but end with a crowd fighting. Sometimes, if it looked like some guy’s friend was going to get in the middle of the fight, I would just go ahead and beat his ass, too. There were many times I fought three or four people at once. Take a trip to the hood and ask how many people have been jumped by more than one attacker.
5) Almost all fights will go to the ground and stay there
I notice people who train in ground fighting like to preach this. It’s not what I’ve seen. Twice I was picked up and slammed in two different fights and both times I was up and back on my feet fighting, immediately. YouTube “fight in a movie theater,” for instance. There are plenty of places street fights happen where, even if you wanted to go to the ground, it just isn’t going to turn out well for you. When fighters go to the ground in the ring, they don’t have to be concerned with situational awareness. There are no other opponents (unless we are talking WWE), no environmental hazards, and there is a referee to make sure things don’t get out of hand. When we are on the ground in a street fight, we are open to kicks to the head from a buddy or someone pulling out a knife or gun behind us as we try to apply an armbar. For street fighters, you know that being on the ground can be life or death. Girls, on the other hand, most likely will go to the ground. Not advisable, but female street fights are generally different and many times when things get serious, men will move in to try and break it up.
If you’re a girl, yeah learn a ground game.
6) No one uses “dirty fighting”
I have a stab wound in my leg and one in my hand from different fights where someone stabbed me. Those are only two times a knife was pulled but there were others. Often I would grab something close by and knock their ass out. I had a knife thrown at me about 8 years ago. I have had guns pulled on me and been shot at. The only time I ran from a fight was when shots were being fired, otherwise I stood my ground. Like I said, many times someone’s friend will jump in, and that is pretty dirty. But if you just mean kicks to the groin, then yup! That doesn’t happen often, that is why it’s a good idea to kick there. Everything is fair game if you’re trying to win/survive a fight. There is no “dirty” tactic in the game of survival. Hits to the back, pokes to the eye, fish hooks… Whatever it takes in a street fight because if you get knocked out you may never wake up. Think I’m exaggerating? Look up “guy dies in street fight” on YouTube.
My final words on this review:
My point of view comes from having been a street fighter, a short time in the boxing ring and training under someone high ranking in the Armed forces and now as Martial Arts school owner. These are just my opinions. YouTube reviews are a good way to see street fights but these are all filtered. There is a lot you’re not seeing and I guess you need to go to the streets because that is where most fighting is happening. Ask people there for their accounts, or if you are not willing to do that maybe listen to… That one guy in the dojo who has “probably been in a hundred street fights.”
With all this having been said, I would like to thank Louis Martin for all the hard work and effort he put into this study. There is definitely a lot of great information here and I know it was painstaking for you to collect the data. But the hard bottom line is this: Nothing can be substituted for hard work and training, and in a fight for your life, all is fair game.
I can always tell when someone is outright lying about being a street fighter. Would you like to know how to tell if they are telling the truth or not? Look at their knuckles; if they are scarred then you might have a real street fighter on your hand if they have no scars probably not the real deal.
Let me know what you think about what I said here in the comments section below.