Do you view fighting as a competition to see who is better?

  • Thread starter 1MileCrash
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  • #1
1MileCrash
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A disagreement arose from a discussion about fighting, with a close friend of mine.

It essentially boiled down to whether or not one would use a weapon (in the form of the environment, IE sand, a rock, stick) etc when defending yourself against someone as a way to disable them.

As I was growing up, I was in a fight every week. For this reason, I view fighting in a different light than most.

I would use anything to my advantage. Rocks, sand in the eye, whatever. My close friend said that he would not, saying that it takes more skill to not use those things and that he "wouldn't need to use them." Disabling the attacker with a rock, stick, whatever is a sign of "weakness."

I was completely taken back by what he said. It is not a game, it is not a competition to see who is better, it is you as a human defending yourself against an attacker. Any means necessary to disable the opponent and prevent further mindless violence.

That is my mindset - and I just could not understand his. People have glorified fighting it seems, especially when they are naive to what it really is. Your goal isn't to look cool in front of the people who may be watching the fight. Your goal is to get out unhurt. It's not a boxing match, it's real life.

I told him a very shameful story of when I was 16, in a diner at my hometown. I was cornered by three larger boys, I had no chance. One of them punched me in the face and I fell over a chair in the area. So, being the dumb kid I was, I got up, and I picked up one of those large metal napkin holders at restaurants, and split the guy's face open.

I then asked my friend the simple question:

When that guy was laying down, getting stitches on his bloody face in the hospital, do you think he thought "he used a napkin holder so I really won, and I am better" or do you think he thought "my face is killing me, I'm not messing with that guy again?"
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
dydxforsn
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0
It's who you know that defines how good of a person you are.





hah, sorry, couldn't resist that one :D
 
  • #3
caffenta
144
0
A disagreement arose from a discussion about fighting, with a close friend of mine.
Maybe the both of youze should just beat each other senseless to see who wins. :uhh:

I have no idea what you are trying to say. You seem to be so proud that you were in a fight every week and broke some guy's nose, and then you complain about glorifying violence. Which is it? Wanna fighdaboudit?

Most people don't grow up fighting every week, neither do they glorify fighting.
 
Last edited:
  • #4
pergradus
138
1
If I say I think you're full of it are you going to "pick up one of those large metal napkin holders at restaurants, and split my face open"?

:rofl:
 
  • #5
SprucerMoose
62
0
As I was growing up...

Your post indicates you still have a long way to go.
 
  • #6
1MileCrash
1,339
41
Fighting is glorified in the sense that people view it as a competition of skill, when it is not. People let their pride get in the way of their safety and the safety of others. Id rather disable an attacker with sand in the eyes rather than fist fight for 10 minutes. I don't care if I "could have" won, I just care about my safety.
 
  • #7
xxChrisxx
2,051
85
I win as I skillfully avoid fights.
 
  • #8
lisab
Staff Emeritus
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Fighting is glorified in the sense that people view it as a competition of skill, when it is not. People let their pride get in the way of their safety and the safety of others. Id rather disable an attacker with sand in the eyes rather than fist fight for 10 minutes. I don't care if I "could have" won, I just care about my safety.

I guess the answer to your question depends on the purpose of the fight. If you're fighting for sport, then there will be rules, written and unwritten. In that case, it's imperative to be a good sportsman and honor yourself and your opponent by following the rules.

But, if it's an actual street fight where your life is on the line...no holds barred! Use every trick you know, your job is to be alive and whole at the end of it.
 
  • #9
lisab
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I win as I skillfully avoid fights.

Excellent strategy :approve:.
 
  • #10
caffenta
144
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Fighting is glorified in the sense that people view it as a competition of skill, when it is not. People let their pride get in the way of their safety and the safety of others. Id rather disable an attacker with sand in the eyes rather than fist fight for 10 minutes. I don't care if I "could have" won, I just care about my safety.

If you care about your safety so much, why do you get in fights every week to begin with? Seems like you let your pride get in the way quite a bit.
 
  • #11
1MileCrash
1,339
41
If you care about your safety so much, why do you get in fights every week to begin with? Seems like you let your pride get in the way quite a bit.

that was a long time ago.
 
  • #12
Norman
896
4
He is talking about when he was a kid or teen.

There is a distinction that should be clear here, I think. When you get into fights as a kid, you are typically not in fear for your life. Yes it is scary and painful to get punched, but you are not likely to die. At least that is the way it was when I was a kid (I am 30). Yes I know the world has changed, it is more violent and we periodically here about childhood shootings. I don't think that is the norm, however. Bullying is a horrible reality for children. Everyone responds to the bullying differently. We all had our coping strategies. I was a stand up for myself and friends kind of kid. I wasn't tough either. So I took a lot of black eyes and swollen lips as a kid. I know where you are coming from 1MileCrash I think.

As an adult, if you are faced with a violent situation the likelihood of it being possibly fatal are drastically higher. Your number one objective in these situations is survival - by any means possible. There is no honor in a street fight. Your friend who thinks he should try to fight within some rules is an idiot. Plain and simple. He has obviously never been in a seriously dangerous life as an adult. You try to get space between you and an attacker by any means possible and then you run for your damn life.
 
  • #13
Pattonias
190
0
If you fight for sport than you adhere to the rules to see who possesses the most skill.

When you are defending yourself you do whatever you have to to avoid harm to yourself.

I think you and your friend didn't come to an agreement on why you were fighting and I bet that your friend has never fought for the same reasons you did.
 
  • #14
SprucerMoose
62
0
1Milecrash back in his prime.
rb9nnn.jpg

Wouldn't want to mess with Andy.
 
  • #15
fillipeano
51
0
Avoiding fights is always the best choice. Sounds so cliche but you know what, it's true.
If you ever are in a situation where it comes down to your defending your own life from an attacker, you should be doing whatever you can to end the fight quickly. Never be the one who throws the first punch, or else you'll be in a load of trouble.
Only fight back if it's in self-defense. Then you can use whatever skills you know to either fend the attacker off or disable them. You should never, and I mean never, beat them while their down.
Trust me on this one.
 
  • #16
Pattonias
190
0
Avoiding fights is always the best choice. Sounds so cliche but you know what, it's true.
If you ever are in a situation where it comes down to your defending your own life from an attacker, you should be doing whatever you can to end the fight quickly. Never be the one who throws the first punch, or else you'll be in a load of trouble.
Only fight back if it's in self-defense. Then you can use whatever skills you know to either fend the attacker off or disable them. You should never, and I mean never, beat them while their down.
Trust me on this one.

That is a very good point. When defending yourself, if you disable your opponent, you should stop/flee. If you continue to pound on the person you are then putting yourself in the position to be in trouble with the law.
 
  • #17
nismaratwork
353
0
Avoid a fight, as others have said, but once you engage... engage. If you need to settle a disagreement through force of arms, wrestle or something more structured. If you're defending your life, it's really very simple:

Face
Genitals
Extremities
Attack major blood vessels (not listing them)
Sever or otherwise disable ligaments and tendons
Organs

To me, this is is very simple: if I'm in a fight for my life, I'm either going to be dead in a very short period, or someone else will be dead or seriously injured. If someone attacks you and is TRULY disabled, I would tend to use a binding technique or joint lock. If the person is armed, then they're going to be Mozambiqued, so hitting them when down is a non-issue.

In a contest, a true contest... don't fight. Sports are not fights, even Pankratian. A fight, a true fight, is always a response to the level of violence offered, and anyone armed is fair game for an armed response. I have no mercy or sympathy for criminals who are under-armed, but if someone is down, don't hit them unless you're prepared to cripple or kill them. Then again, the one "street fight" I've been in began with someone kicking me in the *Car Horn*, and then ended with me striking the carotid sinus. He lived.
 
  • #18
Proton Soup
214
1
don't forget to stick your little toe in their brachial plexus
 
  • #19
nismaratwork
353
0
don't forget to stick your little toe in their brachial plexus

Yes... the Dim-Mak-Toe! :wink:

Personally, when it comes to the brachial plexus a good knee tends to do the job, but it's an EVVVVIIILLL thing to do in a friendly match. Long story short, my right arm like a noodle for about 30 minutes... OOOW.
 
  • #20
Loren Booda
3,119
4
The two times I was attacked, I didn't fight back. Once was by a gang (who could have really hurt me, but didn't). The other was by a guy, 6'8", who broke my nose with a sucker punch (not that I could have done anything about that either).

My lesson is, one usually better off avoiding a fight. I had been a wrestler in high school, which is more of a gentleman's sport. I believe working on personal attitude is best -- some folks never get in a fight in the first place.
 
  • #21
nismaratwork
353
0
The two times I was attacked, I didn't fight back. Once was by a gang (who could have really hurt me, but didn't). The other was by a guy, 6'8", who broke my nose with a sucker punch (not that I could have done anything about that either).

My lesson is, one usually better off avoiding a fight. I had been a wrestler in high school, which is more of a gentleman's sport. I believe working on personal attitude is best -- some folks never get in a fight in the first place.

'The fight you always win is the one you never have', no doubt about that. There is no joy in doing harm to another, including in self-defense and avoiding a fight is best. Running is the next best choice, because again, I'd rather run than hurt or be hurt for no good reason.

If you're cornered however, and your life is at risk... why wouldn't you defend yourself? I understand if resisting would be futile and only increase your risk, but if you have the capacity and you're set upon by a GANG...?

Oh, and I'm sorry that you were sucker-punched in the face... what a jerk. Sometimes people just do NOT think... and that's when we have manslaughter. :grumpy: What if, for instance, you'd fallen backward and cracked your head?... I'm not even a lawyer and I know about the "eggshell skull" example. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggshell_skull
 
  • #22
Loren Booda
3,119
4
What if, for instance, you'd fallen backward and cracked your head?... I'm not even a lawyer and I know about the "eggshell skull" example. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggshell_skull

Thanks for your empathy. I had sometime considered such rule, now this casts it into law.

I believe I was sitting on a bench at a time. My skull sounded more like a wooden block than an eggshell.
 
  • #23
nismaratwork
353
0
Thanks for your empathy. I had sometime considered such rule, now this casts it into law.

I believe I was sitting on a bench at a time. My skull sounded more like a wooden block than an eggshell.

Oh... he punched you in face and you were sitting DOWN?! He is one lucky man that he punched someone who is deeply non-violent. I'd say being that guy is punishment enough; what a scummy thing to do, and at 6'8"...

I have to ask, what the hell was his problem that he felt the need to strike someone seated who wasn't going to offer a fight?!
 
  • #24
Loren Booda
3,119
4
I have to ask, what the hell was his problem that he felt the need to strike someone seated who wasn't going to offer a fight?!

I had manic depression, a medical condition, laughing hysterically then shutting up, laughing hysterically then shutting up. I probably was not taking my medicine as prescribed. There were a number of incidents of such behavior that could have potentially set him off.

For instance, someone pulled the fire alarm at night, and many residents gathered outside in their robes. I had a Jewish and an Iranian roommate (this was ~1981). I thought I heard someone say "Allah." Then someone say "Jehovah." A third said "Jesus." I thought it hilarious, in a respectful way. So who must have pulled the alarm, the laughing man?

__________

After he punched me he said "do you understand?" I have never understood. The campus police I was hanging out with told me to look in the bathroom mirror. When I saw blood streaming from my nose, I started crying. To make a long story short, I ended up at St. Elizabeth's hospital in Washington, DC.

Aside: in a neighboring dormitory where I lived the next year, who should be the security guard?
 
  • #25
mathwonk
Science Advisor
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I used to get in fights, and I took them as a competitive macho game. Once I got beat up pretty badly, partly because I let the other guy up after having him down, he was very strong, and partly because I was not quite sober. After that I decided I would only fight when it mattered, and then I would fight all out. That was 45 years ago, and I have not been in a fight since.

I honestly thought you were also going to say after your introductory remarks,"... and now I don't fight anymore." Think about it. You have a lot of energy and power that you are wasting in frustration against people who have no role in what is frustrating you.

Figure it out and direct that energy toward your goal. Don't "pour your water into the sand".
 
  • #26
rootX
465
4
Other than one or two rare cases that I can't recall, I never fought or got into any argument.
 
  • #27
nismaratwork
353
0
I had manic depression, a medical condition, laughing hysterically then shutting up, laughing hysterically then shutting up. I probably was not taking my medicine as prescribed. There were a number of incidents of such behavior that could have potentially set him off.

For instance, someone pulled the fire alarm at night, and many residents gathered outside in their robes. I had a Jewish and an Iranian roommate (this was ~1981). I thought I heard someone say "Allah." Then someone say "Jehovah." A third said "Jesus." I thought it hilarious, in a respectful way. So who must have pulled the alarm, the laughing man?

__________

After he punched me he said "do you understand?" I have never understood. The campus police I was hanging out with told me to look in the bathroom mirror. When I saw blood streaming from my nose, I started crying. To make a long story short, I ended up at St. Elizabeth's hospital in Washington, DC.

Aside: in a neighboring dormitory where I lived the next year, who should be the security guard?

Wow, I don't know this guy and I already hate him. Still, a very good reason to only act in defense... words are good for pretty much everything else.

mathwonk: I call that growing up... good for you.
 
  • #28
IMP
31
1
What if the opponent was a hungry mountain lion? Would using sand or sticks be a "sign of weakness" in that case? Why does it matter what the threat is, if it is truly life or death, anything goes. If it is not life or death, I agree that there are certain unwritten rules, a fighters etiquette if you will. Some things should be left off the table, even at the expense of loosing the fight. A mountain lion knows nothing of etiquette, anything goes...
 
  • #29
nismaratwork
353
0
What if the opponent was a hungry mountain lion? Would using sand or sticks be a "sign of weakness" in that case? Why does it matter what the threat is, if it is truly life or death, anything goes. If it is not life or death, I agree that there are certain unwritten rules, a fighters etiquette if you will. Some things should be left off the table, even at the expense of loosing the fight. A mountain lion knows nothing of etiquette, anything goes...

There is no such thing as etiquette in a REAL fight, which is why they should be avoided at nearly all costs. If they cannot be, that's why I personally believe that decisive action is key: train how you fight, unless you want to play.

If you and the person you're fighting have agreed on "unwritten rules", you don't need to be fighting.
 
  • #30
mathwonk
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
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Here's my favorite macho fighting story. forgive me if i have told you this already. My friend, a big rowdy outdoors type who is now a preacher, was in the army and drinking at a bar when another nearby soldier was bragging about how tough he was. My friend got tired of it and invited him outside. As they went out the door the other guy started taking off his jacket, and just at that crucial moment when his hands were both behind his back, my buddy brought a roundhouse blow up from the floor and landed it right on his chin...... The guy shook it off, finished taking off his jacket, grabbed my pal's head under his arm and started whaling on him big time. My friend looked up from under the guys pounding, and prudently remarked, "you know buddy, you are every bit as tough as you said you were. Come on back inside and let me buy you beer!"
 
  • #31
DanP
114
1
A disagreement arose from a discussion about fighting, with a close friend of mine.

It essentially boiled down to whether or not one would use a weapon (in the form of the environment, IE sand, a rock, stick) etc when defending yourself against someone as a way to disable them.

As I was growing up, I was in a fight every week. For this reason, I view fighting in a different light than most.

I would use anything to my advantage. Rocks, sand in the eye, whatever. My close friend said that he would not, saying that it takes more skill to not use those things and that he "wouldn't need to use them." Disabling the attacker with a rock, stick, whatever is a sign of "weakness."

I was completely taken back by what he said. It is not a game, it is not a competition to see who is better, it is you as a human defending yourself against an attacker. Any means necessary to disable the opponent and prevent further mindless violence.

That is my mindset - and I just could not understand his. People have glorified fighting it seems, especially when they are naive to what it really is. Your goal isn't to look cool in front of the people who may be watching the fight. Your goal is to get out unhurt. It's not a boxing match, it's real life.

I told him a very shameful story of when I was 16, in a diner at my hometown. I was cornered by three larger boys, I had no chance. One of them punched me in the face and I fell over a chair in the area. So, being the dumb kid I was, I got up, and I picked up one of those large metal napkin holders at restaurants, and split the guy's face open.

I then asked my friend the simple question:

When that guy was laying down, getting stitches on his bloody face in the hospital, do you think he thought "he used a napkin holder so I really won, and I am better" or do you think he thought "my face is killing me, I'm not messing with that guy again?"


Fighting a street fight is stupid. If you have a choiche, run like hell.

If it is necessary to fight, then the right mind set is to use all you have, including weapons. If you can grab a bottle and hit with it , do it. Dont hesitate. Kick the groin, bite, use small joint manipulation, knees and elbows where you see fit. If you need to break an arm to get away, then break it. Hit early, hit hard. Then run :P And be aware that the other person may be equally determined to finish you with any means whatsoever at its disposal. The right mindset is not self defense. It's battle.

All fights, even sanctioned combat sports fights are pretty chaotic events. This is even more true in street fights, where no rules apply. Never expect the other person to fight after what you think are "gentleman rules". Those do not apply in the streets. You never know whats coming for you in a street fight.

Always try to make sure that you don't only survive a fight, but also that you can survive the legal aftermath of a fight too.

If you want to see "who is better", take a combat sport and fight in a ring. Again, do avoid at any price fighting in the streets. An edged weapon or a hot weapon can kill you pretty easy, no matter how much Muay Thai or BJJ you know. It happens seldom to fall victim to such an attack, but it can happen.
 
  • #32
nismaratwork
353
0
Fighting a street fight is stupid. If you have a choiche, run like hell.

If it is necessary to fight, then the right mind set is to use all you have, including weapons. If you can grab a bottle and hit with it , do it. Dont hesitate. Kick the groin, bite, use small joint manipulation, knees and elbows where you see fit. If you need to break an arm to get away, then break it. Hit early, hit hard. Then run :P And be aware that the other person may be equally determined to finish you with any means whatsoever at its disposal. The right mindset is not self defense. It's battle.

All fights, even sanctioned combat sports fights are pretty chaotic events. This is even more true in street fights, where no rules apply. Never expect the other person to fight after what you think are "gentleman rules". Those do not apply in the streets. You never know whats coming for you in a street fight.

Always try to make sure that you don't only survive a fight, but also that you can survive the legal aftermath of a fight too.

If you want to see "who is better", take a combat sport and fight in a ring. Again, do avoid at any price fighting in the streets. An edged weapon or a hot weapon can kill you pretty easy, no matter how much Muay Thai or BJJ you know. It happens seldom to fall victim to such an attack, but it can happen.

Run like hell, always a wise choice if it's possible! Another point I appreciate: no matter how skilled, if you're in a knife fight you're in trouble in all kinds of ways. On the other hand, if you run like hell, even if you're armed, you've protected yourself legally, morally, and in every other sense. If you then have turn and open fire, it is out of absolute necessity, and not a desire to harm or see harm done. I agree with literally everything you said, and the spirit in which you've said it.

@Mathwonk: Wow... your friend thinks well under pressure!
 
  • #33
Pattonias
190
0
Here's my favorite macho fighting story. forgive me if i have told you this already. My friend, a big rowdy outdoors type who is now a preacher, was in the army and drinking at a bar when another nearby soldier was bragging about how tough he was. My friend got tired of it and invited him outside. As they went out the door the other guy started taking off his jacket, and just at that crucial moment when his hands were both behind his back, my buddy brought a roundhouse blow up from the floor and landed it right on his chin...... The guy shook it off, finished taking off his jacket, grabbed my pal's head under his arm and started whaling on him big time. My friend looked up from under the guys pounding, and prudently remarked, "you know buddy, you are every bit as tough as you said you were. Come on back inside and let me buy you beer!"


Yep, a good fight story. :smile:
 
  • #34
turbo
Gold Member
3,228
55
I never started a fight. And though I was small for my age all through elementary and HS, I never lost a fight, either. The fights weren't about "who is better". They were only about some older and/or larger kid finding an "easy" mark to pound on for fun. Good luck explaining your new black eye or missing tooth to your parents.

My old man was in Airborne in WWII and he instilled some attitudes in me that helped me survive being a runt. I could run like hell (and captained the cross-country team in HS), but running doesn't always work. Sometimes you have to stand and face it. Best not to lose, and best to decisively defeat your assailant - especially with lots of witnesses.

BTW, I was in a couple of absolutely needless fights, when creeps egged new kids in town to fight me (for their own entertainment). By the time I was in my teens, older kids knew not to screw with me, but new kids in town didn't.

Most of the guys around my age or a bit older have spent time in prison, and one is serving a life sentence for an ax murder. Growing up in a very poor community with lots of broken homes is probably about the same everywhere, race aside. Plunk some inner-city slum-dweller down in my old home town, and they would have known the ropes right away.
 
  • #35
nismaratwork
353
0
I never started a fight. And though I was small for my age all through elementary and HS, I never lost a fight, either. The fights weren't about "who is better". They were only about some older and/or larger kid finding an "easy" mark to pound on for fun. Good luck explaining your new black eye or missing tooth to your parents.

My old man was in Airborne in WWII and he instilled some attitudes in me that helped me survive being a runt. I could run like hell (and captained the cross-country team in HS), but running doesn't always work. Sometimes you have to stand and face it. Best not to lose, and best to decisively defeat your assailant - especially with lots of witnesses.

BTW, I was in a couple of absolutely needless fights, when creeps egged new kids in town to fight me (for their own entertainment). By the time I was in my teens, older kids knew not to screw with me, but new kids in town didn't.

Most of the guys around my age or a bit older have spent time in prison, and one is serving a life sentence for an ax murder. Growing up in a very poor community with lots of broken homes is probably about the same everywhere, race aside. Plunk some inner-city slum-dweller down in my old home town, and they would have known the ropes right away.

Tolstoy might be right at the familial level, but yeah, poor and desperate is the same everywhere I've seen it and been in the midst of it. There was an especially odd period when Cabrini Green in Chicago felt about the same and operated on similar principles as rural Guatemala.
 

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