If you took 100 self-defence instructors into a room and asked them for the definition of self-defence, you would get 100 different answers.

But for the purpose of this article, we are not going to discuss how you got into the situation, how you could avoid it or even if it is morally right. Nope, this article is simply going to tell you how to win any fight in 3 easy steps.


Let’s do this.


Step 1: Hit Hard

I have a particular irritant in self-defence in that 99.9% of people teaching have never experienced the reality of self-defence, yet are so strong on their opinions of what does or does not work.

So here is the first step, hit hard!

It doesn’t come any more straightforward than this so let me explain in detail.

I have witnessed hundreds of fights in my previous role in law enforcement, how? Because for years, I stood in town centres during the periods of the night when violence is more likely to occur.

One of the key things I observed was that no matter who started a fight, the one who landed the hardest strikes on target ended up the winner.

I use the term winner very loosely because in truth a winner can be the one getting arrested but in this article, we are not going ‘there’.

So how can you hit hard? Well, this is something you have to work on, but if you don’t drag your ass to training or train at home then hitting hard will never happen.


Step 2: Hit On Target

Sounds easy, hitting the face of another person. In reality, it is less than easy.

In any self-defence situation, you will find out quickly that a lot of opponents can hit very hard. This is, partly an illusion because a bare knuckle fist smashed into your face is rarely experienced, so it feels like a freight train.

The other aspect is that there are a lot of ‘handy’ people out there who did some boxing or martial arts but quit after they learned how to hit.

So you have to make every strike count! There is no point having the power of Mike Tyson if you can’t find the target.

Sparring and focus pad work are essential in this area because you need to be able to hit the spot with your strikes. If you train at home here is another tip.

Get a tennis ball and some string, put two holes either side of the ball and rope the string through and then hang the ball from a  washing line or a ceiling.

Then spend a few minutes each day working on techniques.


Step 3: Do Not Get Hit

Ok so now we are at the third step, but the one overlooked by many.

Imagine two cars going head on at 40 mph. What happens when they crash? The stronger/ heaviest car with the best safety features will be the vehicle that the occupants have the greatest chance of surviving in.

Self-defence is pretty similar. For example, if I went toe to toe/ head to head with a top boxer I would lose.

The solution is to build in some safety features to your fighting style. A classic example of this is the DL shapes system and body mechanics.

The shapes are designed to protect your head, and the body mechanics are the equivalent of a formula one steering system.

By learning how to move your body, you can get ‘off the road’ and hit your opponent with power and speed.  Also by using the ‘shapes’, you are taking your ‘car safety features’ from a family saloon to one of those trucks we see on the Mad Max films!


Step 4: Make Your Fitness Last

I have been fit enough to box and fat enough to get into a weight loss club and back again on numerous occasions.

Such is life! Injuries, work,  illness booze and food all can add up to flab collecting around your gut. However, I honestly believe you need to be fit enough to fight if your life depended on it.

This is a tough concept for people to grasp, after all, how fit do you need to be for self-defence? In truth, you do not know.

The only thing you can do is train as hard as you can. If you have a serious knee injury, that stops you going to classes you need to invest in some home training kit and do what you can.

This is never an ‘all or nothing’ situation.

However, when it comes to a real fight there are things to avoid doing that will help your fitness to last.

  1. Breathe: Sounds simple enough but people rarely learn to breathe while striking, make sure you practise this is in training!
  1. If you use a technique, go 100%. This again sounds simple enough, but so often I have seen people go in with 50% power because they are worried they might hurt ‘someone’. Sorry folks you are in a fight, this is not sparring. If you go 50%, you will likely have to use more strikes, expend more energy, and this gives your opponent a chance to hit you back!


Step 5: Use Your Best Techniques

This is one area that 99% of people never consider. What their best/ most effective techniques are.

Do you have a powerful hammer strike? Or are your elbow strikes the equivalent of having a baseball bat in your face, or perhaps you can deliver punches that are as fast as Vitor Belfort in his prime?

It does not matter what your ‘technique’ is but when the sh#t hits the fan it is not the time to ‘try something’.

Do yourself a favour and decide now what your most powerful and efficient techniques are and take those to the next level. It doesn’t mean that you will not learn or even use other techniques, but it makes no sense having 1000 techniques you perform with little power and skill.

Instead, work on your strengths and know them, so when it happens for real, you bring your A game.



So there we have five steps for winning any fight. The sound simple enough but how many instructors focus on this?

In every Defence Lab class, you will have a chance to develop power, work on your accuracy and improve your fitness. The Defence Lab strikes are designed to hit with power, and we have a range of techniques for every type of body size and shape so you are sure to find a technique that you will take to, like a  duck to water.

Check out our labs and book in for a session today!