Fighting For Your Life Isn’t a Sport!


Fighting for your life isn’t a sport!

Fighting for your life isn’t a sport!  With regard to personal safety, regretfully there may be more and more places around the world where not all people are welcome and could be in danger if they enter. Now, the risk of being personally attacked may be low.

However, if you ever were attacked and experienced a physical assault from someone determined to gravely injure or kill, do you have a plan to protect yourself? Check out these basic self-defense tips that could come in handy.

Fighting For Your Life isn’t a Sport

Unlike boxing or other martial arts, there are no rules to follow when fighting for your life except to stay alive. Let the lawyers sort it out after you’re safe. Fear and a lack of education and training are common among victims on the losing end of an assault. When you combine the same fear with even a little knowledge on what to do, successfully fighting for your life is a more realistic option.

Basic Defensive Body Weapons

There are many actions that practically eliminate the chances you would ever have to fight for your life using only the tools that God has given you. Avoiding danger based on knowing what’s going on around you are always the best option.

Maintaining a good situational awareness and following your intuition are probably the most effective tools you have. Many people also have a second line of defense should the situation surprise them, and that is a personal defensive weapon such as non-lethal or lethal tools. Pepper spray, tasers, knives, and guns fall into these categories. But there are times when we are completely unarmed.

Voice & Noise

Reasoning with an attacker generally doesn’t work. Usually an attack will be made as an ambush or a surprise. If not, or if you are able to react after the initial assault, try yelling “NO” to stop further attacks.  If the assailant is acting under the influence of rage, it may break through the haze according to some sources. Further, don’t be embarrassed to yell and scream for help or specifically, to yell “FIRE” as loud as you can.

It’s reported that people will respond to shouts of fire quicker than to screams of help, rape, or police. If possible, push the alarm button on your car keys if you can get the horn to sound. Be loud and make noise.

Hands and Fingernails

The heel of your palm rather than your fist is a very effective weapon. It’s usually better to use a palm strike rather than your fist to hit an attacker in the face or head. It will do more damage to the attacker and avoid breaking small finger bones of the attacked. 

To use your palm as a weapon, attempt to jam the heel of your hand into the base of the nose or jaw of the attacker and then forcefully drag downward with your fingernails after the strike. Also, attempt to push or scratch your nails into or across the eyes of the attacker. Ramming the base of the nose can be a deadly punch, especially when delivered from a shorter person upwards into a taller person’s nose.

Done correctly with enough force, this type of strike can send the nasal bones into the brain, killing the person immediately. Obviously, this is not a technique you would use unless you feared that you were in danger of grievous bodily harm or death.

An alternate option of the palm strike described above is to drive the Y, formed between your thumb and forefinger, into the throat of the attacker. Attempt to ram the larynx (Adam’s Apple) as hard as you can. Also, use the side of your hand, karate-chop style, to hit down onto the side of the neck or collarbone areas. 

Additionally, an open-handed slap against the ears can rupture the eardrums causing great pain and disorientation. Using your hand shaped into a fist can be effective and if you strike with the meaty side of your fist (opposite the thumb) you can still avoid injury to your finger bones or knuckles.

If you can’t reach the face and head, focus your punches, scratches, squeezes or pinches on the groin area if possible.

Elbows and Knees

Your elbow and knee can deliver a devastating blow from up close. When using your elbow, twist your body into the blow and try to use all your leg strength when raising your knee into your target. If possible, target the temple or side of the head for elbow strikes.

Continue striking and if possible, jam your elbow into the nose or throat areas while continuing to deliver a flurry of follow-up punches. If you can grab the attacker by the head or neck, attempt to pull the head down while raising your knee up into the face.


If you are being attacked, a hard kick to the groin area can be very painful to the attacker. Remember that you can kick not only while standing up, but also when you’re lying on the ground. Usually your legs are your strongest muscle group, so you can kick as well as push a lot of weight off or away from you. If you’re held too close to the attacker to kick, try to stomp the feet of the attacker. A hard stomp to the top of the foot or the arch can cause serious injury and pain, especially if you’re wearing shoes with a stiletto-type of heel.

Head and Mouth

If you are being held or otherwise unable to use your arms and legs to fight, you may be able to use your head and teeth. Swinging your forehead or the back of your head into your assailant’s face and nose can be useful as a way to break free. It may also be painful or dangerous to you, so don’t trade forehead hits!

Don’t hesitate to use your bite as a weapon. Bite the side of the neck, the face, even the groin area in an attempt to do as much damage as possible in order to get away from your attacker.

Fight Until You Can Escape

Continue hitting in a flurry of strikes rather than trying to make just one hit. Surprisingly, even in a fight, many untrained people will hold back and not use full strength when striking another person.

If you are fighting for your life, hit your attacker as hard as you can. If you disable your attacker to the point where he is disoriented and no longer fighting, consider the situation for your next step. Think about almost every horror movie you’ve seen. Just when the monster was thought to be dead, it comes back to life. Fighting for your life isn’t a sport!

In this type of event, you should ensure that you, as well as anyone you’re defending, have the ability to get away from danger successfully. This may mean that if your attacker is only temporarily dazed, you may need to put a final strike or two on a vital area in order to make sure the threat is effectively eliminated as you escape the situation.

Personal Safety Tips

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. That’s an example of inductive reasoning, and criminals use this to help them select targets of opportunity. Modify this old saying to look for a victim or “mark” and you get the idea. If he or she looks and acts like an easy target, then it’s probably true.

Body language is a great communication tool and many times you may not even be aware of what you are saying. Body language and situational awareness are the two primary components in basic personal safety awareness and should be part of your plan to be safe.

Body Language

Body language is a non-verbal form of communicating feelings, intentions, or thoughts through physical actions such as facial expressions or eye movements, actions or positions of the body, arms and hands, even the amount of space a person keeps around or between other people.

Situational Awareness

Simply put, situational awareness is being aware of your surroundings. More specifically, in the context of personal safety tips, it refers to a mindset that allows a person to notice potential threat scenarios in time to react accordingly.

Appear to be a Hard Target

With a proper combination of body language and situational awareness, most people can move throughout their daily activities without attracting unwanted attention from the criminal element.  An example of this would be to use body language to display a focused and decisive motion in your walking technique.

By keeping your head up and eyes scanning the area, you will appear to be in charge of your actions, not just wandering from one spot to another. By simultaneously using appropriate situational awareness safety tips, you’ll see who is near and what they are doing.

Most of the time a criminal will pass on someone who looks like they might be trouble. However, there are some situations that appearances alone won’t deter an unwanted event. Should a situation occur, attempt to avoid it and if that’s not possible, do everything you can to control the outcome.

Be Aware and Scan the Area

Realize that certain scenarios are riskier than others. For example, when returning to a parked vehicle, always raise your level of awareness a notch or two. Scan the area around your vehicle and look for people or vehicles that are suspicious. Don’t hesitate to leave the area and ask for security to escort you to the vehicle if you feel something is amiss. At the very least, you may want to return in a few minutes to see if the situation has resolved itself.

Fight Back

Fighting for your life isn’t a sport! If you are attacked, fight back and try to run away. Scream and yell, as you attempt to get loose and attract attention. Don’t be embarrassed to make a scene since a little embarrassment is much more preferable than becoming a casualty of street crime.

When it comes to personal security, use body language and situational awareness to look like the person a criminal wants to avoid. If despite your efforts you are attacked, do what you can to get free and move immediately towards safety. You are worth the fight it may take to save yourself.


All of this might sound really scary, and in theory, this type of defensive action may open you up to future litigation. But, when you are in a life-threatening situation, think about the old saying, that it’s better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.

If you’re attacked and you believe you are going to be raped or murdered, or that your children are also in danger, you have a right and obligation to protect yourself by any means available.

Remember, if you are not armed with a weapon and all your other personal safety measures have failed, fight with what you have and fight like your life depends on it, as it might well. Fighting for your life isn’t a sport!Fighting For Your Life is Not a Sport

 Stay safe.

Author: Nigel Taylor

I`m Nigel Taylor – originally from England – owner of The Backyard Gym in Round Rock Texas. We specialize in personal training, kickboxing cardio and self-defense. With over 25 years experience as a personal trainer, I know what works! From weight loss to bulking up to toning up, I can help you get your desired look and achieve your fitness goals. I can also offer you the privacy of a 100% private personal training studio in which to enjoy and get the most out of your workouts.