Do you know how to survive a street fight? Let’s start with the need for training. You should be in good physical condition, but face it, in a real fight, you don’t have time for a stretch-and-flex program. It’s now or never, no matter if you are in great physical shape and stronger than your opponent—which is not likely, as the hunters and predators actively seek out the weaker ones. You could be older, out of shape, a petite female, suffering from injuries or other chronic conditions, or wounded in combat; the one muscle that must be in shape is your brain, your mindset.

Human predators are much like a cheetah. Once they scare the pack of zebra, they wait for the weaker ones to fall behind, and then they move in for the kill. So you have gotten yourself in a pickle, and a mugger, rapist, or robber sees his opportunity and moves in for the attack. He will be scared and single-minded in his approach. His intent is to hit and run. Typically this involves stealth. They may have been scoping out an area looking for potential targets who have maintained the same routine, such as walking home from work, the gym, a bar, or a friend’s house.

In street fighting, the location does not matter. If you have failed in your awareness and suddenly become a victim, the following training tips will strengthen your mind, willpower, and determination to survive. Psychologically, defensive choices will allow you the opportunity to survive. You can only develop real-world defensive choices by training.

How should you train? Here are some key techniques and mindsets imperative to surviving a violent-force encounter: