Self Defense/Combat situations?


From what I understand you must use the appropriate amount of force or violence for a given situation. What I am wanting to know are the techniques involved in a combat scenario. Violent crime, weapons and such. It definitely isn't a monkey dance and needs to be over in 3 moves. Would you rely upon all of the techniques illegal in sport fighting? The eye gouging, throat grabbing and such? Or the "maimers" described in some of your books?  What can be counted upon to make sure you walk away?

Follow up answer:

The techniques that are banned from sports fighting MIGHT cause injury. There ain't no 'might' in combat or a lethal force encounter.

Also there's a difference between might cause injury and going in with the intention to injure. For example an eye gouge and gouging someone's eye out are totally different levels of force. An eye gouge is a sneaky 'ohhh we're playing by rules and I just cheated while pretending it was an accident. Sorry, I poked you in the eye. It was a mistake.'

You can't pop someone's eyeball out of the socket and call it an accident. So a banned 'technique' from a sport is not the same thing as going in with the intention to maim or cripple. To this day I keep my thumbnails long, not to cut the guy's eyeball, but when I pop an eye to drive that nail into the now exposed ocular nerve. That is a level of screaming agony and disorientation that I have never seen anyone over come. Downside of that, it's aggravated assault/1st degree assault depending on what your state calls it. No matter what they call it, it IS a felony.

Functionally speaking, sport fighting has NO application in a lethal use of force situation -- not even the banned techniques. They are way too ineffective to keep you alive because they fail to meet the two necessary components of combat/lethal force self-defense
1) Immediate and reliable incapacitation
2) Not getting killed while doing it

So NO, I would not 'rely upon all the techniques illegal in sports fighting.' Because on one hand, the stuff that works to kill and cripple isn't even known to those guys. On the other hand, what sports fighting techniques are great for is 'winning fights.' You don't need the banned techniques to kick someone's ass -- and if you use them and the guy gets hurt, you're automatically upgraded to a class one felony. So NOT using those banned techniques makes more sense than using them

Another issue is that sport fighting IS fighting. Like 'real' fighting there ARE rules. Rules that if YOU violate, you raise the stakes. That's going to justify the other guy raising the stakes too. Sure you think you're going to 'make sure you walk away' by trying for an eye gouge -- except you just gave him damn good reason to pull a knife and stick it into your chest.

And there are all kinds of other ways it can blow up in your face. I was once waiting for a friend in a honky tonk bar in the Sierra Nevada mountains. This was before cell phones and where he lived was hard to find. He told me to call from the bar when I got up there. He'd come down to meet me and I'd follow him home. I'd sat down and ordered a beer and this local yokel gets in my face about my long hair. When he touched me I dropped him like a prom dress -- just like we'd do back home if some motherfucker you didn't go got up in your face.

The entire bar stood up to kick my ass. I ended up running down the highway being chased by a bunch of rednecks because I 'made sure I was the one who would walk away.' In thumping him that fast and brutally, I'd broken the rules. I'd really screwed up by savaging a local.

There is no answer about sport techniques -- banned or not -- that has to do with combat or lethal force situations. Because NOT EVEN CRIME is an automatic lethal force situation. If you're caught with your dick flapping in the wind, a dude sticks a gun in your face and demands your wallet... give him your wallet. The odds suck too much to risk it over what's in it.

The dude grabs your wallet and tells you to move to a secondary location? TOTALLY different situation. (Secondary locations have about a 98% bad shit happens rate.) In that case you need stuff that WILL have him unconscious, dead or dying in under three seconds. Otherwise he's going to be pumping bullets into you. And no, not even the banned UFC shit will get that done.



'Over in three' is the person's ability to continue to offer you an "IMMEDIATE" threat is finished for the moment.

If that means blocking and running while screaming like a girl, then do it. That strategy stops the person's ability to attack again -- if he stays there.(Which often he WILL do.) But even if he turns and chases you -- unless he's catching up -- his 'immediate' ability to hurt you is nil. You're out of his reach.

It means -- if at a family reunion Uncle Albert gets drunk and your mom asks you to escort him outside, and when you do he takes a swing at you -- grabbing and wrestling him to the ground WITHOUT hurting him. (Aunt Betsy will be pissed if you break his arm or gouge his eyeball out).

It means some guy tries to punch you, you dodge and shove him so hard he falls on his ass. The immediate threat is over. From there what you do depends on what happens.
1) You get the hell out of there
2) You tell him to stay down -- and then back away
3) You call for his friends to 'sit on him'
4) You tell him if he gets up and attacks again you'll hurt him
5) You back up, let him get up again and he makes noise, but doesn't attack again
5) You stand there with your thumb up your ass, let him get up and attack you again
etc., etc.

The point is as long as he's on the floor, he's NOT an immediate threat, you have other options

It means if some dude is waving a knife and telling you to 'get the fuck out of here,' you TAKE HIS ADVICE! You do NOT close the distance, try to grab the knife and then go Krav Maga/MMA beat the shit out of him. (Hint, punching and kicking someone while one hand is holding his knife hand is a GREAT way to lose control of that knife hand. Guess what that means? You're up close to some guy holding a knife that you were just punching... three guesses how that shit is going to turn out?)

It means that if some dude is coming hard and fast at you with a knife, you deflect it, crush his throat and pile drive his head into the concrete. You're not trying to kill him per se, but the level of threat he is offering you is such that lethal force is justified and necessary. Really, nothing else will work in time to prevent your death or grievous bodily injury.

Having said this NOTHING can ... as you put it ... 'be counted on' to keep you 100% safe in a physically violent conflict. Physical violence is inherently dangerous. Even low levels use of force encounters can result in death or injury. For example, more people die because they are punched, fall down and crack their skulls open than are killed by shotguns, rifles and so-called 'assault weapons' combined.  

But General George S Patton said the following: Death in battle is a matter of time. The longer men are under fire, the more will die...

Heed those words, the longer it takes to be out of a violence, the greater the chance for injury. Not even intentionally, just something unexpected and bad happens. If you go into a social violence/fight situation with the intent of injuring (rather than just punishing someone by inflicting pain) then the chances of injuries go WAY up.

In a direct correlation, the higher the use of force level (how badly you injure someone) also means how intensely the cops will try to arrest you. They WILL try to find the slightest flaw in your actions/story/pre and post violence behaviors. Anything that shows you crossed the line -- and that means a crime has been committed. This is their job and they're good at it. Unfortunately it's really easy because if you go in with the intent to injure, you ARE committing a crime.

Over in three is to stop the threat. Not to win. Not to punish. Not to kick someone's ass. Not to fuck him up.  If you can stop it without injuring him. Good. If you gotta injure him to stop him. Well that sucks but it stopped the threat. If the danger he is offering you is so great that it's either him or you, you stop that threat.


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Marc MacYoung


Street self-defense, crime avoidance and personal safety


I grew up in the streets of Los Angeles in 'situational poverty.' I have dealt with criminals and violent people all my life -- both personally and professionally. I have written 15 books and 6 videos on surviving street violence. I was originally published under the name Marc Animal MacYoung. (Animal was my street name). I've taught police and military both internationally and within the US. I've lectured at universities, academies and done countless TV, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews. I'm a professional speaker on crime avoidance and personal safety. And I am an expert witness recognized by the US court system. My bio is at My abridged CV (Curriculum Vitae) is at

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Read "In the Name of Self-Defense" the streets don't give a Ph.D in scuffle.

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