Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Urban Survival Techniques - Protect Yourself - Fighting Words (#7)

(continued from Urban Survival Techniques - Government Terrorism)

Editor's Note: This urban survival techniques essay from GT is in part an extension of essay #2 (Avoiding Trouble). It then continues with techniques of possible use in fighting back in case you cannot run away. It even includes mentions of -- horrors! -- guns in self-defense.

Here's what GT has to say about "fighting words", avoiding trouble, and protecting yourself:

I remember watching a Three Stooges short where Moe finishes slapping Curly around. Moe, then shouts at Curly: "What are you? A moron?"

Trying to regain his dignity, Curly shouts back: "THEM'S FIGHTIN' WORDS!"

Moe replies: "Yeah! Them's fighting Words! What are you going to do about it?"

Curly shrugs and says: "Oh,... nothing! I'm just letting you know 'Them's Fightin' Words'"

I am here hopefully to let you know a few things you can do if you get to the "Fightin' Words" point and beyond.

I have some knowledge of fighting but take it with a pinch of salt. You're not going to win any ultimate fighting contest. The best thing that can save you in a fight is to use your instinct. It is always right. Mostly it will tell you to run.


An obvious thing you can do is run away! This is the best survival technique. Do not let such foolish notions such as bravery, honor, or pride prevent you from running as fast and as far as your legs can carry you. Take it from one who knows. A basic rule of urban survival is: He who runs away, lives to run another day. I admit to feeling ashamed of the coward I truly am. Remember! by running, you survived! The first thing you can and should do is RUN AWAY! You're not Superman! There's no "S" on your chest.


Various bluffs I have tried

"Look behind you."

Hey, it works in the movies. Surprisingly, this survival tactic works best in the gangs fights I've seen. With all the ruckus going on, everybody has their eyes out for the cops and if someone even hints the cops are coming, everybody disappears.


One thing a policeman fears is fighting a madman. They are dangerous! They can go from sanity to madness in a instant. It will surprise you quick and scare you quicker. A totally insane madman has adrenaline going, so he's super strong. Plus, he probably is under the influence of something. He will hurt you! He will hurt you bad! Sure you can shoot him. Your aim better be perfect. Police have shot madmen point blank in the heart. You need a really big gun to bring him down. You shot him, but he keeps coming. That would scare the pants off anybody, especially a cop. Most officers are too to surprised to do anything else at that point. He is a dead man but he intends to take the officer with him.

Moral: Unless today is a good day to die, you don't get into a fight with a madman.

If you are going to pretend you're mad, be convincing. Do things no normal person would think of doing. If you want to convince someone you're raving insane, one way is to eat trash and let your imagination work its way down from there.


You can do this by yelling as loud as you can. I can do it by playing my horn. I can play at a loud enough volume to be heard two miles away. Imagine me playing that loud right in your ear. That will keep the music critics from complaining.


Most brawlers are cowards trying to prove their bravery by pounding a can of whoop-ass on someone. It doesn't matter who they beat up. You, me or themselves if nobody else is around. I've noticed this in some cowboys bars. If you can convince them to pick on someone else, you can slink away with your hide intact.


Sometimes, if someone was bothering me, I would ask: "Look! Are you ready to go to hospital or the morgue?

"If I have to fight you I WILL try to kill you unless you kill me. I've been in fights to the death and survived. Have you? I'm still alive. I am also willing to get into another knife fight but this time I am not going to be the one going to the hospital. YOU ARE! So if you ready to fight let's get a couple of knifes and see who comes out alive."

So far I haven't met anyone willing to take me up on my offer. I scare them enough where their pants need cleaning.

This works when you have someone mouthing off but he has never seen, much less been in, an all-out street fight. Let him know what he is getting into. A real fight, unlike in the movies, can be painful for both winner and loser. It can also develop over time, into a feud where somebody will end up dead. You might as well let your opponent know from the start you're not afraid of dying, going to or putting someone in the hospital. Or turning it into a feud.


If someone is looking to fight you, its already on their own terms. Run away! When you can no longer live with the shame of being a coward, go looking for them. That way, you get a chance to set up the fight on your own terms.

Gangs will try to fight that way. Ten or more people will gang up on you. That is why it is called a "gang". Sometimes the gang-up becomes a rumble when two gangs meet. Depending on how angry the gangs are at each other, a rumble might last a few seconds or up to 10 minutes. Gang fights are surprising short and sometimes very bloody.


Sometimes you unexpectedly find yourself in a fight. For instance, you're involved in a fender bender and, suddenly, the guy takes a swing at you. You dare not turn your back on him. If you cannot flee, nature has made it possible to fight instead. Then you run. You have to be ready to sucker punch him or wallop him good.

Speaking of sucker punches, many will think of kicking the man between the legs. It's a hard target to reach and most men will instinctively protect themselves there. However, if you do have the chance to make your opponent a Darwin candidate, by all means take it. Who wants jerks like him to reproduce and make life miserable for the rest of us?

Be aware, some people can take a sucker punch. I remember the scene where James Bond was facing Lurch, I means Jaws. Bond sucker punched Jaws only to have Jaws smile that awful smile of his. Big mistake. Here's a clue for the clueless. After you sucker punch someone, run! If he is still standing, you want some distance between you and him. You're in a real fight now, and by having some distance, you can plan your attack or defense.


The only place that I knows that applies for certain is The Ring, either Boxing or Wrestling. In real life, you have a better chance of having less wear and tear on your body if you fight, then run, then fight, run, fight run, etc...

There are tons of fighting movies. Notice how they fight. They fight, retreat, fight, run, fight, run, until someone wins. Even in a fight, running is a very good option.

Also, in boxing, there are what is known as combination moves -- right punch, left jab, uppercut. That is a simple combination. After such a combination, the boxer steps back and goes into a defensive posture. He can assess the damage. If you see a chance, you might want to try a combination of sucker punches.


I worked in a Disco. While every night was fight night, weekends were known for barroom brawls. You had a lot of people fighting and they would fight with whatever they could grab. By the way, if you're ever in a barroom fight, conking someone on the head with a beer bottle, unlike in the movies, seldom knocks your foe unconscious. It will just put a lump on their head. No, if you want to do real damage with a beer bottle, swing it in a good long roundhouse swing and hit their jaw. You can break their face.

Brawls can be easy to break up. Grab one of the fighter from behind in a bear hug. Make sure he stays grabbed. It is hard to hit some holding holding you from behind, but if he works his way loose, then you will be his dance partner in the fight. Also, make sure the person you grabbed doesn't flip you over their back. Pull him away from the person(s) they're fighting. Usually you'll have lots of help. A lot of people just want the fighting to stop and so they will help you once they see you're trying to stop the fight. Once you got them in the bear hug, hold them until they calm down.


When I was sixteen, I was attacked for being a know-it-all. Usually my reaction was to just run away. I should have obeyed my instinct. Instead, I was tired of being abused, insulted and worse. So I made a stand and fought. We traded a few punches and then the guy pulled a knife. Before I knew it, my neck was wet. He tried to cut my throat.

This is what saved me: He did not know how to use a knife. Cutting somebody's throat is something you want to do when your opponent is disabled. Otherwise what tends to happens, or at least happened to me, is that the knife hits the jaw and makes a very shallow cut. It is messy but you can survive. I guess he expected me to drop to the ground or something, but I kept fighting him. Since he didn't expect that, he ran off.

I felt to see what the wetness was, and realized it was blood. I took my shirt off and wrapped it as tight as I could to stop the bleeding without stopping my breathing.

I was lucky in several ways. The ruckus drew a lot of attention. Someone noticed I was bleeding and called an ambulance. The fight took place only four or five blocks from the hospital so I could be treated immediately. I remember getting into the ambulance and passing out. I awoke in the hospital. They put a tract tube in me but since the wound was no more than a shallow cut, I was released a few days afterward with lots of stitches. (I forget how many.) It left a wicked looking scar and I swore I would learn what to do if I was ever in an another knife fight.

You may not get the chance, but try to see how your opponent holds the knife. If he holds it in a stabbing motion, he is an amateur. The ribs can deflect the blade. If he hold it so he can slice you, you're in trouble! That man has used a knife before. He will try to slice you up bit by bit, until you are disabled by pain or loss of blood. Then he can take his sweet time carving his initials into you.

You want to avoid that at all costs. Try to establish some distance. You want to be as far outside his reach as possible. If you can keep your distance, the attacker will have to come to you. Keep moving! If you keep him on the move, he will get tired. When he gets tired enough you'll get a chance to escape. As for you getting tired, your body is not going to let you. You're fighting for your life, which gives you an extra edge.

You may be in a position where you are blocked and have no place to run. In that case, you can still come out alive but you will have some serious cuts. First, if your instinct tells you something better, use it. My instinct told me this: Grab the blade of the knife. It will probably cut up your hand something fierce. Worry about that later. For now, the problem is getting out alive, not necessarily in one piece.

Grab the blade. The attacker will be surprised. The instinct is to move away from the blade. He will leave himself open to attack. Next, kick him in the shins or knees as hard as you can. You're trying to break his leg with that kick. Hurt him enough that he won't be able to block you. Use that opening to escape him and run for your life!

Best advice, don't get into a knife fight unless...


You've all seen this scene. Our hero is running like crazy. Suddenly, he's trapped! He's blocked by this monster with a monster sword -- a scimitar. He wants nothing more than to cut our hero into itsty-bitsy hero-bits. To show the hero what kind of bad-ass he is, he starts swinging his sword around. It looks bad! What is our hero to do?

If you're Indiana Jones, you look bored at this display of swordplay, and take out your pistol. Carefully aim, and blow the bastard away to Kingdom Come. You could tell Indy didn't like messing around with small caliber.

Understand, I've been one knife fight. I have no intention of being in any more. While the fool getting his knife, I will be getting my gun. Hey! I lied! It's not going to be a knife fight after all. Sucker!


This is where you have a gun and your opponent has a gun. Who wins? The only type of duels I have seen are gang fights. They are really quick. Usually what happens is the two groups show up, they cuss each other out working up the courage to pull out their weapons. The shooting starts and everybody is firing lots of wild shots. A few second later, everybody realizes they could get killed here and high tail it for parts unknown. Basically they are trying to show the other gang members their courage by showing up. No one wants to be capped by a bullet. But it happens. There is no way to out run or outfight a bullet.


First, I can't think of a more dangerous situation for you. This situation is where the people you're facing have guns and you don't. (This is such a vicious world, there are even MORE dangerous situations but you're not likely to run into them unless you're the police, war correspondent, Hero...)

You can try everything I suggested. Another thing is just to surrender. After all, you can't outrun a bullet. Fight them later.

You can also "go crazy"! I mentioned cops are afraid of madmen. Another thing they are afraid of is a full blown attack on a crack house. The dealers will go crazy. Sure, the cops have busted individuals but attacking a crack house takes serious thought. First, if you don't completely surprise everyone inside and arrest them in seconds, you've got a battle. Second, the crack house is much better armed then the police. I mentioned you can get a very good gun on the street for $20 bucks. While it is a good gun for me, it is a piece of junk to them. The latest hardware is laser equipped pistols. Few cops have those except maybe the SWAT teams.

The cops knows crack houses can be very hard to crack. The dealers would rather die then go back to jail. And if they take a cop with them, they're heroes to many in the neighborhood. One reason they will fight so hard is what I mentioned in essay #3, the black market. The dealer will protect their customers. The crack-head goes there knowing he won't be bothered by the cops while inside.

The cops realize they have bitten off more then they can chew, and they call in the army. The dealers have enough weapons to hold off an army. The gangs have been buying grenade launchers -- RPG and AK-47 with explosive armor piercing shells. My prices may be slightly off but on the black market you can buy an AK-47 for about $150, and grenade launchers from around $200 to $500. The army will eventually win but any military man knows it is easier to defend then to attack.

There another problem. Even if the police managed to conduct a successful raid, a cop could still get killed. In this case, the cop was on the gang's payroll. If a raid is pulled off, he will have to do a lot of explaining as to why he didn't tip the house off. If his answers aren't good, he dies.

I can't think of any other way to protect yourself if you're outgunned. Maybe you can. After all, these posts are to give you ideas on how to protect yourself. Maybe you thought of some ideas I haven't. Feel free to leave a comment to this post.


I suspect a lot of people have never been in a fight. So here are my suggestions to you.

Hire someone to do your fighting for you -- a bodyguard.

Join with others who are as weak as you. One of the most successful ways mothers have found to defend their children from the gangs is to band together. Drop-a-dime doesn't work; that only guarantees you will be the target of a drive-by.

The women who ban together are far weaker in physical strength and are usually unarmed. But when they come together they gossip. The gossip will reach the ears of the gang member's mother. The gang member want to prove how tough he is but more importantly, he doesn't want his mother to feel ashamed of him. So the gangs reach a truce. I won't try to get your kid into my gang and you don't talk to my mother.



Will protecting yourself come down to fighting the government? If it gets to that point, I don't have much advice to give. I would have to give it a lot more thought. However, other have given it thought. Check out the anarchist sites. There are lot of other articles I have seen on the internet that tell how you can attack the government and (hopefully) not get caught.

The only thing I can say if you are going to fight the government is not to fight them on their terms. Of course, the government will label you a terrorist, but what else is new?


War is not healthy to children and other living things. On the other hand, war is a godsend for governments. How do you protect yourself from the random violence of war? You can't. Your crisis plan preparedness checklist should include: Just be lucky.

Other things I should mention, if you find yourself in a fight, there will be a moment you hesitate. Accept it. But also understand the longer you hesitate the more you increase the odds of getting yourself killed.

The reason you hesitate is instinctual. Our eyes, like the eyes of many hunting animals are designed to detect motion. If you are absolutely still, you blend into the background. It is what animal do when under attack. Stand still and maybe that lion will not see you. Be aware you will hesitate. If you are aware, you can snap out of the trance quicker and then either fight or run.

Every fight is different. The advice I gave you here may be totally wrong in your situation. Instead of using what in this essay, it is best to relay on your survival instinct.

One of the best books I ever read about fighting or finding yourself in dangerous situations is by Gavin De Becker called: "The Gift of Fear". Get it today! What that book does is teach you how to spot dangerous situations long before they turn into a matter of life or death.

I've talked a lot about fighting but I am also aware due to age, strength, lack of speed, and so on, you may be unable to fight. I understand perfectly. I feel the effect of age and know I am getting too old for this kind of nonsense. What do you do?


That evens a lot of odds. Even a scared homeowner who has never used his gun, facing off a burglar in his home, has evened the odds much more in his favor with a gun. You can get hurt, true -- the crook may grab the gun from you. These people also grab the guns off trained police officers.

I want you to know one of the argument used by the pro-gun forces: That the criminal might get the gun also equals his chances of getting shot. The crooks know this and so are scared if someone points a gun at them. They have no idea if the person at the other end never held a gun in his life or is an expert marksman. They also known any sign of nervousness on your part is no sign of how good you are with a gun. A fact you may not know is that a lot of professional hit men get nervous just before they shoot someone. They try not to show it.


It doesn't matter if it is legal or illegal, get a gun. The people running Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership give many reasons why is is a good idea to have an unregistered gun to protect yourself. This is their site:

There more I could probably say. This is based mainly on my own experience and opinions about urban survival techniques, so there is a lot I haven't covered, such as financial protection. The aim of these essay was to give you some ideas about survival techniques for better physically protecting yourself. Other ways are probably beyond my scope. We change direction slightly in the last essay of this series.

Thank you.
The "Golden Trumpet"

(continue to Urban Survival Techniques - Rebuilding After the Economic Collapse)

1 comment:

  1. Addition.. When trying to stop a fight with the "bearhug", don't bearhug the bouncer.. They are never alone...

    Very interesting article series, please keep continuing.