Combating Fear in a Street Fight

Street Fight Self Defense

Facing a real street fight, it’s natural to feel fear and anxiety. But once your prospective attacker smells that fear, he knows he has you! Here’s how to wipe the fear from YOUR face…before wiping the smile off of his!

Facing live, man-​​eating sharks, body-​​slicing laser “death machines” and a crumbling evil fortress ready to self-​​destruct, James Bond never seemed to lose his cool.

Not a single bead of sweat when tied up, helplessly facing certain death at the hands of a giant 7 ft henchman of the sinister Dr. Destruction.

Sure, Bond makes it all look so easy…but it doesn’t play that way for YOU when you have a 7 ft monster who looks like he just got out of prison snorting in your face because you made him spill his drink.

Faced with the prospect of “throwing down” with someone who looks like he has the advantage over you in a fight, your brain triggers a release of the hormone adrenaline into your system that’s designed to give you that extra power to either run REALLY fast away from danger…or fight for your survival.

This “adrenaline dump” forces your chest muscles to tighten up and you’ll tend to hold your breath, restricting your intake of oxygen. The result is tunnel vision; dry mouth; shaky voice; rapid, shallow breathing; dizziness; single focus fixation; greater anxiety; and the possibility of sheer panic.

Not only are these physical signs a “come and get me” signal to your enemy, but they also limit your ability to actually take him out unless you can control it.

So you wanna know how YOU can have that calm, cool, collected façade of James Bond when staring up into the snorting nostrils of a violent attacker (no guarantee of being lavished by exotic models in the end)?

The answer is what is known as “Combat Breathing” and here’s how it works…

When you start to feel your body affected with any of the previous symptoms of adrenaline overload, your goal is to take control of your breathing and reverse the effects of reduced oxygen intake.

You do this by simply breathing OUT through your nose for a 4-​​count, focusing on breathing with your diaphragm and bringing the air seemingly down into your stomach.

Then you hold your breath for a 2-​​count before slowly breathing IN for a 4-​​count, and then holding it again for another 2-​​count.

This can all be done “secretly” WITHOUT anyone even knowing your doing it and all it takes is 2–3 “rounds” of this breathing pattern to reverse the outward signs of fear and allow you to think clearer to focus on your flight of fight options.

Practice this while reciting the word “breathe” as you’re doing it and when faced with a stressful situation, you can use this word as a mental cue to trigger the initiation of your combat breathing pattern.



  1. AncientSerpent6 says:

    Or just laugh and say “Bring it biotch”.

    Either way Works for Me!

  2. Lowell Dunham says:

    How can an 81 year old in good shape defend himself it attacked or being held up?

  3. Lowell Dunham says:

    (dont know w hat URL stands for ??)Dont know what a type key or a type pad is ??
    My question is how can an 81 year old man in good health defend himself if attacked or being held up?

  4. Kent Gooch says:

    How does an 81 year old man defend himself?? Just like a 21 year old stud, 2 to the body, one to the head with .45 ACP.… (Sorry couldn’t resist!)

  5. Snyder says:

    Glock 21! I never leave home without it!

  6. I always love the “just pull out the gun” responses.

    Works 100% of the time!

    That is…when you have it out and your attacker is far enough away to use it.

    Hey…I love guns to…

    But as law enforcement know all too well, real fights make it a much harder chore to pull your weapon than when you’re relaxed and throwing rounds down range at a paper target.

    This is one of the reasons so many of them are shot with their own weapon.

    The adrenaline rush and forced reaction by someone who is about to climb down your throat? Not a recipe for easily pulling out your gun and getting off a shot no matter how quick you are when practicing in front of a John Wayne movie.

    Practice realistic training with your handgun…but plan for that time when you may not be able to get to it in time…because chances are you won’t.

    As for you Lowell (81)…

    You’re probably not as strong as a 21 year old gangbanger so you obviously don’t want to get in a wrestling match and pitting your strength against your attacker, right?

    One thing you have going for you IS your age (ironically)!

    Your age may make you “seem” like an easy target…which leaves your assailant overconfident…ripe for you to shove your palm straight into their nose while pushing their head back.

    Follow this up with a low-​​line knee to the groin and your just 2 steps into showing the little whippersnapper why he’s lucky you didn’t put him over your knee for a REAL butt-​​whoopin! ;-)

    Don’t limit yourself…it doesn’t take brute strength to win a fight.

  7. Alex says:

    How can i knock someone out with one hit and be scrony

    • mysteryman says:

      kick to the temporal can instantly knock out a person of any size but you have to become very accurate and speedy to deliver that amount of force to the target area. To traumatize a kick to vocal cord or groin is enough.

  8. Nick says:

    Kick to the Groin??? It wont knock ‘em out, but that would be what hurt me the most in a single blow.

  9. Jake says:

    Another interesting blog post, Jeff. I love the advice to the 81-year-old…it’s all true and best of all practical. Nice work!

  10. Daniel says:

    to be honest, if under an urgent situation, for i.e someone block you with his car and come out from the car and wanna pick a fight with you. I think your mind would be totally blank at that time and even forgot to breath probably, and moreover if that fella quarrel and shout at you, i believe you wont just stand there do the combat breath because you will for sure shout at him back.

    so i think this combat breath not working…

  11. mysteryman says:

    well, my situation is a bit different. I am only 50kg, skinny guy with a lots of karate training. My hand, leg, knuckles, chest,belly conditioning is good. I can hold 80kg person over my abdomen, can fight like a beast non stop for 2 minutes. I am speedy and about to attend my 1st Dan black belt test. My training is very hard and follows the Japan Karate Federation syllabus which are very hard. My problem is though I am a good fighter and had lots of training for continuous 2.5 years, I become nervous every time walk on street. My attacks are accurate so that I can knock out a normal person of 70 to 80 kg in a single blow and can kill someone in bare hand. This is the reason I become nervous when I fight. Even though I know I can beat someone my hands shakes to punch, my legs shakes to kick as I think the person may traumatize. What should I do? By the way I am about to participate in National Championship as well. Please advise me.

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Jeff Anderson

Jeff Anderson is a 10 year veteran of the U.S. Army, a Master Fitness Trainer, and Master Instructor of Close Quarters Combat self defense. A full time fitness and self defense author, Jeff has trained thousands of men and women in the practical application of advanced military fitness methods as well as close combat tactics for "real life" self defense.

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