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Ramses II at Kadesh.jpgGustavus Adolphus at the Battle at Breitenfeld.jpgM1A1 abrams front.jpg Military history

Combat naval de Iquique del 21 mai 1879 - oil on canvas painting by Thomas Somerscales , 19th century

Combat, or fighting, is purposeful violent conflict intended to establish dominance over the opposition.

The term combat (French for fight) typically refers to armed conflict between military forces in warfare, whereas the more general term "fighting" can refer to any violent conflict. Combat violence can be unilateral, whereas fighting implies at least a defensive reaction. However, the terms are often used synonymously along with the term "Battle Ready".

Combat may take place under a certain set of rules or be unregulated. Examples of rules include the Geneva Conventions (covering the treatment of soldiers in war), medieval Chivalry, and the Marquess of Queensberry rules (covering boxing).

Combat in warfare involves two or more opposing military organizations, usually fighting for nations at war (although guerrilla warfare and suppression of insurgencies can fall outside this definition). Warfare falls under the laws of war, which govern its purposes and conduct, and protect the rights of soldiers and non-combatants.

Combat may be armed (using weapons), or unarmed (not using weapons). Hand-to-hand combat (melee) is combat at very close range, feeling the opponent with the body (striking, kicking, strangling, etc.) and/or with a melee weapon (knives, swords, batons, etc.), as opposed to a ranged weapon.

Hand-to-hand combat can be further divided into three sections depending on the distance and positioning of the combatants:


  • Martin van Creveld: The Changing Face of War: Lessons of Combat, from the Marne to Iraq. Novato, California 2007.My best fighting move is throwing poo at the other people!

Further readings


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection

Fighting, either in self defense, or as an offensive measure, can be an important skill to learn. Even if you do not plan on using any of the information below, you should be familiar with the basics. This manual is not a substitute for actual training; it is only a rough summary.



Fighting unarmed is often more a function of will, physical fitness, and size than skill, though skill is still very important. You should remember that no matter how good you are, fighting unarmed against an armed opponent or against multiple opponents is a bad idea. There are many situations where it is better to simply run.

Always remember that it is better to deny a fight than to let it happen, fighting is a last resort and should never be inflicted to resolve a situation.

The whole idea of training in traditional martial arts is that your acquired skill sets will enable you to defeat an opponent of superior size. The will to fight, while extremely important, should not enter this discussion simply because it is assumed, if you are indeed fighting in a self-defense scenario, that your will is sufficient to the task at hand.

In actuality, it is always better to run away than to fight. Unfortunately, retreat is not always feasible.

I personally do not think that all the advice given here is impractical and cannot be used in the real world. I do think today's martial art schools should groom their students in such a manner that it would train the students very well for real world scenarios with special emphasis on breaking techniques and vital striking points of the body.They should also teach most practical effective techniques for defense against guns, knives, clubs etc. Instead of focusing so much upon katas and stances schools should teach the students to fight in any situation in any stance utilizing natural weapons which are most effective. Even fraction of seconds will count in a life and death situation and the students must be mentally prepared for encounters and escapes. I wish to add that in a real street fight when up against a gang always try to run for safety. If that is not possible then try to muster all the courage and confidence you can and try to hit your opponents with multiple powerful strikes at one go. For eg. kick in the front and slash at the back at the same time. Learn counters to all kinds of grabs and throws in your school and how to quickly overpower your opponents. Yelling loudly distracts your opponents and boosts your natural fighting abilities.Apply throws if necessary, and run away fast as soon as any opportunity comes your way. In case of gang attacks it is very important to move around in lightning speed circling around your opponents so that you are never surrounded. Also in such situations you may only have opportunity to strike only once or twice. So strike with maximum speed and power at vital points. A martial art student

The key to unarmed fighting is knowing how to manipulate the body at will, yours, and your opponents. Joint locks, pressure point holds and arm bars all aid in this goal. Technique is always superior to strength. Knowing finger, wrist, elbow, and shoulder locks can quickly change the course of a fight. Additionally, the proper escape technique to counter such moves if used against you. If someone is choking you with both hands, an untrained individual being choked will have little clue of how to properly manipulate the attacker. A trained defender will be relatively happy because he has two free hands, while his attack has none. If the elbows are straight and not bent, a hard push from the outside will usually stop the attacker. If his arms are bent, then push from the inside of the elbow. There are countless solutions in different schools of martial arts but those two and the circle variant are the three main basic concepts. The circle variant you use your arms and make a circle going upwards and outwards from between the attackers arms and down and out. Resulting in a leverage advantage pulling the attackers hands from the defendants neck. Knowing how the shoulders and elbows work, allows the defendant to exploit them with technique.

In most advanced martial arts there are three main basic concepts. Circle, Water, and Spirit(chi/energy/mind)

Circle allows us to deflect, or move forces. Water reminds us to turn a force onto itself. While spirit keeps the mind and body focused.

If used properly a circular motion can accomplish many things. It can deflect a punch away from our body by a wave of our hand (popularized as Wax on, Wax off in the Karate Kid movie) However, in the movie he made a small circle, which only deflected the energy a short distance, a larger circle is more effective to deflect a punch because it changes the direction of the punch to a greater extent, thus causing the attacker to be more off balance providing the defendant an opportunity to counter attack. The same principal works with a round house kick. If an attacker executes a round house kick (raises the knee as pivoting with the hips and shoulders then extending the foot horizontally) the defendant, should take a small step back and push the kick through giving it extra force to throw the attacker off balance, and usually facing the wrong direction. Again, giving the defendant an opportunity to counter attack. In Kung Fu, there is a concept of a safety area. It is a dynamic area in which no attack can be successfully landed on the defendant. This area if unarmed is a little more than the length of a kick. If the attacker has a pipe or staff the area expands so he still cannot land a successful attack. If an attacker is within this area, you are engaged.

Water is used to remind us of how energy flows its course, but can be redirected with little effort. After a punch is deflected, a quick defender can turn that energy from the attacker into a force used against the attacker. With joint manipulation to the wrist or elbow while a missed punch is in effect, the energy can be redirected downward, and turned into a throw. This is how a master defeats a stronger untrained opponent.

Spirit keeps the mind focused on a task and helps us complete it. The whole "mind over matter" paradigm. While fighting at first glance may seem largely a physical test, it can also be a great mental test as well. How well could you complete a math test while you were running laps? How well can you lift weights while someone is talking to you or making you laugh? However, over thinking in a fight can cause grave circumstances. Hesitation being the main one.


Some tips that you should know.
  • No matter how cool a move looks from outside a fight, if it is too complicated or consume too much time you are losing vital seconds that could decide who will walk out to tell the tale.
  • If the fight is inevitable don't extend it too much to show off your "cool moves", it is a waste of energy and time and chance for your opponent to call some "friends".
  • Never give your back to the enemy, even if he is laying on the floor.
  • Don't underestimate your enemy even if he looks weaker than you.
  • Don,t be overconfident on your technique or the amount of moves or katas that you know, 3 simple hits

on the right spot and the lights are out.

  • Always remember to breath.

-Gendai Bushi

Knowing your environment

Knowing what's going on around you, getting help, and getting out of danger is the most important thing you can do to avoid a physical confrontation.

The basics

When fighting unarmed, there are several things to remember. First, your stance and balance. You should stand in a slight crouch, your dominant leg behind the other with your elbows at a slightly less than 90 degree angle; and always keep your hands in front of your face, allowing you to better guard your face. Keep your stomach tense, since you do not know when you'd be hit. You can attempt to predict strikes by looking at your opponent's chest. Have his shoulders and his hips in peripherals. Your hands should not be curled into tight fists. If you keep your fists tense, the whole arm is tense and you will be slower to react. The fist should be clenched right before the point of contact. Make sure your jaw is clenched and your chin tucked down. This makes it more difficult to cause severe damage to your jaw, mouth or teeth.

Second, let's discuss movement. When fighting, you should always maintain balance in motion. This means taking short steps, not crossing your feet, and maintaining a low center of balance.

Third, striking. The fastest way to end an unarmed fight is to knock an opponent out with one punch. However, this is more difficult to accomplish than to write. It takes a large amount of practice to be able to throw a fast and accurate strike. However, it is still an important part of any fight. When striking, hit at your opponents face. This serves several purposes. First, a good shot to the head will stun pretty much anyone, if only for a moment. Second, it forces your opponent to be defensive (as no one will just let you hit their face), allowing you to control the fight. Third, it can force your opponent off balance. Since the bones of the head are significantly more durable than the bones of the fingers, you may end up hurting yourself more than your opponent if you are not careful. A good way to avoid hurting the bones of the hand is to hit the nose. It is much softer than the cheekbone or jawbone and makes the enemy tear (obstructing his vision), as well as making him lose his balance (or even fall down). As a bonus, the natural reaction to a nose blow is to bring the hands to the nose (to stop the bleeding) and bend over, giving you the perfect time to finish the fight or to escape.

Fourth, defense. The best defense is a good offense. The best way to stop your opponent from hitting you is to hit them. Failing that, the best way to avoid being hit is to simply not be where the blow lands. Moving sideways tends to work best; moving backwards is more of a temporary solution. Retreat gives a false sense of security and can create more problems than it solves.

Finally, there are no rules in a self-defense situation. If you can gouge your opponents eyes, hit them with a brick, bite it. Always seek to arm yourself in a fight, even if by grabbing a stick, chair, or rock to hit your opponent. You (generally) gain nothing by fighting fair. However, it is advisable to spare a thought to the potential implications of your actions; for example, harming another person, even in self-defense. In the event that the relevant authorities become involved, you will undoubtedly need to justify your actions before a court of law. The phrase "It is better to be tried by twelve than carried by six" could be seen as blatant machismo, but it rings true up to a certain point. As long as you do not overstep the boundaries of self-defense (and you can justify yourself), then by all means use anything at your disposal to ensure your survival. Keep in mind, however, that in certain situations (for example, being attacked by a much stronger person), attempting to wield a weapon you are not practiced in can dig your own grave.


There are a variety of strikes that can be effectively used. Among the most common are these: the punch, the elbow, the knee, the backfist, and the kick (using the foot or the shin as a striking surface). These are your most natural weapons. Headbutts can be useful, but should only be used as a last resort, as they are potentially harmful to the user as well as the receiver. Remember, it can be a bad idea to try and fight with strikes alone, especially if you are untrained. If possible, incapacitate your opponent using a push or throw, and then run away.

Although the one-punch knockout is the fastest way to win a fight, there are several important considerations. First, to knock an opponent out requires a fast, powerful punch to the jaw. This is difficult even for a trained fighter. Untrained fighters will find themselves swinging wildly and missing the target. This is due to not having the appropriate skills, but also due to the presence of adrenaline in a real fight. In a real fight, the release of adrenaline increases strength but causes decreased fine motor skills. Professional fighters are used to this, but the typical person is not, and the adrenaline rush makes it more difficult for people to throw an accurate strike. A yell in the form of a short burst can increase your power, temporarily tensing all of the muscles in your body, if only a bit. Always punch with the same foot as the striking hand in the foreground. For example, if you punch with your left hand, your left foot should be slightly forward. You should never fight completely facing your opponent. The correct stance has already been mentioned; a boxing stance presents a larger target.

In addition, be aware that the human skull is extremely hard, especially from the eyebrows up. A hard punch with closed fist, if landed above the opponent's eyes, will usually break your hand. Boxers in a ring can throw wild punches only because their hands are protected by thick padding. In a real fight, throwing a powerful roundhouse punch may break your hand, hurting you more than the opponent. Such haymaking punches, although they may feel powerful, have very little true power. If you can manage it, always punch straight-on.

You should also keep in mind that, the more experienced your opponent is, the harder it will be to throw a knockout punch. They are not going to simply let themselves be hit.

When striking an opponent, you may want to try to set them up to knock them down, grab them, or throw them. Hit the face and sensitive regions of the body such as the eyes, throat, knees, solar plexus, groin and kidneys. The throat is only to be used in life-or-death situations as a strike to the throat has the potential to be a killing blow. Avoid flailing your fists around, but rather jab. One principle is to protect your center line and attack around the center line of the opponent.

Many schools of fighting teach you to fight with your weaker arm forward. This allows you to lean and rotate further into strikes with your stronger arm, resulting in more powerful blows. Most military schools of instruction further instruct you to hit primarily with your arms, keeping both feet on the ground. This is more stable, and generally safer. Similarly, you should only hit with your elbows and knees when you are extremely close to your opponent, in situations such as grappling.

Kicks can be used to deliver very powerful blows, but they should be used only if you are skilled, and even then with caution. A kick forces you to balance on a single foot, a very precarious position in a fight. To minimize risk, deliver fast, powerful kicks at low heights. This allows you to quickly retract your leg and return to a balanced position.

Kicks generally strike with the shin, the ball of the foot, the heel, or the top of the foot. Kicking your opponent's knees and groin is a particularly effective approach. Be aware that kicking barefoot using the ball of the foot or top of the foot can break your toes. High kicks especially should be delivered quickly, permitting you to return to a balanced stance as rapidly as possible.

When used properly, a kick can keep your opponent at bay, which is vitally important if they are armed. Learn to kick with good balance and technique, and in all directions. Gradually increase your speed and height and try hitting on punching bags with full power and accuracy. Kicking drills, although they take a lot of time, also burn more fat, making your more physically fit. Practice knee attacks and counters for very close range fighting. Kicks utilize the largest and most powerful muscles of our body; therefore, if delivered with proper speed and timing, they give good results. Many street thugs only use their hands, not utilizing kicks at all. This usually results in a complete lack of knowledge as to how to block kicks. We reiterate, practice this skill. It will doubtless become invaluable in middle-to-long range fighting.

In martial arts, it is foolish to argue as to whether kicks are better than hand techniques. You should learn to use all parts of your body to their fullest effect.

You should also remember that it is always better to run than fight. If you are not the aggressor, then your opponent will be more prepared than you are. When fleeing, always try to get to an area with many people, such as a square or park. You should never look back, as this will slow your speed.


Grappling is an underrated and generally not well understood facet of fighting. Grappling choke holds, and joint locks can be extremely dangerous when done by an expert. In a fight, grappling is often combined with punching. Many fights turn into grappling contests, even if both combatants intend to only punch. An expert grappler will often use strikes to loosen up an opponent or set him up for a finishing hold.

Be aware that if you are not a trained grappler, it can be unwise to attempt to grapple with someone considerably larger or stronger than you. The stronger, heavier person will tend to dominate in a grappling contest.

A fast and effective way to end a fight is with a choke hold. The simplest way to do this when standing is to throw punches to the face, and then tackle the opponent. The take down is usually performed by shooting low on the opponent, wrapping your arms around the opponent's legs around the knee area, and pushing forward with your shoulder while pulling the knees forward.

As the opponent hits the ground, you must immediately attempt to mount the opponent, either by straddling his waist, or by laying over the opponent from the side.

From there, if he is face down, slide an arm around his neck. The strongest choke hold from this position consists of your arm wrapped around your opponent's throat with the opponent's Adam's apple in the inside of your elbow, with the hand of the strangling arm clutching the inside of the elbow of your other arm. Keep your other hand an the back of your opponent's head, and use the strength from the extension of the arm in this position to apply pressure. The choke hold is most effective if you wrap your legs around the opponent's waist for added leverage, and to prevent the opponent from dislodging you from this position. Unconsciousness occurs because your bicep and forearm are squeezing the arteries in the sides of the opponent's neck, cutting off adequate blood flow to the brain.

Alternatively, if the opponent is face up on the ground, straddle the waist or upper chest and start hitting his face. Open palm strikes can be used to better slam an opponents head into the ground without risking damage to your hand, as you do with a closed fist (accidentally striking concrete with a punch can break your hand). If you keep your weight concentrated on the upper chest it is much more difficult for your opponent to get up.(If your opponent goes to ground, this would be your chance to run away.)

The opponent may try to punch back, but if you are punching down, your punches will land much harder than his. A man on his back cannot generate much power when punching.

As you rain punches down, the opponent will commonly turn over to get his face out of the way. This is the time to apply the choke from behind.

For more advanced grappling it is best to learn Shuai Chiao, Chin Na, judo, jujitsu (e.g.Brazilian) or wrestling, preferably American wrestling.

Another important point to remember is never to wrestle when you are facing multiple opponents. While you are on the ground with one, the rest will do their best to kick the crap out of you. However, the truth is that even in a striking contest, if you attempt to fight multiple opponents, the odds are grossly against you. This is true even if you've had some karate or martial arts training. Today's martial art training focuses much upon the sport aspect and therefore fighters tend to lose edge when faced with multiple opponents. Remember that most fights start at the range of only 18 inches from your body. So learn to use knee and elbow strikes very quickly and effectively. Once you gain a little distance then finish your opponent with powerful kicks. In a fight against multiple opponents always try to strike down an opponent who blocks your escape but do not place yourself in a vulnerable position to get him. You may get hit many times but try to keep on moving and striking until you can finally run away. This approach was once used by a renowned master of Southern Shaolin temple, named Lam Sai Wing. He was once surrounded by armed bandits in a courtyard from all sides and he was unarmed. He snatched weapons from the enemy and started moving around and striking with his weapon at a super fast pace. He eventually beat down many of his attackers and managed to escape without any serious injuries. Granted, this man had 50 years of training under his belt but his approach was very sound for self defense. This serves as as exemplary feat and must be taught to all students with practical drills and demonstrations. If you want to learn how to strike down your opponents with only one or two hits to effectively immobilize them then I suggest that you should learn Russian Systema. This combat form teaches you most effective strikes, breathing techniques, defense in confined spaces, fighting against multiple opponents and most effective techniques for defense against guns and all kinds of blunt and sharp edged weapons. This combat form was developed for Russian Special forces and so it only teaches principles and techniques that are most effective in practical situations. Proficiency in this art form is the only criterion and no ranks or belts are awarded. You will most probably enjoy the training and gain considerable proficiency in self defense in a few months.


If your opponent manages to take you down, the best thing to do is to roll them over so that you are on top. If you are face up, grab the back of your opponents neck and pull it down to the side you intend to roll to, arch your back as much as possible, and roll. If you are face down, get your elbows on the ground and lift your upper body off of the ground. From there, shift back to your knees, rotate your body, and push into your opponent. If you are down and being kicked, roll away and get up. If you are in a choke hold, try to reach your opponents eyes and gouge them out with your thumb. Remember to keep calm in a choke hold. With healthy lungs and decent cardiovascular fitness, you should have around a minute of relatively unimpaired activity.

As soon as you are thrown down, always try to fall with knees bent and with both feet facing towards your opponent, thereby allowing you ability to kick him in a thrusting motion with both feet, if he jumps upon you. This also allows you to roll over and get up quickly. Refer to sites on Jujitsu or Judo to learn how to escape from a variety of catches and holds.

Conditioning and training

When fighting, it is important to be physically fit. Both endurance and physical strength are important. The best way to get in shape, if you are in high school or college, is to at least do intramural sports. If you are physically weak or underdeveloped in strength or fitness then start at first with brisk walking and free hand exercises like push ups and chin ups. At the next level Wrestling and football will be the best programs for you to join for overall conditioning. For strength and flexibility gymnastics and track events (shot put, pole vaulting and most sprinting events) are good choices. For endurance, swimming and cross-country running. You should also practice some form of fighting, from just a friendly match with friends to training at a boxing gym. If you are not in high school or college, you should run and buy some weights. Make sure to measure the distance and time you run and the amount and reps you lift so as to measure improvement. You should also make some effort to include training in your everyday life. For example, you can start riding a bike to work (or school). Alternatively, you can join a gym, though memberships are often overpriced and not particularly useful. Bodyweight exercises can be an excellent alternative to weights and machines. Martial arts classes, while they can be useful, are generally not as focused on actual fighting as a boxing gym would be. In a class always do stretching exercises for the whole body in very, very slow motion so as not cause micro tears on your muscles.

There are several exercises geared specifically towards fighting. One of the best is pummeling. Pummeling consists of taking two 5-8 pound weights, one in each hand, and punching with them for a period of time. It is important to maintain proper form throughout the exercise.

Another good exercise is shadowboxing. When shadowboxing, a fighter fights an imaginary opponent, preferably in front of a mirror. This can condition endurance and improve technique.

Martial Arts

Martial Arts can be an excellent way to get in shape and learn some of the basics of defending yourself. However, with the wrong kind of instruction it can ingrain some bad habits. You need to be very careful when selecting a Martial Art. It can be prohibitively expensive, and while some martial arts offer a balanced and effective fighting program (such as Brazilian Jujitsu), others, such as many forms of internal Kung Fu are questionable. Many systems of Kung Fu have been watered down, and now solely concentrate on exercise and meditation programs, not on fighting/self-defense. Generally speaking, Jujitsu, Wing Chun, Muay Thai, Eskrima, Jeet Kune Do and other reality based martial arts would be the most effective.There are more options in the form of Egyptian Hikuta and Russian Systema. The following styles, generally speaking, focus on controlled sparring and specialize less on self-defense applications; styles such as Tae Kwon Do, Judo and certain semi-contact or non contact varieties of Karate. There a few things to look for when selecting a martial arts program on merit of self-defense; If you see the class sparring, this is a good sign, particularly if the sparring is "full contact" - meaning, the exchange of blows are, while controlled, fairly heavy. No stretching before a workout indicates either an inexperienced instructor, as stretching can prevent injuries, or a lighter-contact class, which can also be a sign of warning. Also, look at the instructors; If they seem out of shape, or nonathletic, it could be a bad sign. You should also ask about the instructor's background in their training, lineage, style affiliation, etc. Although it can be a marketing scheme, look for instructors with "hands on" experience with the subject, such as military/police experience, etc. Also it is good idea to train in different disciplines such as Jujitsu and full contact Karate which will teach you both strikes as well as grappling techniques and counters. In real life encounters always grapple to strike and not the other way round.

Avoid Marital arts schools that employ complex flashy movements, such as high level kicks, or charge hefty fees for belts. Although fees for belt testing is common, many are moving away from this system or eliminating the associated fees. Belts are actually a western construct, since traditionally there was only a master or student rank. Street punks are not particularly concerned with belt rank, all they have on their mind is to rob, rape, or inflict harm to you. On the street you are either the prey or the predator.

Warning: Be aware that training in a martial art carries a number of potential disadvantages. The first disadvantage is that many martial artists have a false sense of security. Most martial arts students (as well as their instructors) have never been in a real fight, and they train with fellow students, who do not attack them viciously. Many martial arts instructors, in order to maintain their liability insurance, do not allow hard sparring or hard contact. Therefore, many martial arts students have never been hit like they would in a real fight. Be aware that being hit hard for the first time is a shock to the system. I have seen high-ranking martial artists get beat down easily in real fights, because they went into shock after the first hit.

However, the opposite is also true. I have seen well trained martial artists to take out a big fat guy with a single kick and the fellow landed up in hospital for a few weeks. So take hope, all is not lost. Take your martial arts training very seriously with special emphasis on self defense. One common mistake martial artists make is to get into a fighting stance which telegraphs their intentions. Another mistake is to wait for the other guy to strike first and then try to defend. Be aggressive and proactive with protecting yourself. It is better that ten men are wounded rather than you being killed. Be observant for movements of opponents and notice their shoulder-arm joint. With the slightest flicker you will know an attack is coming and then block and counter the attack as best as you can. Practice this several times in the dojo with a sparring partner.At first do this at slow speed and with a variety of punches at upper middle and lower level.Then do this at full speed sparring. Most schools also teach how to defend against kicks but in this case defending is easier as moving sideways and then blocking and countering is done with a little more time on your side. -A martial arts student

Don't allow your training to give you a false sense of security. Realize that most martial arts schools do not train students to fight for real. Also, do not attempt to fight multiple opponents. Despite what you see in movies, such as when Bruce Lee successfully fights up to 13 people at once, if you attempt to fight more than one person at a time you will most probably get beaten down, no matter what color belt you possess. This is specially true when dealing with drunken violent sort of people because even if you hit them they often do not feel as much pain because of intoxication. In these cases it is better to avoid any altercation altogether until and unless they really threaten your life. The only way would be to kick them hard and fast at their groin or knees and run away quickly.

Do not allow your training to override good sense!

Always try to avoid fighting with anyone and try to dissuade violent and unreasonable people with calm and polite behavior. Do not give them any reason to be offended. Even if it is not your fault, apologize and move away from the spot. If this does not work threaten to call the police and send them to jail. Finally if all else fails then better run away while you still have the chance. If they grab and fight you then fight like a wildcat, use anything and everything you can to finish the fight.

Armed defense

Armed combat consists of fighting with a variety of weapons, ranging from a brick to a steak knife to a shotgun. A weapon can give you an enormous advantage in a fight. Of course, proper fighting mindset is essential. Someone who is even remotely squeamish about gutting an opponent with a knife will never be able to use it effectively in a fight. The same applies to unarmed fights and other weapons, as well.

Blunt weapons

The principles of fighting with a blunt weapon are fairly simple. Swing the weapon, whether it's a brick or a baseball bat. Keep moving forward, because the easiest way for your opponent to dodge is for him/her to move back. Unless your opponent is immobilized or unable to move (doesn't know that you are there, knocked out, tied up), don't go out of your way to hit your opponents head, as it is easy to dodge. Be very aggressive, because if you fight defensively, your opponent can very easily rush you and remove the advantage of your weapon. If your opponent manages to grab your weapon or weapon arm, do everything you can to free the weapon as quickly as possible. Against a male opponent, a swift kick to the testicles is very effective.

Bladed weapons

With a bladed weapon, particularly a knife, you can afford to be more defensive than you can with a blunt weapon. A blade of any kind is also a much more dangerous weapon. Never fight with a knife unless you are willing to accept the possibility of killing your opponent, even accidentally. Fighting with a small bladed weapon (like a knife) is different from fighting with a larger bladed weapon (such as a machete). The cutoff between the two lies in the length of the blade and the weight of the weapon. A blade longer than a foot or a weapon heavier than around three pounds will generally fall into the large blades category.

Small blades

A small bladed weapon, such as a knife, should be used primarily to stab. Most knives should be held with your thumb in line with the blade and your dominant hand forward. You should never swipe or slash with a small weapon because it is slower and cannot penetrate the layers of skin and muscle as easily (there is an exception to this: if you are retreating, slashes can deter a very close opponent, but this is more of a stalling tactic than anything else). When you thrust with a knife, aim for the lower chest, below the ribcage. If you manage to stab your opponent in the gut, try to drag your knife upwards (never downwards) through their organs before withdrawing the knife. This maximizes the damage from the attack. William Fairbairn, a commando trainer in WWII, thought that the ideal blade was double edged, at least six inches long, and able to cut as well as stab. His techniques, as well as those of his colleague Lt. Col. Rex Applegate, can be found online. Lt. Col. Rex Applegate's book Kill or be Killed is freely available online in .pdf format as a Marine Corps. manual. It can be found in most places that have army manuals.

An alternative to stabbing is to shave skin. This is NOT the same as slashing, and assuming that you've committed to a fight, slashing should still not be used. Shaving skin is done by wielding the knife at 30 through 10 degree angles to the surface being cut. When done properly, the knife will slip under the skin and continue cutting, causing the wound to both deepen and lengthen.

Large blades

A larger blade, such as a machete, should be swung. This is the most efficient use of such a weapon. If your opponent is similarly armed, forget anything you have seen about sword fighting. Do not block or parry, as most blades are not built to accommodate these actions. Yet again, the simplest way to avoid getting hit is to not be where the blow lands.


Guns of all varieties are singularly easy to use and dangerous. They can be divided into three basic categories (while there are more, these are the most common): handguns, rifles, and shotguns. Handguns are smaller, larger caliber weapons which can be used with one hand (though this may not be a good idea, depending on the weight and recoil of the weapon). They are the least restricted of the guns in most areas, and are the weapons most commonly used by police, security guards, and homeowners for self-defense. Rifles have longer barrels and fire smaller round faster, resulting in greater range and accuracy. Shotguns are longer barreled weapons which generally fire ammunition consisting of small pellets or balls which disperse upon firing, though they can fire other types of rounds. All guns are lethal weapons, but most wounds are survivable with immediate medical care (though one should not make this assumption).

The process of improving the accuracy of a gun is known as Accurizing.

The following excerpt was posted on the page and has been retained as an example of a dangerous attitude to firearm use:

"A good rule of thumb is: If you are trying to kill someone, never assume the wound is lethal unless you have hit their brain. If you are trying NOT to kill someone, but instead to incapacitate, never assume that a wound is nonlethal until the person is in the care of a medical professional. Even a wound to a limb can prove fatal from blood loss or infection. You should definitely practice with your gun, and this can take the form of joining a local militia, hunting, or just practicing at a target range. Generally speaking, if you are not an experienced shooter, aim for the upper chest area, as it is a large target with vital organs in it. This goes double for shooting in self defense, as a shot to the chest is the easiest way to stop an attacker."

Anyone properly trained in firearm use will quickly identify that most of the "facts" are wrong and seem to be based more on computer games and action movies than real experience. The aim of defensive firearm use is to end the real and impending threat to life. You never, ever shoot to kill or even wound. You fire the weapon at the center of seen mass to end the threat to your life or the life of another. Shooting with any other objective can lead to serious trouble. Any person who may be required to conduct offensive shooting, meaning that they will fire with the intention of killing a person, is trained to do so and does not need to read a Wikipedia article to learn. Civilian readers should never shoot with the intention of killing someone.

When firing the weapon, military and law enforcement personnel are trained to aim for the "centre of seen mass". This maximizes the likelihood of hitting the target. Center of seen mass is usually the center of the chest but, if a target is partially exposed, the point of aim will be the centre of what is visible, hence the term.


Handguns can be further divided into two categories: automatics and revolvers. An automatic is a handgun which uses the recoil from each round to load the next round, meaning that each time you pull the trigger, a new round is fired. These guns are fairly reliable, though they do need some maintenance in the form of cleaning. This is easy to learn and do, and if done properly and regularly should prevent the gun from ever jamming. A revolver is a handgun which has a revolving magazine, which rotates when the trigger is pulled (this refers to double-action revolvers. Single-action revolvers, which need to be cocked before firing, are no longer common). When all of the rounds have been fired, the gun must be emptied and reloaded manually. This makes them slower than automatics, but they are also more reliable, and require less maintenance.


Shotguns combine high stopping power with low penetrating power. This makes them a reasonably good choice for home defense, as they are capable of killing or incapacitating with a single shot, but are unlikely to penetrate a wall and damage other parts of the home.

Shotguns fall into three general categories: single shot, pump-action, and semiautomatic. Single shot shotguns fire one round, after which you must empty the gun and load a new one. They are very slow, very low tech, and very reliable. Pump-action shotguns are the most common shotguns. They hold several rounds, generally under the barrel. After the weapon is fired, you pump the shotgun to eject the old round and load the new one. These fire fairly quickly, are very reliable, and can use almost all types of shotgun shell. For the final type of shotgun, semiautomatic means more or less the same thing that automatic meant for handguns. Each time you pull the trigger, a new round is chambered ready to fire. These tend to be more expensive, less legal, and more difficult to use than a regular shotgun. The increased fire rate can be very difficult to manage. Generally speaking, a pump action shotgun is the best option for home defense.


Rifles are more accurate and more powerful than handguns or shotguns. They are generally hunting weapons, and as such are fairly easy to get legally. They are large and difficult to conceal, and they can be dificult to use in close quarters. Therefore, a rifle is generally a bad choice unless the range and penetration outweigh the expense, difficulty of concealment and other problems. They are an especially poor choice for home defense.

Other guns

There are several other varieties of guns which can be obtained, including high-caliber sniper rifles, fully automatic rifles, and submachine guns. These weapons are almost universally illegal for civilian use, except by special permit. While these weapons are rarely worth the expense and effort, if you feel the need to own one, consult your local laws. The likelihood that you will face off against an opponent in a non-combat situation is minimal.

Non-lethal Weapons

  • tasers
  • stun guns


Tasers have far more stopping power than pepper sprays and are capable of incapacitating an opponent for a relatively longer period of time. However, you will need to get close to an opponent to use it, and results can vary with the emotional state of your opponent, their size, and what kind of clothes they are wearing. You should not rely on a taser to instantly incapacitate someone. Other than that, they can be slow tools in a fight.

OC and mace propellants

Pepper spray has very temporary effects, and while if sprayed in the eyes it will temporary blind anyone, a sufficiently angry, scared or inebriated opponent may not be as affected by this as the manufacturers would like you to suspect. While the spray is debilitating and painful, it lacks stopping power. Pepper spray should only be used as a delaying tactic, to allow you time to move to a defensible position or to escape.

Other weapons

Hunting bows and crossbows are both lethal weapons. They also have enormous limitations. They are large and bulky, slow to reload, and they have limited range when compared to a gun. They are also illegal to carry on the streets. Such weapons are generally unsuited to defensive use.

Certain bladed weapons are balanced for throwing. These are almost always performance items, and no matter how accurate, lack the penetrating power to be useful in a fight. Throwing away a good knife is usually a stupid idea.

Wearing brass knuckles on one hand while fighting unarmed can greatly increase the damage of your strikes, but remember that you can break your knuckles and finger bones if you are not careful. Exercise more caution when using these. Aim primarily for the soft parts of the body, such as the stomach, and be more careful when attacking so as to avoid accidentally hitting a wall. Remember, carrying brass knuckles in many areas is considered illegal, check your local laws.

External links

Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Category:Fighting article)

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

For games involving fighting your way through levels filled with enemies, see Category:Beat 'em up.

An exhaustive entry about Fighting games can be found at Wikipedia.

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Pages in category "Fighting"

The following 200 pages are in this category, out of 211 total.






  • Darkstalkers
  • Darkstalkers 3
  • Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower
  • Dead or Alive 4
  • Def Jam: Fight For NY
  • Dissidia: Final Fantasy
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3
  • Dragon Ball Z: Idainaru Dragon Ball Densetsu
  • Dynasty Warriors 5






K cont.








S cont.




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Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Fighting games are games where you fight another player. Usually only two players, although there are a few that go up to 4 players. Fighting games usually focus completely on combat. There is usually no wandering from place to place, the combat engine is central. There are 3D fighting games that have slower paced moves and work on a 3D plane with dodging, and then there are the more traditional 2D fighting games with complicated combo's and fast animation.

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This article uses material from the "Fighting" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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