Hello all,

I'm no fighter, and I don't plan on getting into any scuffles, so this question is moreso one of curiosity than practicality, but still.

I'm a small, very thin guy (5'8" and barely 130 lbs.) Now from my experience (seeing fights or just messing around with friends), an actual fist-fight will very quickly disintegrate into a wrestling match (it makes sense - you can't get punched in the face if you're on top of the guy holding his arms down).

Now I can throw a decent punch, but given my size I'm nothing when it comes to grappling. Any thoughts on how to avoid getting tackled and keeping the fight from going horizontal?

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Look, fighting isn't something you can learn to do from a blog.  If you are worried or interested pick a martial art form, join the military (the marines pride themselves on that kinda gig), and learn with your fisty-cuffs. 

What you are asking for is to learn what is known as a "sweet science."  Simply put this is something you have to learn with dirty fingernails. 

Oh I know, like I said I'm not really looking to learn how to fight. I'm just curious how one in general might avoid this particular problem.

I am going to go out on a limb and ask you two things.  First, how old are you.  Second, are all the guys around you wearing some form of MMA attire? 

You are not fighting, you are sparing.  Put another way you are not fighting to save your life you are fighting to mess around.

Well I'm 20. And no. Never could get into MMA. I'm am a boxing fan, however, and that's actually how the question popped into my mind. Whenever two boxers clinch, I imagine that if the gloves were off, that's when the fight would turn into a grappling contest and cease to be a refined sport (which is why UFC doesn't interest me). I'm not sure what you're inferring about me or why everyone would be wearing MMA attire, but like I said, just curious. At most, say I ever got into a drunken brawl with a buddy, it would be nice not to be flattened in 2 seconds.

Ok, your age isn't a suprise.  I am no guru on all things fight by any means, but I have held my own in a few. 


Second, I ask if all the guys around you are in MMA because that is/was the trend a few years ago, and in certain circles is and will always be.  (Fine example the military, every single soldier/sailor/airman/marine thinks of themselves as a professional UFC fighter... 11 years in the Army myself and I get sick of the puffery.) 

Ok, say you get into a fight.  The real key is to have a decisive plan on what you are willing to, and going to do BEFORE the first fist flies.  Size up your the other guy. 

People who tend to want to take things to the ground have pretty common tendencies.  Scraping knuckles on the ground, and large trapezoids (that muscle that connects your neck to your shoulders means someone with tremendous upper body strength.  Aka possibly a wrestler/ trained fighter who will take things to the mat.  

A man of your stature needs to know one guy:

  BRUCE LEE

No, not the cheesy movies, the actual fight philosophy.  He didn't throw a punch.  He threw 4 punches.  His theory was even untrained fighters could block a two punch combo, a well trained fighter could block and counter (that is what you wanna avoid the most) a three punch combo.  At the time no know martial art had a counter to a four punch combo.


  Want to know more?

that caught my eye, I'd like to know more.

Well let us look at the situation this young man will find himself in where he needs to know how to fight.

  Young Derek here is finding himself at a bar with some drunken frat boy who is probably worried about his image.  Regardless of how big or how flat faced this guy is, it is the best case scenario.  Mostly because this will take place where there are bouncers, or some form of physical security.  That means fights will most likely be short but intense.  (However this also means he will probably be prompted into the kind of fight he doesn't want.  A drunken brawl with two idiots wrestling around trying to half ass MMA moves they saw on TV.)

The answer to this fight is simple.  I assume our good man has tried to avoid this fight, apologized for whatever grievance he did and even offered to buy a drink in lieu of hard feelings.  (Key thing here, as now you are no longer a possible aggressor)

Have your fight lined up in your mind when the guy starts his puffery.  Assess his mental facilities.  Drunken guys tend to swing hay makers and stupid crap so avoiding them is simple, throw punches straight from the shoulder.  Don't use a closed fist on bone.  My favorite combo for this situation, when guys think they need to get straight up in your face with their arms stretched out is start with the headbutt, a quick jab in the nose with my left, another from the right that I graze off and land an elbow hopefully at the temple, a "seudo haymaker" from the left.  I tend to hope they block that one, cause the last punch you usually need to throw is an upper cut from inside their guard.  That usually will do it.  Feel free to critique my combo choices, but they have worked on a few occasions.  It makes you look like a pro-fighter and it can be used to level guys bigger than you.

For every punch, aim for the nose and punch like you want to go through their head.  It is soft, easily broken, makes plenty of blood when hit, and tears up the other guys eyes.  Which is helpful if you particularly don't like being punched yourself.  For the elbow aim for major bone structures.  (I.E temple, jaw, or cheeks.)  

Hope that helps!

krave maga is what your looking for it all about saying on your feet how ever some bjj never hurts.

I'm not trying to be mean or anything, but how many people do you think will get "Brazilian jiu-jitsu" from "bjj?"

And Derek, if you were wondering, it's easier to find lessons for Brazilian jiu-jitsu (which focuses more on grappling than striking) than Krav Maga.

If it every gets to the point where you and the attacker (I say "attacker" assuming you ain't the guy starting the fight) clinche, take both index and middle fingers on both hands right behind the guy's collar bones (soft spot) and apply extreme downward pressure. The douchebag will immediately fall to his knees. You then have an upper vantage point to strike. I learned this from a bouncer friend of mine. You can even try it on yourself and test your own pressure point in that location. It definitely causes immediate pain. Hope this helps. 

Any thoughts on how to avoid getting tackled and keeping the fight from going horizontal?

 


It's called a "sprawl" and looks like this:

 

Live action:

 

Another option is to just lift your knee.

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