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I'm not here to pander to your fantasies
about violence or to make you think you're
a stud for knowing some ultimate system.
 I'm here to keep your ass
alive when the shit hits the fan.

Real Fights

On this page:
Violence Has Levels | Violence Has Different Purposes

An oft used term in MA/SD/RBSD circles is "real fight."

Usually it's used in sentences like "Yeah, but in a real fight, I'd ...". Or it's used as some kind of justification for the speaker to go ape-shit. For example, "In a real fight there are no rules." 

For some reason people think that there needs to be a qualifier about what is and isn't a fight.

Every time I hear this term my reaction is: Where are you from that there are not real fights?

Qualifying something as a "real" fight is redundant. It's like saying "overused clich?" boiling hot," "close proximity," "new recruit" or "pre-planning." And yet this example of the Department of Redundancy Department term is routinely bantered about as if it means something.

For the record, let us say: There is no such thing as a "real" fight.

That is to say that there is no mythical qualifier where you can give yourself permission to go berserk on someone and finally unleash your killer kung fu commando ultimate street fighting system on someone who "deserves" it. Sorry to burst your bubble kids, but there's a thing called the Use of Force Continuum.

And that is far, far more real than some mythical "real" fight.

Violence has levels
In my life I have been slugged while sitting on friends in the middle of drug freak outs, I've taken elbows and forearms while breaking up fights between friends and family. I've had to drag friends kicking and screaming out of homes, restaurants, bars and parties. I've been in personal fights, punch outs and stompings. I've been in riots, brawls and donnybrooks. I've been on the wrong end of robberies. I've been threatened and attacked by all kinds of weapons. I've professionally had to land on drunks in bars, control them and drag them outside without hurting them. I've had violent criminals attack me. I've had do smack downs on armed and/or resisting perps before taking them into custody. I've had to break up fights between bikers, blue collar workers and office workers. I've had to tackle and wrestle to the ground women intent attacking others. I've landed with both feet on wife beaters. I've had people try to kill me for both personal and professional reasons and I have had to stop people from killing and kidnapping others.

Every one of those situations were "real." 

What is more important however, is that each of those situations had specific conditions and levels of violence. Each offered different levels of threat and had different goals. As such each required a different level of response. By extension every one of those situations also had an appropriate level of response.

While it may seem those last two statements are the same, they are not. There are subtle, but important differences. An extreme level of force will resolve many situations "in your favor," but that is not the same thing as the appropriate level of force. You can use 27 super-sekret-dim-mak death blows on drunken Uncle Albert at a family reunion for his getting out of line, but it would hardly be appropriate.

It is knowing about and recognizing the different levels of violence/threat that is an integral part of responding not only sufficient, but an appropriate level of force.

Violence Has Different Purposes
As everything you are going to be facing isn't going to be Armageddon, what you also need to know is that violence serves many different purposes. Purposes that if you understand the goals, you can avoid engaging in violence.

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