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Self Defense/How to defend yourself against unruly martial artists and MMA meatheads


QUESTION: It is often postulated that bad people(i.e Street thugs and troublemakers)do not have the self discipline,patience,are too lazy,yada yada stick with a real martial art. and in my experience,there is some truth in this assumption. the average asshole/streetrat aren't interested in working their asses off training and prefer to rely on raw experience. The very best street fighters,however,do have some training. (usually in Boxing,MMA or some other full contact system)

My question is,how do you protect yourself against these people when you are an untrained and inexperienced with fighting/violence? are you legally justified to shoot these people in the face? (Lets say you are legally in the right,you tried to de-escalate the situation but it didn't work and running away would be difficult because he's in far better shape than you are,etc.)
I know that in many cases,pulling a weapon on a single unarmed opponent would be legally unjustifiable but what about this case? because lets face it,trained fighters can be really dangerous and accidentally kill/cripple you. If I'm not mistaken,a woman is legally justified to pull a weapon against a rapist,so it makes me wonder about this case.

ANSWER: You ask a seemingly simple question that doesn't have a simple answer. Unless you're willing to accept, "It depends."

All the elements that make the answer 'it depends' are those things you have to consider.

For example, we tell the cops, to just taser the suckers and then be ready to articulate why that level of force was necessary. Like you're not going to 'win' a submission bout with guy who trains four hours a day for submission fighting.  EXCEPT unlike you, a cop has a duty to act. He HAS to be there and can't run away. You can. So, if you make the fella ride the lightening you damned well better be able to explain why you had no choice.

So the biggest damned issue you have to consider is "Do you have to be there?" If you're standing there thinking "I ain't gonna back out of here! I have my rights!" in a bar your weapon use is going to be looked upon 'less favorably' (code word for your ass is going to prison) than if the dude kicked in your front door.

The second issue is did you help create and escalate the situation?  Self-defense is legal. Fighting is illegal. Simple rule of thumb, self-defense means you have no choice. Fighting means you were part of the problem. A whole lot of people think they are defending themselves, when in fact, they were fighting/aggressing/participating/creating the conflict.  Here's a hint, if the words "Fuck you" come out of your mouth it's going to be looked as if you were participating.  And using a weapon, during a fight is going get you nailed.

Oh BTW, in the same way that everything I ever learned about girls in the boys locker rooms was wrong, everything I ever learned about street fighters in the martial arts/gym was wrong too. The difference is, because I didn't go into the MA to become a fighter, I went in to get better at fighting, I knew the gym/dojo myths were bullshit. (I didn't know what I'd heard about women in the locker room wasn't. That I learned the hard way.) So yeah, the assumption that you're -- and notice the quote marks -- are 'superior' because of your training is one of the fastest ways I know to end up shitting your teeth the next day.

Yes a lot of these guys have training. But someone who is actually experienced with violence (not just trains for it in a gym) will bust a bottle over your head, sucker punch you, jump you with some of his friends or shoot you in the back of the head just as fast as use his training - depending on the circumstances.  

That being said, there's a specialized breed out there of a blend of gymrat/MMA trained/Guidos/Dudes who specialize in one-on-one fighting/bullying. They're out looking for fights and train for them religiously, so no. You're not going to 'win' fighting him on his terms Which is why we tell the cops to taser instead. What you don't know is that criminals and street fighters just shoot, stab or ambush these fuckers with five friends. When you hear about a MMA dude getting killed in the streets, that's usually what happens.

Thing is criminals know how to get away with that -- you don't. These TapOut idiots are a pain in the ass. They're really, really good at one-on-one and they're out looking for a fight. A fight where he kicks your ass to let everyone know what a stud he is.

Now here's the problem. The safeties of the ring (like say mats) AREN'T present out in the streets (and by that I mean a place with concrete and cars -- not ooooooooh the mean streets.)Something that is safe to do in the ring (like a ground and pound) CAN kill someone. Here's the bitch let's say you get punched in the face three times during a ground and pound. Know what? The odds are you won't die. You'll get up and just bleed all over everything. That's what happens in most cases. On the other hand, you can die or be turned into a vegetable. But when? Is it the first blow and bounce off the asphalt that cracks your skull open and the next two are just extra? Does your head bounce twice and then crack on the third? Who knows. Nobody can predict when (or even if) it will become lethal. Like I said, MOST of the time people get up and walk away from an asskicking. That is until the time they don't.

But let's look at it from TapOut boy's perspective. He did mean to kill you. He was just showing you were it's at by beating you up. Well, except that he's a gym rat with MMA training AND if the circumstances turn just so, he can cause death or grievous bodily injury.

That brings up the idea of immediate threat. Look at the George Zimmerman case. Six foot kid gets shot some time during the process of knocking down and ground and pounding a shorter, fatter older guy. Those are the undisputed facts of the case. However I use that case to explain how complicated this shit gets. The question is, when did the shooting happen?

I'll give it you in 10 second chunks. If Zimmerman just pulled out his gun and shot the kid, and the kid --in what's called 'the deadman's 10' tackled and started beating Zimmerman before he was overcome by the wound, that -- arguably -- would be manslaughter. In a verbal conflict he shot the kid. That's excessive force.

If Zimmerman was down, the ass beating was over, the kid was getting up or had gotten up already and was standing over him not attacking, and Zimmerman pulled the gun and shot him, that would be murder. The immediate threat had passed.

If however the kid was on him and in the act of pounding his head against the concrete, that's self-defense.

That's how fast circumstances can change. The legality of the use of force changes according to the circumstances. You have to be able to read those circumstances and react appropriately. But more than that you need to be able to communicate WHY those exact circumstances when you pulled the trigger or used a knife, warranted that level of force.

Or at least that's how it's supposed to work. The reality is there's a big difference between the law and our legal system. There are a lot of prosecutors out there who don't believe there really is such a thing as self-defense. And their attitude affects the cops.

The cops didn't arrest Zimmerman that night because the original DA knew that (the cops called and asked, the DA said 'no.') Thing is, the media got involved and it turned into a lynch mob. The special prosecutor decided to charge Zimmerman anyway (despite there being no new evidence) and the state lost. The reason the state lost is that the lynch mob mentality pissed off a lot of gun owners who donated millions to Zimmerman's defense fund. I tell you this because unless you have a couple $100,000 laying around for your defense fund, be VERY careful about using a weapon -- even against an MMA asshole.

So you're wondering how do you win against this kind of idiot?  Here's a hint, you win by not playing their stupid games. They're looking for a fight, let them go off and fight someone else. If you truly do not have a choice, then you'll also be able to explain all the things you tried to do to avoid the violence.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Oh yeah,I forgot about tasers. I wasn't really sure if Civilians were legally allowed to carry them(civilians cannot legally use batons/nightsticks if I'm not mistaken) but at least now I know there's a non-lethal way to deal with the MMA thugs. I've heard pepper sprays can be a useful tool to temporarily blind someone giving you the opportunity to run away but I'm a bit skeptical of its effectiveness.

Yeah,Im aware of the difference between fighting and self-defense,I did a little bit of reading on your website. It was a real eye-opener. Then again,if we are to be realistic,then there's no real way to tell if the opponent you're facing is trained or not(unless he's wearing a tapout shirt or outright bragging about his training,lol) so it really does get complicated. Its a relief that I seem to be invisible to these bastards,but I wanted to get a clue in on how to deal with them just in case.

I have to wonder,does sleeping with another man's wife/girlfriend/significant other count as "participating in the creation of the conflict?" in the eyes of the law? like,if you were having a casual relationship with an MMA dude's girl,somehow the MMA dude finds out and tries to find you to give you a beating,he finds you but you taser/shoot the guy as he tries to charge into you.
The thing with this scenario is,the woman liked you enough to be with you so isn't it within your right to indulge?

The short answer to your question is "only if you win."

See you shag his old lady and he beats the crap out of you, they put your name in the victim line and arrest him. (His name goes into the offender line.)

You beat him and your name goes in the offender line.  Then the boinking his old lady will go into the narrative of what a bad guy you were.  

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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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