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Alpha Behavior
Attracting Bullies' Attention
Cults in RBSD
Fantasies About Fights
Fighting Facts
Fighting, SD, RBSD & MA
Hollywood Macho vs. Real Life
Jail/Prison
How NOT To Get Shot
Is It REALLY about SD?
Kinds of Violence
Krav Maga
Manufactured Tough
Monkey Brain
Pro vs. Amateur Knifers
Pirates
Provoking An Attack
REAL fighting = Bullshit
Real Life Street Monsters
Realities of Street Violence
Repercussions
Respect
Sanity in RBSD
Stigmatization of Violence
Streetfighter
Tough Enough?
Technique vs. Attitde
Traditional MA vs. Real Fights
Training Won't Fix Your Life
Violence Geeks Blog
What's With the *?
Where I Am Coming From
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How do you teach reality to people
that only think they want it?
                     Sgt Rory Miller

Street Fighting

On this page
Where I am coming from | Realities of fighting, etc.. | *Alpha/Beta Behavior | *Attracting Bullies | Brutal reality vs. macho myth | Do I have what it takes? | *Fantasy self-defense | Is (Fill in blank) good for self-defense? |
* Is It REALLY About Self-Defense? | Kinds of Violence | Legal repercussions | Leprosy of being "tough" | Monkey Brain | Pro vs. Amateur Knifers | *Provoking An Attack | REAL fighting | Reality Based Combat Cults | Realities of streetfighting | Repercussions | Respect | Sanity | Self-defense pirates| Still want to be a streetfighter? | Teach you how to be tough? | Technique | "Traditional" martial arts vs. "real" fighting | *What do you want from this training? | What does being tough mean? | Violence Comes in Different Flavors | Why I don't teach streetfighting |

It ain't no fantasy out there, stud.

If you wonder if "what you know will keep you alive in a streetfight," then the answer is "no." The life on the Street is a short, brutal nasty way of living that usually ends up with the so-called "streetfighter" being a corpse in an alley. And that is what happens to people who spent their entire lives being violent.

Consider them ... professionals. That is to say not only are their entire lives dedicated to it, but crime and violence is how they make their living.

Wanna guess what the chances of survival of someone has who goes to a training hall once or twice a week and seminars on weekends when he finds himself facing a dangerous and violent street rat?

Being a streetfighter isn't about swaggering into a local blue-collar watering hole and eyeballing a bunch of working Joes (most of whom had a hard day at work and just want to drink their beer). It definitely isn't about punching out one of those guys who takes umbrage at your rude behavior. But that's what so many Internet warriors are training for.

In their little fantasy clouded minds they think training to fight with a construction worker in a bar is the same as being the able to survive against the monsters that prowl the streets(1). They have no clue that violence comes in many different flavors and levels -- each calling for some other response than what their training prepares them for.

What wannabe tough guys and so-called "street fighting experts" don't want to accept is that prowess in fighting has very little to do with street violence. Much less the rules of the street. But breaking them is the fastest and best way to get your brains blown into a fine pink mist. That's because the guys who will kill you for breaking those rules aren't interested in fighting and they won't give you a chance to prove how good you are at it.

Those in 'The Life,' who don't end up dead in an alley have something else going for them. Survival on the street is about a whole lot more than physical prowess or fighting skills. People who live with constant violence are cunning, vicious, dangerous and most importantly, they cheat. They don't want to "fight" you, in fact, they'd prefer to either shoot you or bust a bottle over your head from behind. You don't 'fight' empty handed ... in that world, empty hands are used to beat your women. If the guy's a threat you reach for a weapon. If he's a serious threat, you shoot him in the back.

This is NOT the same thing as the much touted "there aren't any rules in a streetfight" B.S. that Internet warriors like to parrot. The "streets" have rules, just like any other place where human beings get together and interact. And you break or ignore these rules at your own peril. Unlike in civilized circles, here people take matters into their own hands.

Where I am coming from
Louis L'amour once said "Adventure ain't nothing but a romantic name for trouble. It's great reading about in the comfort of you arm chair, but it's pure hell when it comes at you in a dark and lonely place."
He's right I've walked out of those dark and lonely places and I've buried a lot of friends who didn't make it. Some of them who were better at violence than me. So don't expect me to blow sunshine and smoke up your ass about making you into a great streetfighter.

Kinds of Violence
Despite all their talk about how dangerous street violence is most people in the RBSD/martial arts world don't have a clue about how or why violence happens. In fact, the who ones who natter on the loudest about the 'realities of street fighting' are generally talking about a high school fight on steroids. Before you even think of unleashing your deadly fighting system on someone you might want to learn about the 
kinds of violence -- and why assuming any incident is a matter of life or death will get you in trouble.

Realities of street fighting, violence and life in the streets
Most of the people who claim to be able to tell you about what's involved in real violence or street fights are like virgins trying to convince you they know everything there is to know about sex because they watch a lot of porn. These guys have no clue what life on the street is like, much less how people from that hellhole fight.

REAL Fighting
The term "real fight" has become endemic in MA/SD/RBSD circles. It is bandied around as both as a badge of honor ("we train in real fighting"), a mythical ideal ("In a real fight, I'd...") and as boogey man ("That wouldn't work in a real fight"). Fact is, there is no term that makes me want to reach for the puke bucket faster. It is an idiotic misconception that has been marketed so fiercely that the lie has been accepted as the truth. Take a look at why real fighting isn't real.

Respect
One of the most bandied about and yet most poorly understood words when it comes to this subject is respect. It's not what you think it is and it isn't coming from a very smart place.

"Traditional" martial arts vs. "REAL" fighting
I have a serious problem with the argument over "traditional martial arts vs. "real" fighting. It's subset of "what works in a real street fight?"  Be warned, this page BBQs the "sacred cows" of both camps.

Is (Fill in ultimate fighting style) good for self-defense?
Before you even ask this question you had better know some realities about the bullshit terms and ideas that are being peddled out there regarding fighting. And what kind of trouble all these "ultimate fighting systems" will get you into if you don't use your head for something other than a punching bag. If you don't know a few fundamental differences you'll end up dead, crippled, sued or in prison.

Is It REALLY About Self-Defense?
A lot of people get into so-called self-defense training for reasons that have nothing to do with actual self-defense. On the Is It REALLY about SD? page we take a hard look at an elephant in room that people don't want to admit to.

Brutal reality vs. macho myth
Start by accepting the fact, that at least 50 percent of the people who engage in fighting lose. The savage truth is that you are not going to be fighting someone who will fold in shock and pain from your super-secret-kung-fu -dim-mak-death strike. He's been hit and hurt before and knows how to still keep on functioning. What's more, you'll be fighting someone with something up his sleeve that will cause you serious damage if he uses it and he does know how to use it.

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Do I have what it takes?
While there is always the concern: Do I have what it takes? That is absolutely the last question where you want to find out that the answer is no.

Attracting bullies' attention
Have you ever wondered why bullies pick on some people but ignore others? There is an entire complex set of behaviors and signals that are going back and forth. Unfortunately, many people who think that they are showing the bully why the bully should leave them alone are sending an entirely different message. A message that instead of warning him away, attracts the bully over to get in your face.

Professional vs. Amateur Knifers
What are the difference 'ways' you will be attacked with a knife? Clearing up an unfortunate choice of words about how a 'professional' and an 'amateur' will attack you with a knife.

Fantasy self-defense
There is a great tendency for instructors of the martial arts to promote themselves as competent to teach self-defense. Find out why that is not necessarily true and why you are risking your life if you accept what they are saying without carefully looking into the subject beyond their simplistic fantasies about self-defense.

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Legal realities
Contrary to what many ultra-studly martial artists tell you, a fight doesn't end when the body hits the floor. That isn't true with self-defense, and it definitely isn't true if you were involved in starting the fight in the first place. You will be facing police, legal repercussions and probably jail.

Monkey Brain
We humans have -- as a default setting -- primate behaviors guiding our actions in conflict. While these patterns are not inescapable, if you don't know about how your brain is wired your monkey brain is going to be driving the bus. And monkeys make bad drivers.

Being tough = having leprosy
Contrary to what many young and inexperienced people might think -- being "tough" doesn't solve your self-confidence problems, make you feel better about yourself, impress people, make you more popular, prevent you from being picked on or get you laid more often. In fact, it tends to do just the opposite. Instead of lessening your problems, it makes them worse. It makes you more of a social outcast. And on top of that, you also have people trying to kill you.

Realities of streetfighting
It isn't glamorous. It isn't fun. And if you put yourself into situations where you are having to face real streetfighters, it means you are being an asshole yourself. That's right -- to be a streetfighter, you have to become the very thing you hate.

Repercussions of "Winning"
Contrary to what you may think a fight doesn't end with a body hitting the floor. That's usually only the beginning of the repercussions your victory will bring you.

So you still want to be a streetfighter?
Ted Truscott, "The Fighting Old Man," has an excellent Web page about some of the other "realities." This is especially important for anybody who still thinks that being wild child or a streetfighter is a good idea.

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Teach you to be tough?
Unfortunately, there are many martial artists who -- for lots of money -- claim to be able to teach you how to be an undefeatable, toughman, streetfighter. The simple truth is most of these programs are just glorified martial sports programs. That is if they aren't a cult.

What does it mean to be tough?
The idea that the martial arts can make you tough is erroneous. Being tough isn't about fighting. It is about being able to handle whatever life throws at you and keep on going. And what life is going to throw at you will be far worse than an imagined bad guy.

Pirates and self-defense training
Unfortunately much of the information that you will receive from most people claiming to be able to teach you how to streetfight, has been pirated. That is to say it has been lifted from somewhere else, not entirely understood and then repackaged and sold to you as the TRUTH(tm) about streetfighting. It will get you killed. Learn how to spot pirates before you become a victim of them.

What do you want from this training?
If you have a hole inside of yourself, this kind of training won't fill it. If you are thinking that by learning how to be an ultimate bad ass street fighter will cure you of low self-esteem, fear or the belief of your cowardice you're not only going to be sorely disappointed, but you're going to waste a lot of money too. Let's take a look at what this kind of training doesn't solve.

Reality Based Combat Cults
Although cults in the martial art world are bad, they abound among the streetfighting crowd. These cults offer the promise of the ultimate fighting system, training you to be a street warrior, WWII Close Quarter Combat secrets to use in the street and countless other fantasies to entrance the dissatisfied spirit into their grasp. Cults have some very specific ways of doing business. Compare a group's behavior against these danger signs.

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Technique
Too many "reality based self-defense" advocates (read guys who touch themselves while watching Roadhouse) sneer at technique. They insist what is important is ferocity and physical conditioning. This is like bragging on what a great racecar driver you are when you don't even have a car -- much less a racing car. They have no idea how ridiculous they look standing there holding a skateboard claiming to be race car drivers. It's time to take a long hard look at what you think a technique is. What does a technique do, what doesn't it do? And why bad technique will set you up for a failure that no amount of attitude will save you from..

Why I don't teach street fighting
One of the more common charges against me by people who's fantasies I have fouled with this information is that I am secretly saying "come study my ultimate streetfighting system." Once they assign this ulterior motive to me they dismiss anything that doesn't sit well with their cute little dreams of becoming an ultimate street warrior. The fact is I don't make my money by running an internationally franchised streetfighting program. I make my living selling books/DVDs (my own and other people who I respect) and lecturing on crime avoidance.   There is no Ultimate Animal Street Fighting system lurking in the shadows. So I'm not tearing others down to sell myself and my fighting style. I'm pointing out legitimate problems with what is being taught; problems that will get you killed. While I do teach and occasionally travel, I don't teach people how to be a streetfighter, I teach them how to survive against one. Want to know what that looks like?.

Alpha/Beta Behavior
There is a fantasy among wanna-be streetfighters, that some ultimate fighting system will make them an ALPHA MALE! The problem is most people really haven't thought about what being an alpha really is. So instead of:
   1) coming across as an alpha, you're going to look like a macho parody
   2) the situation de-escalating, you're going to escalate it.

Getting Attacked 101
Believe it or not there is a list of things you can do to get attacked. Unfortunately, in trying to establish control and dominance over a situation or trying to show that you aren't afraid most people run down the check list of ways to  provoke an attack and do them all. Then they wonder why they were attacked.

Sanity
Let me put this bluntly, the MA/SD/RBSD/WSD/Streetfighting/DT/knife fighting/ combatives 'world' attracts some fruit loops. And by this I don't mean "Man, that dude is crazy" I mean "We the jury find ..." insane. Before you stake your life on someone's information, make sure he isn't a Barking Moon Bat with a rich fantasy life when he's off his meds.

Violence Comes in Different Flavors
Many people don't know what 'self-defense' is because they don't understand there are different kinds of violence. Not only do different kinds of violence have different goals, but your actions have significant influence on whether or not the situation goes physical. If you blindly react to any threat as though it demands you to unleash your self-defense training you are seriously increasing the chances of the situation escalating into the most dangerous kind of violence -- an event you may not survive.

 

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#1) What being a streetfighter is mostly about is kwait for you in the shadows with a shotgun, the rest is knowing how to survive when you have failed at the first part. What that usually means is spending a lot of time going back and forth between hiding from people hunting you and being the guy waiting in the shadows for them. That's why all this macho, hand to hand "combative" and mixed martial arts training is bullshit. It's a sport. If  it has any live-fire application, it's teaching you how to be a barroom brawler in the local waterin' hole. It's not preparing you for the caliber of violence you will find on the "street" ... even though they claim it is. Return to Text


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