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  • Writer's pictureThe M Word Consulting


Real fights and self defence situations are nothing like the movies, and if you think they are, then you're going to get yourself hurt. As martial artists and self defence experts, we break down a lot of real fights to see what people do right and what they do wrong… we want to make our course content as real-world and practical as possible, so what ACTUALLY happens to real people in real situations means a lot to us! The truth is, real life differs a LOT from the movies.

Here are our five key takeaway from real life violent encounters compared to Hollywoods version of a fight.


In movies, people get punched and kicked and thrown off buildings and then they brush themselves off and they're perfectly fine. In the real world, you lose teeth, you bust your jaw, you get your eye poked, and you have to go to the hospital for emergency surgery... or worse. Anytime you fight or have to physically defend yourself, you risk serious injury.


In real life fights, the person who swings first usually wins. Most violent altercations are over in a matter of seconds, and sometimes all it takes is one good shot and you're out cold. This is why it is imperative to always be aware of your surroundings and prepared to defend yourself; you do not want to be caught unaware. You also do not want to hesitate if it’s clear the person means you harm. If you’re in danger, act, and act quickly.

Of course, your self defence claim will be stronger if you wait for the other person, predator or bully to swing first. But you might also wake up in the hospital. Or in a bed you don’t know. Or worse. You should do everything you can to avoid the fight in the first place. But if the person still comes at you, take the initiative and hit first.


Contrary to Hollywood’s typical depictions, your worst enemy in a fight is the person you don't see. In real-life, there are countless examples of two people getting into it, and then seemingly out of nowhere, one of their friends comes over and knocks the opponent out cold. Even more concerning it, this is commonly the case when it comes to burglaries, assaults and rapes... most bad guys have back-up. Never assume the perpetrator is alone.


In relationships, cheaters don't prosper. But in self defence situations, cheaters usually win. You should bite, scratch, kick to the groin, whatever you need to do to get away safely. Nothing is off limits if your life or safety is in danger.


Nine times out of ten, if you really don't want to fight, you can put up your hands, you can back away slowly, and you can avoid the fight. Now you're going to get called name, but if you can put your ego aside and be the bigger person, you can usually avoid the fight. You can verbally de-escalate situations and, worst case scenario, simply turn and run! But it's important to know that about 10% of the time you can't avoid the fight. No matter what you do, this person is intent on harm and is still going to come at you.

And that's why you train; that is why you need to know self defence. That is why you must be empowered to protect yourself. Because you won’t need it most of the time, but maybe one day, one time, you will.

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