How to survive a street brawl

If you want to know how to survive a street brawl, I’ll give you some pointers after I show you the video. But first…

Behold, a shining example of humanity’s finest specimen in action:

There are all kinds of idiotic things going on in this video beyond the brawling. The one that stands out the most is how people get sucked into the violence when they can perfectly avoid it. So if you’re looking to know how to survive a street brawl like this one, here are some suggestions:

  • Don’t be there when it happens. Don’t go to public gatherings with lots of booze and hot weather, it’s a bad mix. If you do so anyway, know that brawls can happen in an instant. One moment you’re having a good time with friends and the next five idiots crash into you as they trade punches, kicks and worse.
  • Be aware. If you get so messed up you can’t see what’s going on, it’s easy to get blindsided by such a brawl. Either don’t get ripped at all or stay sober enough so you can at least react when it goes down.
  • Leave. It’s not rocket science: when a brawl breaks out, leave the area right now. Best is to go home but if that’s not an option, then distance yourself from the closest combatants right away. See next point.
  • Brawls spread like wildfire. One moment, the brawl is right in front of you, the next it moves off ten yards to your left. Five seconds later, it can be right in front of you again, further away or it might not have moved at all. Here’s the thing: every time the fight moves, it can pick up additional combatants. Because when the fighters plow into somebody who isn’t involved (and perhaps wasn’t paying attention even though they should have), they can easily get drawn into it too. And so the brawl moves around and potentially grows at the same time.
  • Control your inner monkey. Throughout this video, you’ll see several guys itching to get into the fight. They’re almost bubbling over with eagerness to get a sucker punch in on somebody who isn’t looking. It’s called “a freebie” and it’s probably fun if you’re into that kind of cowardly stuff. That said, as soon as you do, chances of somebody doing the same to you or you getting dragged into the melee go up big time. So no matter how much you’d like to hit somebody, get a grip. And leave. How do you prepare your inner monkey to do just that? See next point.
  • Think long term before you go to such a place. What is your goal in life? To have fun and have a good time as long as you can? Or to have fun without bounds right now and whatever happens, so be it. If the former, then you might want to let it slide when one of the brawlers slams into you and spills your drink all over your favorite shirt. Hard on the ego, yes. But think long term: if you end up like the guy with the white wife-beater at 2min20, you might wake up in the hospital, end up crippled or worse. All of which sucks. If the latter and you end up knocking a guy out like that: welcome to the wonderful world of Youtube and CCTV! Do you honestly think that with that big a crowd you won’t be recorded on video as you punch a guy in the jaw, he falls unconscious to the floor and ends up a vegetable afterwards? Guess who gets to spend time in prison, loses his wife and kids and can spend the rest of his life paying off the damages a court will award the plaintiff or his family when they sue the crap out of you? Yup, it’s you… By the way, if you think you’ll be able to argue self-defense in such a case, good luck with that! A reasonable man doesn’t get involved in brawls when he doesn’t have to. A reasonable man leaves. Guess what? The law looks a what a reasonable man would have done in the situation you were in. Decking a fellow idiot because you felt like it is not it…
  • You’re not off-limits, no matter how pretty you are.  Look at all the women present in that brawl. Some of them just stand there looking at it, others shout at their man to stop fighting, still others shout at another one for hitting her guy and so on. The best one I saw was the blond with the sunglasses at 2min30: she turns her back on the brawlers, walks a few steps and then stands there… Then she walks a few steps again. She should have made a beeline to safety and at the very least checked behind her. So for the ladies: leave, leave, leave. If need be, leave the idiot of a boyfriend you’re with if he wants to join the melee or watch and cheer from the sidelines. But do leave. You do not want to end up smack in the middle of that brawl.

It really isn’t rocket science to figure out how to survive a street brawl like that. And when you read my list here above, you’ll probably think “duh!”. But then watch the video again and count the number of people who don’t follow that advice. Maybe, just maybe, not everybody gets it…



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  1. Bouncing off what you said about women. There are several women who are in the situation from beginning to the end. The woman I noticed was the one to took an elbow to the right temple (1:15 — blond, sunglasses, floral top, black skirt and sandals). Thing is she keeps hanging around.

    There’s also a brunette with a black top who keeps on walking into into the whole affair

    • Yup. It’s beyond me why they seem to think there’s no real danger for them because they aren’t involved/are women. If they’d stop to think about it for half a second ,they’d run like hell.

  2. I’d like to know where security was in all this?! I saw three at the most, and it looked like there were only two throughout most of it (poor bastards!). And what about PD?! Most all of the events like this I’ve been to/worked at usually have at least a couple bike cops roaming around. Given how long it lasted, there should’ve been plenty of time for back-up to have arrived on scene.

    If nothing else, a judicious application of OC could have been administered. That would’ve taken the fight out of a good percentage of the douche-bags and likely cleared out the lookie loos.

    I’d say someone dropped the ball on the admin front.

    • Look at the number of people involved in the brawl David. Even if there would have been one security guard for every brawler, they’d still have a hard time getting it all under control. As for the event, I’m not sure which one it was so it’s hard to say if the organization messed up or not. Sometimes, there are factors out of their control that cause this. Remember the Love Parade disaster in Germany?

    • its in the stretch of darling harbour called cockle bay wharf (out the front of it at least, theyre all cafes and the like during the day so there really arent any sercurity gurads present and the nearest police station is at least, id say 1km away (at town hall [from memory]) and you have to go through city traffic to get there.

  3. Enjoyed the . Best advice ever – don’t be in that spot. Avoidance is the goal.

  4. Great article! Also, great point made about knocking the life out of someone and paying for it later specially of u are a trained fighter. The odds are against you and you would pay dearly. They might deserve the ass kicking but in the end, like Wim said, it’s better to just get the heck away!

  5. And bring friends who will follow the good advice you gave. It sure helps to have a friend steering away, instead of egging on.

  6. They aint serious or there would have been a lot of cutting done before it was over . Ive had to bounce in bars that it was normal for brawls to break out. Why we kept an assorment of skull dusters behind the bar and carried mag lights. You wade in and start poppin asshole across the clavicle and wrist or shins . Dont let up ad dont stop till they do.

    Great advise Wim , people need to pay more attention and use a little more NIKE fu instead of pecker swing to keep them out of trouble

  7. uuhhhmmm, well… uhhhh i agree with everything you said. Except about the part if someone spoils my drink over my favorite shirt. Then i will noth think about the consequences, buth just go apeshit and bite his head of. mwoohahahahaaa.

    Just kidding great article and explanation.

  8. A bit late to the party, but nothing good ever comes out of having that many shirtless dudes in one place, no?? Lots of lessons to be learned from this one for sure…

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