How to avoid getting knocked out in two moves in a street fight

When you end up in a street fight, things can go really fast. Despite what you see in other videos where the fight takes longer, the first seconds are critical: any mistake you make there and the fight might be over before you can do a thing about it.  As a result, the way you approach those two seconds are radically different from fighting in the ring or Octagon.

I’ll cover that here below but first, an example of what not to do:


This is the kind of knock out that can put you in the hospital or even the morgue.The guy is extremely lucky that he hits the ground with his butt first as that slowed down the movement of his head. He also twists slightly which takes away some more of the impact of the fall. Had he fallen “stiff” like a lot of people do, then he’d have slammed his head onto the concrete. Those kind of impacts, especially if there’s a whiplash motion from the neck, have the potential to crack skulls, cause brain hemorrhage or even instant death. In lesser cases, the damage to the brain can leave you crippled for the rest of your life. As in, unable to speak, blind, unable to concentrate, amnesia, permanent loss of motor skill, and more.

My point is: every time you get in a fight, that’s what you are risking.

As soon as you are old enough to vote, you should be smart enough to understand those risks. Now I’m not saying there can never be a reason to resort to violence, but given the potential permanent problems afterwards, it better be worth it…

Jack Benny stance

That said, some thoughts on what the “victim” did wrong:

  • The first sentence of this blog posts is a lie: the guy with the cap didn’t “end up in a street fight”, he chose to be in one. All he had to do was leave to avoid getting knocked out. That’s all there is to it, just step back and get out of there. It doesn’t make you feel good, it sure sucks for your ego, but given how it turned out, you can’t really argue against this strategy…
  • Distance, distance, distance. If you are emotionally hijacked and decide to stand right in front of somebody picking a fight with you, keep your distance. That means he has to be at the very least out of arms reach. Preferably a step further out than that. Any closer and you will not have the time to react if the guy decides to hit you first.  Humans are just not that fast, no matter how hard you train, because there are limits to how fast your brain can perceive danger, have your nervous system relay orders to your muscles and then have these contract fast enough so you start doing something useful. It’s just not in the cards, so keep away.
  • Move. When somebody steps in your face like the tall guy does at 10 sec. then you move to create distance. Either he’s trying to see if he can get away with it or he’s setting you up for a sucker punch like this guy did. Either way, just standing there makes you a perfect target. Now I don’t mean you have to jump back into a fighting stance and yell like Bruce Lee or jump back and start crying. But just don’t stay there looking at the guy; nothing good will come of it.
  • Don’t do anything that will set it off. At 3 sec. the guy in the cap waves his lead hand in front of the tall guy’s face. At 5 sec. he leans forward towards the guy, invading his space some more. At 9 sec. he points at his own chest and nods, basically giving the message of “Come get some!”. All these things together escalate the situation to the point where the tall guy decides to make a move and boy does he…
  • Know when you’re outclassed and walk away.Looks like this isn’t the first barbeque for the tall guy…
    • He starts in a crossed arms stance that keeps him relatively well protected (though his foot position is a little off).
    • Then he moves to a Jack Benny stance and starts using his lead hand as a distraction and test.
    • Right after, he decides to start the fight and sets it up well: he intimidates cap-guy by suddenly yelling and leaning forward while opening his arms. This is a risky move but it works great to hide the punch that came right after. To boot, he threw that punch while sliding backwards and still got both the power and distance just right.
    •  He then takes his time to aim the kick and even pulls up his pants first to make sure he doesn’t mess up the roundhouse kick.
    • Like I said: not his first time. So if you start seeing those kinds of signals right before the first punch flies at your face: don’t hesitate, step back and walk away. If you don’t know those signals to begin with, well, that kind of proves my point of being outclassed…

Move one of a two move knock out.

Some of you might be thinking that this isn’t accurate because not all fights happen this way. Some fights take a lot longer and trash around all over the place. And you’re right, those things do happen too. But here’s the thing: they all too often start just like this one. Two guys start huffing and puffing and suddenly punches fly.

The point is that you don’t know and cannot predict if the fight will be over in two moves or if it will devolve into a long brawl. Just because it might turn into a two-minute fight, doesn’t mean it can’t be over in two seconds. Once the first punch or kick gets thrown, all bets are off. So it’s smart and good strategy to assume the worst and do everything you can to avoid ending up like the guy with the cap.



Become a Patron and get access to unique content: my newsletter, instructional videos, violence analysis and much more!


  1. Dammit Wim quit telling people this , your making my job harder by eeducating these folks. LOL Great post as always!!!

  2. This is one of the reasons the steady diet of violence in the media is so dangerous. People are desensitized to the potential consequences because they constantly see people taking what appear to be massive beatings and then those same people later in the movies go on to save the day and get the girl.

    Personal security, i.e., self defense against a personal attack is like any other safety issue, first and foremost you have to have awareness of the potential risks. It’s not realizing how dangerous a position they are in that cause many accidents to be so damaging – from simple falls to lifting.

    Thanks for the reminder Wim.

  3. Weyland Billingsley says

    The only person that you should let get that close to you is your wife…and not even her when she is yelling at you.

Speak Your Mind