There are a lot of street fighting mistakes you can make and in this video, you’ll see perhaps the biggest one: not leaving when you should.
Before we go on though: the guy’s an idiot. We don’t see the beginning of the altercation so who started it isn’t clear, but it does look like he throws the first slap. So at first glance, it looks like he‘s the instigator.
What is definitely clear is that he has the chance to walk away. But he chooses to engage again, prolong the conflict and escalate it by throwing the first punch. So there is no way you can view this as self-defense:
- His opponents walk away first.
- He walks away next.
- Then he returns and escalates the conflict, not them. They hang back and aren’t threatening the guy.
If you have the opportunity to flee, the law says you should take it so this is not a self-defense situation; it is street fighting. If you’re dumb enough to do that and pick on two guys who are clearly backing away, what you get next is probably a good lesson to learn.
Here’s the video:
Street Fighting Mistakes: not leaving
Not leaving when you have the chance is a crucial street fighting mistake to make. The guy has plenty of opportunities to walk away; it’s clear the two other guys are backpedaling. All he needed to do was take five steps into the crowd and they wouldn’t be able to catch up even if they wanted to.
Instead, he decides to humiliate them and take it to the next level, probably certain of his victory over those “pussies”. Truth be told, he probably would have “won”. He seemed aggressive and fast enough to get the job done. But he makes the fatal mistake of thinking he’s the only aggressive guy around.
Invariably, when people fight in public, they attract a crowd. If it happens during some sort of public event (like seems to be the case here), the crowd will gather much faster and will have more people on the sidelines. In every such crowd, you can be sure there’s somebody just itching to get a free shot in. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. Either way, there’s always that risk.
In this case, the guy was so wrapped up in his “I’m gonna kick your ass and look cool doing so.” vibe that he was oblivious to the sucker punch coming his way. Mind you, he couldn’t have prevented it as it was well done: good timing, good angle and full power to a vulnerable target. If all those factors are aligned in an ambush, the odds are low you’ll get out of it in one piece.
There is one sure-fire way to prevent this from happening though:
Just go away the second you have the chance. There is no upside to prolonging a conflict such as this one. The only thing that will happen by not leaving is the odds of you getting hurt increasing with every second.
Or even better: don’t start this kind of crap to begin with. There’s no gain to be had, you don’t get any prizes. On the contrary, look at what happened to this guy:
- He got knocked unconscious. Concussions are no fun, and neither is permanent brain damage.
- His head hits the pavement. You don’t see it but you can hear the thud over the noise of the crowd. A cracked skull often leads to an extended trip to the hospital or worse, to the morgue.
- He gets arrested. There were plenty of witnesses who will have explained to the cops that the guy started it. Hence the cuffs and a trip down to the station.
- Potential lawsuit. If the two guys press charges, he’s only at the beginning of his troubles: in front of a crowd of witnesses and dozens of cellphones capturing everything on video from different angles, the guy attacks them. He won’t be able to claim self-defense, the evidence just won’t support that claim. Paying damages sucks…
Street fighting mistakes like this one are exceedingly common but they apply to self-defense just as well: as soon as you can, leave. As you can see in this video, it can go horribly wrong in a fraction of a second, even when you think you are “winning”.
Make sure you don’t end up like this guy and practice avoidance, evasion and de-escalation as your primary self-defense tools. They will give you the skills to effectively do the smart thing, which is leaving. You’ll be happy to laugh at the whole incident later when you’re sitting on your couch at home, sipping a beer.