The Best Way to Win a Fight
All too often people—especially young men, and probably disproportionately Aspies—get into fights. Or worse still, someone attacks them by surprise and overwhelms them before they can respond.
George Orwell once said “The trouble with competition is that somebody has to win.” That doesn't apply to physical fights, where both sides often lose. Maybe you get to walk away and go home while the other guy has to be carried to the hospital. But you still may have gotten hurt—and in ways that can pain or even cripple you for the rest of your life … physically and/or emotionally. (It's easy to think before the fact that you don't care about seriously hurting somebody as long as they “deserve” it.)
And that's not counting stuff like your girlfriend getting mad and leaving you. (Hint: If she actually likes it when you fight, dump her. She's going to want you to get into nasty situations indeed. It's never worth it.) Or being banned from the bar or nightclub. Or getting sued for damages to the furniture … not to mention the other guy's body. (Even if you “win” that case, do you want the publicity, time sink and stress, not to mention legal fees? Not to mention if the other side wins, it's on you for the rest of your life unless you pay it all off.)
Or maybe you get arrested and charged with assault and battery, or even worse. That means heavy legal fees, time and stress, likely fines and probation and the distinct possibility of clearing your schedule for months or even many years. And good luck getting a nice job or apartment after that!
Another possibility: The other guy, and/or his friends, gang brothers or family, may come after you personally. Just in case, you've now got to look over your shoulder and become paranoid for days, weeks, months … or even the rest of your life (but maybe not for too long!). A few guys with Louisville Sluggers and tire irons can give you a lesson you'll never forget. Or they may skip the lesson and just blast you from behind with a shotgun one night.
So much for winning, huh?
Now for the good news. As the great general Sun Tzu put it in his The Art of War more than 2,500 years ago: “[T]o gain a hundred victories in a hundred battles is not the highest excellence; to subjugate the enemy's army without doing battle is the highest of excellence.” In other words, there's a great way to win most conflicts: Avoid them!
As self-defense expert (and former drug dealer, bouncer, security guard and correctional facility director, among other things) Marc “Animal” MacYoung points out, most violence happens between people who know each other. That means that a large majority of folks who got beaten up had ticked off the wrong person.
That's why MacYoung's Violence, Blunders and Fractured Jaws: Advanced Awareness Techniques and Street Etiquette can be the best self-defense book you ever read. It doesn't contain a single punch, kick or block. What it does give you is detailed knowledge, from someone who has been there, done that and buried more than a few of his buddies, about what makes people—including you and me—tick and how to avoid ticking others off. Also, you can learn how to avoid most muggers and other criminals, by staying out of places where they can ambush you, spotting them coming and signaling them that they should pick somebody else.
Finally, you'll be better able to navigate the complex social minefields at school, in your neighborhood, at work and elsewhere. Your professors, roommates and co-workers might never throw a punch at you anyway … wouldn't it be nice to get them on your side?