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What My Martial Arts Students Know About Winning A Street Fight Most Self Defense Instructors Don’t

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Sometimes in my street-fighting classes, I will get students who complain, whine and moan because I will put them through drills that seem “pointless” to them.

Usually this happens when they are least expecting it. In other words, I will be drilling them on something or maybe have them huddled around telling them something. Then, without warning, I will tell them to grab a training knife in the corner and spar. Or pick a partner, one pinning the other to the ground. Or grab a partner with one getting a training knife and the other nothing.

Then, maybe ten seconds into the drill, I will have them do something else completely different than what they were doing. Maybe have three people “gang up” on one, or have one person get two training knives with the other empty handed.

And I may even do this”change up” again — sometimes as early as five seconds later.

Why do I do this?

Because I believe people should be ready for anything at any time.

For example, imagine walking to your car and some lunatic attacks you. Soon, you’re both on the ground, struggling to get the upper hand.

Now imagine your attacker pulls a knife.

What do you do?

Well, if you don’t know how to adapt to the situation — fluidly, without thinking — you’ll be stabbed, cut up, maybe even killed.

I know that’s not a fun thought, but it happens all the time.

In a real fight people pull weapons. You can slip and fall. Friends can come and help your attacker. And so on.

This is why your chances of winning a fight will almost always completely depend on your ability to adapt to the thousands of unpredictable things that happen in the average street fight.

In fact, you can win just about any street fight if you simply know how to adapt from one situation to the next — without missing a beat.

This is one of the most important fighting martial arts and self defense “skills” you can learn. And the good news is, all it takes is a little practice changing things up at unpredictable times.

Sifu Matt Numrich is one of only a few instructors with Full Certification in Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, and also the Filipino Martial Arts. His students include everyone from Federal Air Marshals and military elites…to small children and 65-year old ladies. Matt also offers free weekly street-fighting lessons by email at

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