An Olympic Boxer Shared His 3 Top Tips for Defending Yourself in a Street Fight
As grown adults, nobody should be going out into the world picking fights unless they’re in a boxing ring or martial arts gym. But sometimes, according to Olympic boxer Tony Jeffries, circumstances are outside our own control.
“I do not recommend street fighting at all,” he says in a video on his YouTube channel, “but you never know what will happen in this crazy world. You might have to defend yourself against a bully… You need to know what you’re going to do if you end up in that situation.”
Jeffries believes everybody would benefit from going to a boxing or martial arts class in order to learn some basic self-defense techniques. However, he has three pieces of advice to impart when it comes to winning a fight as quickly as possible.
Get the first punch in.
This isn’t some Cobra Kai “strike first” mantra. It’s about throwing your opponent off-guard.
“Step in with your lead foot, and throw your power behind your dominant hand,” he says. “Punch, and punch hard, in the face, on the chin. Make sure you’ve got a really tight fist when you do that. It’s going to take them by surprise, if you’ve been saying ‘no, I don’t want to fight.’ His mind goes, ‘yeah, I’m the tough guy, look at me.’ Let him think that… One good punch is going to end it, just like that.”
Aim for the solar plexus.
The solar plexus is the part of the chest where the ribs meet the sternum. “If you’ve ever been punched there, it really hurts,” says Jeffries. “It takes the wind out of you, you can’t do anything, it freezes you up and you can’t breathe. Especially if you’re relaxed.”
He also recommends distracting your opponent before the punch, as it is then even more likely to wind them if they’re caught off-guard, leaving you plenty of time to extract yourself from the situation.
Slap rather than punch.
A slap can be just as effective as a punch when executed correctly, says Jeffries. Turn your body with the slap, to bring maximum power.
“The reason I’m slapping rather than punching is so I won’t hurt my hand,” he explains. “But you can really hurt him.”
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