A street fight

Have you been in a real street fight? I mean, real fighting, no rules? Well, if you have, then you know, that it was like nothing you ever trained for. All those fancy moves you saw on TV, watched online and trained with your sparring partner in the dojo, probably did not work, or at least not the way you thought they would.



In my younger years(yes I am old) I got in to a few fights. Mostly in bars and pubs. In some cases I was the victim/target and in some cases I was the aggressor. How these fights came to be is not really important, but what is, are the huge differences in mindset and reaction between these two. Because in the ones where I was the target(I don´t like using the word victim), the attacks came as a complete surprise, I was stunned for a moment, before my mind and body sprang into action.


In a real fight, you are your worst version

-Tim Kennedy-

Core Combatives

Mick Coup, founder and owner of Core Combatives explains it very well, a real fight can not be compared to Martial arts, because in real life there is always a lack in:

  • Time
  • Space
  • Effect

For his complete introduction on these points watch this short clip of him explaining it:


Switch to the dark side

Have you experienced this switch moment? Because I am kinda curious about your experiences on this matter. For me it is like a switch that is being flipped, and it is being flipped by my unconscious part of the brain or you might say the primal part, the monkey brain. A really good book on this subject is The Chimp Paradox by the way, if you are interested in this kind of brain stuff.

Some people might say, that this is a switch to your ´dark´ side or something, but I definitely do not agree with that BS, it is your primal part, your survival instinct that kicks in, and that part of your brain is able to make decisions about 5 times as fast as your conscious brain.. So, which one do you want in charge at that moment..

So for me, this is not a dark side, but a side that I want to be functioning optimal and even be able to rely on maybe, to make the right decision. Without even thinking about it consciously.


The Chimp somewhat more explained

The Chimp(brain) has powerful drives, such as sex, dominance, food, security, territory. The two key drivers are its need to survive and procreate.

The chimp-brain still believes that it is living in the jungle and so sees threats in everyday situations. It is driven by instinct, primal desires and fears. These instincts are almost from birth so it reacts to a perceived stimulus/threat in a pre-set way (Fight/Flight/Freeze). There is typically over-reaction to an event as the Chimp always sees the worst possible outcome. When the Chimp does decide to act it’s difficult to control.


But how?

Yes, how do we get this part of the brain to function optimally? Some might say, after reading above, that it would be useless to train, because it is not a conscious decision anyway.. Well I would disagree on that. One could argue that muscle memory training could work in this case. I think it does have a place in certain areas of your training, especially in basic drills, that are to be conducted in the same manner every-time. Like a reload. One could question if there are any basic drills to train muscle memory for a street fight. I think there are some, like:

  • Basic defensive posture
  • Moving in a fighting stance
  • Defending against a hit or kick
  • Defending a against a take-down
  • Basic hitting and kicking

Of course I am not an expert on this subject, these are just some that come to mind, that could be drilled.


Scenario based training

One big component of training for situations like this should be ´scenario based training´ that mimics real fights as close as possible. Because I think that, the more you train different scenarios thought up by your psycho training partners, the more it will give you the edge in recognizing and dealing with real situations. It is what we used to a lot with our CT-team, do a scenario, evaluate, new scenario. Work force on force, think of the sickest scenarios you can think of, to get the other team in ´trouble´.

Airsoft locations are ideal to set up scenarios


And yes of course, train your mindset! Train under pressure, after doing 50 push ups, running, climbing, carrying your wounded buddy and sleep deprivation. NEVER GIVE UP.


Adrenaline & Stress

Don´t forget what more will happen, when a real fight like this occurs, training under physical challenging situations or sleep deprivation does make the decision process harder, but it does not mimics what happens when your body is pumping high dosages of adrenaline through your veins, or when you experience a lot of stress. In this article I published on Spotter Up you can read some more on what that does to your body:



For me..

The switch goes automatically, and when it´s on.. it´s on 🙂 But the adrenaline does have a big effect on my ability to function. Fine motor-skills are not an option for me at times like that.

As I said in the beginning, I am curious to your experiences on these kind of things. Please share your experience in the comment section, or to me personal.

Violence Is Rarely The Answer, But When It Is……It Is The Only Answer


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