Lessons From Street Fight Videos

March 7, 20130 Comments


What you see in these videos are violent street attacks. Viewer discretion is advised. 

One of the benefits of the “YouTube” age is that we’re able to watch actual street fight footage.

In the past, many relied on anecdotal evidence, stories of (supposed) fights experienced by their teachers (or teacher’s teachers etc.) with no real knowledge of whether they actually knew what they were talking about.

Because of sites such as YouTube, you can now see for yourself how things escalates and go from simple verbal exchange to sudden violence, which means you no longer have to rely on stories to see how things go from bad to terrible in a heart beat.

So today, I’ve decided to pick a couple of short “street fight video compilations” to see what I could learn from watching this kind of video footage (I chose these videos randomly).

Here’s the second video I chose to look at today:


Here are some of the initial observations I made from watching the 2 videos:

  • typically starts with a verbal altercation and gesturing.
  • attack often comes out of nowhere (sudden violence) as opposed to a duel (like a sparring match)
  • escalation often starts with a push (with the right hand or both hands)
  • many punches thrown are curved punches (hook line / roundhouse style)
  • most people swing with their right hand first (with their left leg in front).
  • many will often keep their left hand forward (grabbing) while striking with their right.
  • there’s often more than one aggressor (they have friends along)
  • happens in close proximity (and stays there – in other words, there’s little space between you and the aggressor)
  • street fights do not typically have both participants go to the ground (as some may have you believe)
  • when struck people usually don’t go down from the initial strike
  • people often grab your shoulder or arm (clothing) to either defend or to prepare for strike

These are some simple observations.

However, by watching footage such as this you can start to prepare yourself for the type of attacks you may face on the street.

So taking the points I’ve noted, I know to start looking more at:

  • training from an arms length to the opponent (as opposed to typical sparring range)
  • sudden attacks
  • deescalation techniques
  • Pre-Emption
  • multiple opponent scenarios
  • dealing with a push (single or both hands)
  • dealing with a curved right punch (with foot back)
  • dealing with a right punch while the left hand grabs (or measures)
  • how to get up quickly if you get are on the ground (because you were knocked down or tripped)
  • follow up – how not to let up once you are on the offensive

It’s always best to not get in a predicament where you are forced to get into a physical altercation…

As Mr. Miyagi said in “Karate Kid“:

Best defense – not be there!”

I agree wholeheartedly with that statement, but if you are training for self-defense then these are things that ought to be studied and learned from.

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