The IDMA Report

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 @ 12:10 EST
Ring Fighting vs. Street Fighting

Martial artists train intensely for sparring competitions, but how well prepared are they for real fights like an attack from a drug addict, an insane personality, a drunken individual, or a desperate criminal? This high risk caliber of fighting is not found in the ring. These challengers fight for their lives not for sport. Their style of fighting, known as ‘street fighting’, comprises any unsanctioned hand to hand combat between individuals or groups.

What is the difference between ring fighting and street fighting?


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Controlling the Fight

In the ring, rules and regulations dominate to ensure fairness and control damage. On the street, there are no rules. At best, rules of combat are dictated by personal choice, and fairness is often nonexistent – one against five can happen on the street.

Any fighting should be avoided if possible and done only as a last resort. If you can – flee!

Street fighters use real weapons like knives, shivs, bottles, guns, etc. Many martial artists whether black belts, grandmasters, stunt men, etc. have never experienced a street fight. When they train, rubber knives and padded sticks are used, giving them no knowledge of what damage a real weapon can inflict and the mental and physical effect those injuries pose on performance and endurance.

When confronted to fight, an emotional or physical reaction occurs. Some acquire fear, some freeze up, some remember nothing of what they have learned, and others explode with anger. Whichever happens, it is imperative to calm down your reaction and fight with courage and confidence. Without these two attributes, no matter what your level of skill, you possess little chance of winning. Challengers often fear fighting against individuals that exude courage and confidence.

If you must fight, react instantly and finish the fight fast. And if it's not absolutely necessary, never allow yourself to go to the ground or take another down regardless of the style of fighting you practice. The ground is usually unsafe and you risk personal injury. Not to mention, on the ground, you are vulnerable both from your challenger and from others around you.

Remember, be prepared mentally and physically on the street, fight only if necessary, avoid the ground, and finish fast.

“Fighting one’s enemies never brings peace; only fighting with communication achieves true victory.” – ACL

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