It’s a sport that most of us will never participate in, but we all know at least a few moves and techniques. Fighting! Learn some helpful hints for when you’re in the ring or on the street with this guide to fighting!
Related read: How to Train for a Mixed Martial Arts Fight
The Goal of Fighting
The goal of fighting is to overpower and defeat your opponent. This can be done by:
- Landing a knockout blow (traditionally with the hands or fists, but also with elbows, knees, thighs – any body part that can land a hit)
- Making your opponent “tap out” (unable to defend themselves, they signal you that they concede the fight)
- Exhausting your opponent by using superior endurance and/or technical skill to wear them down.
The goal is not to kill or injure your opponent. Doing so would be considered “cheating” and result in disqualification, expulsion from the ring, or arrest, depending on your jurisdiction.
It is possible to defeat someone without meeting these three criteria – for example, one might “win” by making the other person extremely embarrassed – but not in a professional match.
The Key to Winning a Fight is not Getting Hit
Caveat: While it’s possible to win fights without taking any hits, you should expect that there will be some physical contact. You will probably get hit in the ring/on the street at least once or twice before you can submit your opponent and call “time.”
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If you can stop your opponent from landing decisive blows, you will win the fight. To do this:
- Avoid your opponent’s most dangerous techniques
- Make sure your position and body language are stable and challenging for him to destabilize, so he cannot land a hit.
- Close in and negate his striking range by taking away his space
- Use superior endurance and/or technical skill to tire him out
- Overwhelm him by gaining and maintaining positional dominance, so he is forced to try and defend himself rather than attack you.
Either way, the key to winning a fight is: Don’t get hit. If you can accomplish this, you will succeed.
If You Do Get Hit... Don't Panic!
If you get caught with a punch or combination that has power behind it, your initial response is usually to tense up in anticipation of the pain that’s about to come. This makes it easier for your opponent to land further blows and tire you out.
The first thing you should do after your opponent hits you is to relax and remember to breathe! If there’s no submission hold being applied (yet), take a moment to recover and gather yourself. This will give your opponent doubt whether or not their blows are effective, and it might even make them hesitate for a second.
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After you’re sure your opponent isn’t about to follow up, you should move. If it was a combination that caught you, roll with the punches (literally) and try to get out of range of the next blow. If it’s a single shot, pivot away from them – turn your back on them while they recover balance after throwing a punch and step out of range.
Every little bit counts in a fight – even if you get hit, try to minimize the damage by keeping your feet moving. If you can both avoid getting hit AND keep your feet moving, then you’ll have a much easier time winning!
Listen to Your Cornermen
Your cornermen (trainer and/or friends) are experienced fighters who know what they’re doing. If you follow their advice, it will help improve your chances of winning the fight. They might tell you when to take a break, when to stop wasting energy on specific techniques, or when to take advantage of a mistake your opponent is making.
If your cornermen tell you to be more aggressive, it doesn’t necessarily mean that getting hit is a bad thing. It might just mean that they see an opportunity for you to end the fight. Take a risk if they’re telling you to go all-in and finish things!
There are many techniques to fighting in the ring, but not all of them are legal. You should know that you can’t hit someone when they’re down or use your head. If you want to win, you need to be aggressive and stay on top of your opponent before they get a chance to recover!
The basics of boxing have been around for a long time, but some people still don’t know how to properly use them in their matches! When you’re punching someone, you’re supposed to keep your hands up and partially block with them so that if they get hit by accident, it doesn’t do very much damage to them. Don’t go too far and get yourself hit in the face, though!
When you want to make someone submit (give up), you need to do something that will make them stop fighting back and focus on their own body for a bit. If they’re facing you, pull back and strike their nose or groin, and if they’re on their back, go for the eyes or throat. Once you’ve made them think about their own body instead of fighting back, you can get a submission easily!
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It’s not the easiest thing to get someone onto the ground, so if you want to win, you need takedowns! Try not to overdo it – sometimes people will get up after enough time. It’s better to go for leg sweep or grapple them down than just try to knock them over with your shoulder. Keep your cool and act like nothing is wrong even while they’re getting up so they don’t suspect anything.
Striking is an essential part of fighting! You should try to hit your opponent before they get the chance to punch you first, but if you miss, you might leave yourself open for them to do it instead. Punching isn’t just swinging randomly – you need to time your punches and be smart about when you’re going for them.
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Sometimes, it’s almost impossible to get out of the way in time or avoid getting hit by an opponent. When this happens, you should try to block their fist when they swing at you. The best way is with a cross-face block, but if you don’t know how to do that, jam their fist with your arm. Whatever you do, don’t get knocked out!
Sidestepping and Ducking
If an opponent throws a punch at you and you’re not fast enough to dodge it, the next best thing is to sidestep. Sidestepping is also suitable for making an opponent miss if they’re trying to punch you in the face by dodging left or right. If you can duck, that’s even better because it will bring your head below their fist and make them unable to hit you!
Practice makes perfect, so before you get in a real fight, you should spar with someone. Having a practice match lets you figure out what your opponent likes to do and use it against them! If they have an aggressive style, try to block them to get in some shots yourself. If they’re defensive, go for takedowns or hope that they mess up while punching.
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Know When to Give Up
If your opponent starts beating you up, don’t just stand there and hope that the match will end soon – it won’t. If they’re pounding you into the ground and dodging most of your punches, apologize and let them win! Don’t be a sore loser or try to keep fighting because they might end up doing something terrible to you, and then everyone will think you were the jerk!
Know What's Legal and Illegal
Fighting in the ring is legal as long as both of you follow the rules. That doesn’t mean it has to be clean, though – sometimes there are matches where anyone can join in. But when it’s just two fighters, some things aren’t allowed. Punching to the head is illegal – the only places you’re allowed to punch are the body and ribs. Also, kicking is not legal except for one or two moves.
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Benefits and Drawbacks to Fighting
There are many benefits and drawbacks to fighting, which is why it’s worth exploring both before getting into a physical altercation. You’ll need to know the risks, rewards and how they might affect your life to make an informed decision about whether or not you want to fight someone-or if you want them to fight you.
Benefits to Fighting
- Self-defence; if you are attacked, fighting back is often the best self-defence.
- Psychological benefits; sometimes, people just need to vent their frustrations and anger on another person (not advised).
- Ventilation of emotions; it is common for someone who feels angry or upset with someone else to fight them to get it out of their system.
- Confidence, knowing you can defend yourself and wrestle others down, gives a boost in self-esteem.
- Social release; most people will feel better about themselves after physical altercations, even if they don’t win the fight.
Drawbacks to Fighting
- Physical injury; it only takes a few seconds of hitting or being hit to cause severe physical damage.
- Financial implications; you could end up spending thousands on medical bills after the fight, not to mention any fines/charges you might face for getting into the fight in the first place.
- Pain; even if you don’t end up getting injured, the pain of being hit or hitting someone else can be tough to deal with.
Tips for Beginners
One tip that I think is particularly helpful is that you should always keep your left side forward when you’re in the ring or on the street. This will give you an advantage when throwing punches and when trying to dodge, which most opponents don’t expect!
Some more tips for beginners include:
- Always punch with your whole body. It’s not just your arms that will do the damage, but also your legs if you connect correctly. You can even use some of those leg muscles to rotate around a corner and make a quick escape!
- When bobbing and weaving to dodge punches, be unpredictable, don’t always move left or right, but sometimes forward or backwards, so your opponent can’t predict which way you’ll dodge next.
- Most importantly, be patient! You can’t talk smack and expect to win a fight. Sometimes you have to let the other person tire themselves out before attacking.
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What to Wear When You Fight
Some people say that you should wear something form-fitting and light, but others prefer to wear loose and not restrictive clothes. You should also always have a towel with you, as well as something to drink. Whether you’re fighting in the ring or on the street, it’s essential for your safety that you know what you’re doing.
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Whether you’re fighting in the ring or on the streets, it’s essential for your safety that you know what you’re doing. The article has provided many tips, including how to dress appropriately and fight strategies that could help increase your chances of winning if ever put into an altercation situation. There are also benefits and drawbacks worth exploring before getting into physical altercations such as self-defence, social release, confidence boosts vs physical injury etc. This article is informational for those who may not have any experience whatsoever but want to learn more about fighting.