Streetfight Study: Knockout at the Cookout

Posted: August 27, 2014 in Streetfights
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been the victim of violent crime, the survivor of a few streetfights, and was taught by the best reality-based self defense instructors. As such, I enjoyed watching real fights and attack videos and discussing them with like-minded urban survivalists. While not an expert by any means, I still enjoy analyzing these videos to hopefully determine what the people involved did right and wrong. Here’s the first of what I’m sure will be many “street fight-type” altercations. Please watch this video FIRST, then read my breakdown below.

Okay. Let me start by saying that I don’t think the “frat boys” are racists, event thought the title is “KNOCK OUT!!!!! Racist Frat guys gets tagged at Cook Out!” I believe the uploader used this title to distract viewers from the fact that the three attackers are guilty of assault, since their attacks would not stand up in court as a case of self defense. Why else would he play music over what the men were shouting to each other? Also, by raising the specter of racism, it appeals to viewers on an emotional level and encourages them to sympathize with the attackers and justify their actions. Judging by the comments on the video, it was a shrewd move that ultimately paid off. (Read for yourself.)

Okay. Now on to the tactics. I plan to mostly focus on the victims because they – and by extension we – have much to learn from their mistakes if we wish to avoid becoming victims of violent crime.

Mistake No. 1: Trying to reason with their assailants. It’s fairly obvious this situation was past the point of “talking someone down.” Even so, the two eventual victims continued to try talking to the three to four men who were barking and snarling in their faces.

Mistake No. 2: Staying within striking range. There’s only one reason to keep someone within your striking range and that’s to strike them. Thing is, if they’re in your striking range, you’re in theirs, too. The two men who became victims went to great lengths to remain firmly planted in front of the group that was barking and snarling at them. That’s a bad place to be if all you want to do is talk.

Mistake No. 3: Being out of their element. Both of the victims – especially Golden Curls – most likely come from affluent backgrounds where most fighting is done with nasty, hurtful words and little else. The people they were dealing come from a world where one’s reputation is built upon being strong and tough, and differences are ultimately settled physically. It was a mismatch before the first punch was thrown.

Mistake No. 4: Insulting their attackers. At one point during the argument, Golden Curls smiles and appears to laugh in the faces of the men accosting him, all within striking range. (See Mistake No. 2) . To men as agitated as their attackers, this is seen as an affront to their dignity and practically demands a physical retaliation.

Mistake No. 5: Not knowing they’re in a fight until it’s over. Only the most hardcore criminal predator will attack without warning. Most people – even streetwise men such as the attackers – still need to work up the courage to throw the first punch. This is the dance routine that most fights follow: 1. Barking and snarling in each other’s faces. 3. Minor physical contact, such as a push or a shove. 3. A sucker punch while the victim is still talking. 4. The follow-up blows until the victim is incapacitated or worse. I dare someone to tell me that this chain of events didn’t play out EXACTLY that way here.

Okay. So there’s the five huge mistakes of our foolish victims. What could they have done to NOT become victims? I’ll spare you the speech of not being in a place where such a thing could happen because that is a blog post in and of itself, and the two young men clearly didn’t have that option as they camera picks up with them in the thick of it. So, based on my experiences in real-life altercations and what the wise Peyton Quinn has taught me, here’s what the might’ve done instead:

1.Recognize that a fight was going to happen whether they wanted it or not. Let’s face it, sometimes you’re not always in control of the situation, and shit gets ugly really fast.

2. “Create their own witnesses” by placing their hands up, palms forward, between them and their attackers and saying, “I’m sorry! I don’t want any trouble. I’m cool, man!” No protracted conversations, just a few key non-confrontational phrases to let the crowd believe they don’t want to fight.

3. Be the first to punch/strike. Waiting until the other guy swings first might’ve worked in high school; but in the real world, you’re asking to get knocked the fuck out with this tactic. Pre-emptive striking gives you the element of surprise and the first few critical seconds of momentum. See how it worked for their attackers? Golden Curls was down and out after one shot while Red Shirt was dazed and unable to retaliate after a barrage of power punches. (He looked like a Bobblehead with all those shots!)

4. Commit to action. Keep punching and striking, all the while moving forward toward the door. Will they get hit? Yes. But they would’ve also had the upper hand because they struck first and didn’t stop.

5. Get outside the building and run for help.

Some might choose to question my tactics, and I’m open for any type of discussion on the matter. The truth is, I can’t tell you when you should fight and when you shouldn’t – that’s a decision you have to make for yourself. What I can give you is some general advice based on my own experiences – and plenty of blunders, admittedly – as well as the sage advice given to me by the man I trust in these matters.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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Comments
  1. johnnyid says:

    Lots of good thoughts here, and a few that are close to my heart. The only thought I might add is something of a precursor to the situation and that’s to get some training. Pretty much any training and some vigorous practice. As we never know when we might be in a violent altercation, you can’t start training too early. I’m sure we could debate the merits of various martial arts styles or self defense courses, but I think any training at all is better than no training. For some reason, “violent” activities like martial arts are kind of looked down on in many parts of society. That leads to some people being woefully under prepared for situations like this. Those frat boys obviously had no clue what they were getting into.

    Just a thought. Interesting post.

  2. Lee Johnson says:

    Many years ago, when I was much thinner, I used an old pioneer method: Act crazy. (The Indians wouldn’t mess with you if you act crazy). I mean, really, bad juju crazy. Bob your head and body, talk to yourself, talk to voices outside your head, SHUT UP SHUT UP I’M TRYING TO HELP THESE GUYS to someone clearly not there, basically puzzle and entertain them (and most important, reframe the situation) until you move yourself out of harm’s way and to an exit. Misunderstand all threats, answer in non-sequiturs, deny the confrontation. These guys will have a story later that they’ll laugh about, and you avoid a fight when you are outnumbered.

    It helps that when I’m angry or pretend to be, I get a really crazy look in my eyes. The day after 9/11, I was so angry that, I’m not kidding, a gang of three young but bad-ass punks approached me in a subway car and then after taking one look at me, moved away from me. I mean, they backed away. Of course, my look was, “Give me a reason to use your head to beat your friends to death with.” Because that’s what I was thinking.

    • johnribner13 says:

      While that approach might scare off the average street punk who’s more interested in a passive victim, a seasoned violence veteran – ex con, biker, etc. – might see right through it. Then what?

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