punchMartial arts are all about discipline and self-defense. We work to perfect our strikes, kicks, take-downs and form. This does not mean that we look to start a fight or be in a fight. Ideally there would be no fight. The goal is self-discipline and safety.


In class Sensei promotes avoiding fights if at all possible. There are three basic ways to win a fight without throwing a punch:


Avoidance: It is never the fault of the victim when they are attacked. However, we do have the power to reduce the likelihood of ending up in a fight. Sensei says “You are who you hang around with.” If you hang around people who get into fights – you are going to get into a fight eventually.


Avoidance is more than the company you keep. It is also the places you choose to be. Some places are known for fights. Don’t go there. If you are in a place that is generally considered safe, but feel uncomfortable – get out. Your gut knows something your mind does not.


Confidence: Bullies and aggressors prey on the weak. A person who is looking down, unaware of their surroundings and generally looking timid is more likely to be attacked. Again it is never the fault of the victim, but confidence does have a lot of benefits.


By projecting confidence, you are sending a message. You are telling everyone around you that you are strong, focused and aware of your surroundings. Confidence alone can give you an added layer of security.


Controlling the Situation: Sometimes people are aggressive even when you are in the right place doing the right thing. The trick is to control the situation. Show your opponent that you mean business without looking like the bad guy. Sensei teaches a lot of deflection techniques. Students are then encouraged to yell very loudly, “Leave me alone!” The deflection techniques create distance and the shouting draws attention. By drawing attention, you discourage the aggressor from coming in again and let everyone around you know you are the good guy.


Sometimes avoidance, confidence and controlling the situation is not enough. You must fight your way out. In a life or death situation Sensei encourages students to “let the tiger out.” If the life of you or someone you love depends on it, use the skills learned in class to defend yourself without hesitation. Then report the situation to the police. Who knows, by letting your tiger out and reporting to the authorities you may be preventing another attack on someone else down the line.

Three Ways to Win a Fight Without Throwing a Punch