Fighting Strategy – Heart Advice to Those Unfortunate to be Caught in Physical Confrontations

by John Chow  of  Tao of Tai Chi Chuan Institute, Melbourne, Australia


Avoid all fights,  run away if you have to  -  this is the first and most important rule.  


If you can not run away,  try talking your way out.  Apologise even if you know you are in the right.  Good verbal de-escalation skills are the best and most effective way to get out of most sticky situations. 

Keep calm and talk confidently and apologetically.  
When all the above fails,  then be ready to switch to strong positive actions immediately.   That is as follow:-
Launch your defence or counters the instant the attacker launches the attack.  
If possible,  launch your defence or counters the moment the attack is imminent.  This may include, in extreme circumstances,  the moment the attacker is getting ready to fight,  or shows his weapons.  Do not permit the attacker any opportunity to prepare or finish preparations to get to the state of complete readiness. 
Defend vigorously and fiercely without gap or stop until the situation is completely under control.  
End the fight the instant it begins,  or before it begins.  The fight should not be allowed to progress.  
Use distractions where possible.  Throw keys, wallet, look elsewhere, scream, etc
Control and strip the attacker’s weapon as soon as possible. 
Be aware of the environment.
Be aware of that the attacker may have friends or accomplices nearby.  They might join the fight,  or they might pick up the weapon you had just disarmed and use it against you. 
Maintain emotional control.  Do not take fright. 

Apply locks and throws only after having vigorously delivered hard explosive crippling counters.  


Use body and footwork to evade.  Best defence is when you are not there!


Restrict the attacker’s mobility by controlling his space, and unbalancing him immediately on contact  -  checking his hand/elbow, feet/leg,  in order to take away his ability to attack you.  



9 October 2005

Written by John Chow,  a registered doctor of Chinese medicine and acupuncturist, masseur, healer and teacher of martial arts (Tai Chi Chuan, Anis/Eskrima),  and spiritual paths.


No part of this article can be used, quoted, copied in any form without the permission from the author. 

For further information on this article, please contact John Chow at