The Stages of a Fight.

Cryozombie

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Similar concepts have been discussed before. Lets do this again.

Define the stages of a fight. What occurs, what you should be doing in each stage, etc

As an example, I'll say I think that by the time it becomes a fight you have 3 stages, The Beginning, The Mid-fight, and the finish...

An Example of what I mean:

The beggining is the guy talking smack, maybe he has or has not stuck his finger in your chest, shoved you, or is just in your face screaming or making threats...

The mid fight might be you two (or three or 6 whatever) are now ready to throw down, maybe no one has swung, but you are in aggressive postures and both of you know "its on"... or maybe someone swung, etc...

The end is... well, anything... nearing the end, if you two have traded blows or not, have maybe backed off and are just talking smack again, or maybe someone is down, or maybe your friends or his friends have pulled you apart... or whatever...

Those may not be your definitions of the stages, just some examples. So, What do you consider the stages of a fight, & what do you do in each stage...
 

Touch Of Death

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Position- I can or cannot strike effectivly
Maneuver- I will move into a position to strike effectivly
Target- I have one target!
Weapon- dictates method of combat
Angle- whats my next move? where is he failing to cover?
Cover- extraction concepts...
 

Rook

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Fights don't follow predictable stages. For instance, the oft-repeated stages of escalation

1. approach
2. verbal engagement
3. pushing
4. attack

probably don't account for anywhere near all fights between people. A fight breaking out doesn't need to follow this pattern by any means. For instance, an attack can come without warning, could follow verbal engagement with no pushing stage, or could come after a clear approach but without verbal engagement or pushing. This standard four stage escalation might be better described as one of many possible beginings of a fight.
 

exile

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Abernethy has a series of analyses of the Pinan kata in which he argues that there are four relevant stages of a fight, and that the techniques of the first three Pinans correspond respectively to each of the three succeeding overtly physical stages of a fight. The stages he identifies are

1. Prefight ritual (agressive language, physical posturing, pressure on the one or both parties' personal space);
2. Limbs coming into range (strikes, attempted grabs, etc.)
3. Establishment of grips;
4. Grappling

These are a little different from Rook's classification; they correspond more to something like successive fighting ranges. IA thinks the first three Pinans correspond to applications relevant to 2, 3 and 4 respectively. But his 1.--4. don't really have any direct relevance to the psychological stages of a fight, exactly. Rook, your breakdown looks more like it's based on... something like degree of overt commitment to violence? IA's system, apart from the first stage, is more about what happens once the violence firebreak has been crossed.
 

Rook

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Rook, your breakdown looks more like it's based on... something like degree of overt commitment to violence? IA's system, apart from the first stage, is more about what happens once the violence firebreak has been crossed.

Yep. Different RBSD people break it down different ways. The one I see most often (and decided to note) breaks down Mr. Abernathy's prefight ritual into 3 component parts but leaves the fight as one piece - you could easily mix the two into a longer process that would go something like

1. Approach
2. Verbal engagement
3. Pushing
4. limbs set up for strikes
5. establishment of grips or holding
6. grappling and clinch work
(possibly - 7. goes to ground)

Of course, while this would be a fairly normal pattern, no conflict would be necessity have to go anything like this. Its basically possible to escape at any stage in this except 7 under the right conditions, and it is possible that a fight could skip stages (I cited some already in the last post, but it could also include more) or retrogress (i.e. people trade a couple strikes, back off, and go back to namecalling or grip is broken and longer strikes resume).
 

Hand Sword

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I believe in two. Either you are fighting, or you are not. I always considered smack talking, pushing, or even them coming over to you to be an act of aggression. IMHO, the fight has already began. Also consider being caught unaware, or just being in a vulnerable position, without knowing it, the same.
 

charyuop

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Hand sword anticipated me LOL. Verbal abuse is the point of no return. If at the verbal abuse your words don't calm the opponent that IS a fight. No reason in waiting pushing, getting ready, go... As soon as the opponent raises his/her hands even just to push look for the best way to enter his/her defense and smack him/her one with the intention of knocking out.
The longer you delay a reaction the more chances you'll have that a weapon appears or few friends come in support of the opponent. Moreover if you manage to get the opponent immediately and knock him/her out or leave him/her "stunned" by the hit the less chances to have a long fight not only with the risk of you getting hurt seriously, but with the chance that to get out of the fight you will have to inflict more serious damage to the opponent (which is something I am sure most of us would like to avoid).
 

exile

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Its basically possible to escape at any stage in this except 7 under the right conditions, and it is possible that a fight could skip stages (I cited some already in the last post, but it could also include more) or retrogress (i.e. people trade a couple strikes, back off, and go back to namecalling or grip is broken and longer strikes resume).

Nice point about the grappling phase---I don't think I've ever heard anyone make it before---that something happens when the fight goes to the ground that makes it irreversible. Even in a bad standup fight, it's possible for the conflict to at least temporarily shift back to the verb abuse/power display stage. But once it goes to the ground, language fails completely and it's all reptile-brain...

I guess you could say that that adds one more reason to try to stay off the ground, eh?
 

zDom

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For me, physical contact of any kind -- pushing, poking, grabbing, or whatever --- of even closing the distance in an attempt to do so after making threats of other verbal assaults is the "the line" of no return.

I figure (based on prior observations) that pushing or poking is a way cowardly types muster their courage to actually strike or get comfortable in that striking zone before throwing a punch.

If ANY warning bells go off, I keep possible aggressors at fingertip distance or farther. If they attempt to close that distance, I'll insist they "stay back" fully prepared to strike or otherwise defends myself if they persist.

I've been hit with far too many "sucker punches" in the past to mess around.
 

exile

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For me, physical contact of any kind -- pushing, poking, grabbing, or whatever --- of even closing the distance in an attempt to do so after making threats of other verbal assaults is the "the line" of no return...If ANY warning bells go off, I keep possible aggressors at fingertip distance or farther. If they attempt to close that distance, I'll insist they "stay back" fully prepared to strike or otherwise defends myself if they persist.

I read a really good article recently about the notion of `first attack' in the writings of Funikoshi and other founding karateka of the last century. It's pretty clear that neither GF nor any of the others actually expected you to wait until the jerk swings at you or tries a grab-and-headbutt. Serious verbal menacing in GF's view, along with other signs of an imminent attack, were taken to constitute the first attack, so a preemptive strike by the defender was perfectly correct. Abernethy echoes this in some of his stuff and advises eye and throat strikes and groin attacks as the defender's best options. What's the line---better to be judged by twelve than carried by six... ?

The trick is knowing whether an attack is really imminent. I once had a fairly big, very clearly drunk guy accost me at a gas station while I was filling up my car and insisting that I give him a ride, and he got really abusive when I said no. I still had the live gas hose in my hand---I'm not sure he noticed, he was that stupid-drunk---and I figured at one point that it was now or never, and I was going to have to jam the metal pipe of the gas pump into his teeth or eyes and squeeze a shot of gasoline out of it to give him something to think about while I was getting away. All of a sudden he stopped cold and wandered off... never could figure out what had distracted him, but I was glad I didn't have to all that---could have gotten very ugly in court...
 

Bigshadow

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Define the stages of a fight. What occurs, what you should be doing in each stage, etc

As an example, I'll say I think that by the time it becomes a fight you have 3 stages, The Beginning, The Mid-fight, and the finish...

An Example of what I mean:

The beggining is the guy talking smack, maybe he has or has not stuck his finger in your chest, shoved you, or is just in your face screaming or making threats...

The mid fight might be you two (or three or 6 whatever) are now ready to throw down, maybe no one has swung, but you are in aggressive postures and both of you know "its on"... or maybe someone swung, etc...

The end is... well, anything... nearing the end, if you two have traded blows or not, have maybe backed off and are just talking smack again, or maybe someone is down, or maybe your friends or his friends have pulled you apart... or whatever...

Those may not be your definitions of the stages, just some examples. So, What do you consider the stages of a fight, & what do you do in each stage...


My impression of what you described is not a fight, but a match or duel. At that point both people are willing participants. All that posturing and talking smack is pointless, it is just trying to goad one another into attacking.

To me fighting is either ON or OFF. Even throughout an altercation there may be a series of ON/OFFs, probably most likely. I really don't see stages.
 

Rook

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Nice point about the grappling phase---I don't think I've ever heard anyone make it before---that something happens when the fight goes to the ground that makes it irreversible. Even in a bad standup fight, it's possible for the conflict to at least temporarily shift back to the verb abuse/power display stage. But once it goes to the ground, language fails completely and it's all reptile-brain...

I guess you could say that that adds one more reason to try to stay off the ground, eh?

I think thats pretty much true. I don't think I've ever seen a fight go to the ground and not either go all the way to someone being knocked out or be broken up. At any other point in the fight, it is at least possible that you could break free and take off running assuming you have a window of escape and you choose it as the better option. Once a fight hits the ground, you have to either get up from underneath someone or get off from on top of them without being immediately drawn back to the ground, which is much, much harder to do than most people think it is.
 

Rook

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My impression of what you described is not a fight, but a match or duel. At that point both people are willing participants. All that posturing and talking smack is pointless, it is just trying to goad one another into attacking.

One side may not want to fight, and simply be trying to verbally ward off the other one, either by making himself appear like a harder target than he actually is, or be attempting to dissuade the other person from attacking him through conciliation or deflecting his anger onto some third party. Fights, even muggings and similar crimes, are not uncommonly preceeded by these stages, although, like I said, there is no assurance that a figth will begin like this.

To me fighting is either ON or OFF. Even throughout an altercation there may be a series of ON/OFFs, probably most likely. I really don't see stages.

All just a matter of perspective.
 

exile

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Once a fight hits the ground, you have to either get up from underneath someone or get off from on top of them without being immediately drawn back to the ground, which is much, much harder to do than most people think it is.

Though I've been lucky enough to never've been forced into a groundfight, I've seen a few, way back when I was a little clueless about which places were the wrong places. The possibility of damage just from junk in the immediate environment of the the fight is horrific---all that nice pavement---and that's not taking into account how vulnerable either of the participants is to upright aggressors wading into the thing. People on the ground trying to injure each other badly, or worse, kind of revert to something almost prehuman.
 
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Cryozombie

Cryozombie

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Can two people involved in an altercation be in different stages at the same time?

i.e. Guy A is escalating, but Guy B is fighting?

A: "Hey Mofo, why you looking at my..."
B: WHACK!

Or does guy A automatically move into fighting because B did?
 

Hand Sword

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I feel that the fight already began. What you choose to deploy as a weapon, posturing, loud, verbal abuse, a swingging punch, etc.. is up to each involved. By initiating a challenge verbally, he opened with the first "shot".
 

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I was taught that instinct takes over and all your thinking is done after he fight is done.
Stages are irrelavant as long as I survive.:soapbox:
 

digitalronin

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Can two people involved in an altercation be in different stages at the same time?

i.e. Guy A is escalating, but Guy B is fighting?

A: "Hey Mofo, why you looking at my..."
B: WHACK!

Or does guy A automatically move into fighting because B did?


sure it can, person A can be some dude at a party just minding his own business when person B decides to take a chair to his back. He can be knocked out before he even gets a chance to realize whats going on.
 

Hand Sword

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Interesting. Could be a continuation of previous hostilities. Having been involved on both sides of that fence, that's usually the reason for that. In such case, the fight never stopped. The "lion" was present, in a predatory state, the "zebra" didn't notice and got caught unaware. He was in a fight already and didn't notice. It only takes one party to decide there will be hostilities or some sort of negative action.
 
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