Thursday, May 14, 2009

Street fight is not the same as self defense

Summary: While both being on "the street", a street fight and a self defense situation are two incredibly different things. Included is a chart listing the differences.

Street fights greatly differ from self defense situations. Even on the 'rule-less' street there are rules, mores and unique environmental factors that exist during fights that do not in self defense scenarios. I talk a lot about the two and it should be understood that they are very different from each other.

Street fightSelf defense situation
Sometimes planned. Generally, all participants can see signs of a fight coming.Victim has no plan. Often planned by attacker.
Often has many observers. Many are close to those fighting.Attackers work to make sure their victims are as isolated as possible.
Is often understood to be one-on-one and not multiple attackersAttacker wants odds on his side as much as possible. Multiple attackers common. Will rarely attack groups of people.
Doesn't usually involve weaponsOften involves weapons, sometimes victim has a weapon as well.
Often a feud between people. Goal is to 'win' the fight and usually does not involve death. Sometimes seen as a fair way to settle a dispute, but can also just be a way of signaling dominance.Goal is some sort of property theft - money, life, etc. Not about winning or losing.
Often has understood rules that vary greatly depending on the fight. Cultural values reflect highly here and 'dirty fighting' techniques are sometimes frowned upon. Examples: no eye gouging, no groin shots, no kicking, no biting, etc.Absolutely no rules.

These are general differences. The chart is purely for reference and to understand that there usually are differences between the two. These specifications vary greatly between situations.

Always remember that competitive fighting is not equivalent to street fighting or self defense.


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