No one in their right mind likes fighting. But sometimes, you've not got a choice.
The trouble comes when your opponent is bigger than you. Perhaps their taller and have a bigger reach, or their heavier and stronger than you.
Without the right strategy, you're going to be in trouble. That's what we're going to cover today, so you can keep a level head during the fight, and make the right moves to win.
But before we get into all that, my first piece of advice is to do everything you can to avoid the fight. Seriously. Fighting a larger opponent puts you at a serious disadvantage, and there's every possibility that you'll actually lose. You can win by talking them down, and avoiding any punches being thrown. Perhaps you could apologize and clear up the misunderstanding, or simply hand over your wallet or whatever they're after.
I've walked away from fights before, not because I was scared, but because I genuinely didn't know how it was going to turn out. That's what's scary.
A random guy on the street may have a knife or a gun, and you never know whether or not his friends are going to jump in and start pounding on you too. The first rule of smart fighting is to keep yourself out of harm's way, so take their insults on the chin and be man enough to back down from the fight.
Often though, there's no option but to fight, so here's how to take on a larger opponent.
Put your fists up
A good defense is one of the best techniques you learn in boxing. Put your hands up to guard your face, in a typical boxing stance. You can now use your forearms to shield against any punches to your head, and if you tuck your elbows down you can block against punches to your body.
Just be wary of letting your guard drop as you get tired and the fight goes on. All it takes is one slip and you're wide open for the single punch that will end the fight.
I've got to warn you though. It's a fight, and you are going to get hit. Don't let it take you by surprise, simply turn so you absorb the strikes on either your shoulder or on the top of your forehead. My old boxing instructor always told me to "stay loose." If you let your body flow with each punch, it takes away some of the impact, and hurts much less.
Stay agile and on your feet
Movement is one technique you can use to stay a step ahead of a larger opponent.
Instead of blocking every punch, duck and weave so that you avoid being hit. The more strikes thrown and missed the more tired your opponent will get, until there's an opportunity for you to close in and strike back.
Second, it's absolutely critical that you stay on your feet. If they close the gap and get you on the ground the fight is over, as a larger opponent has all the advantages when you're fighting on the ground. Use speed to your advantage, ducking in quick to strike, and then backing away fast before your opponent can grab hold of you.
I try to stay balanced on the balls of my feet when I'm fighting, as this gives me the ability to change directions fast, and take advantage when I see an opportunity to close in. You need to rely on speed and agility to overcome your opponents size and strength.
Close the gap
Once you've got an opportunity, go in fast and land as many hard strikes as you can. This is a delicate maneuver, as you're also risking that they'll grab hold of you as you do this. Find the ideal distance where you can land punches, but can still step back if they make a grab for you.
Now is when I aim to land a finishing blow, like an elbow to the temple or a strike directly to the nose. The more sensitive the target, the better.
It's a street fight, so don't be wary of even a knee to the groin, followed up with a strong punch to the jaw to knock out your opponent. Put every bit of effort you can into this strike. The more damage you can do, the faster the fight will be over, and you'll be free from danger.
Grab a weapon
This last point gets a little controversial, but in my view your safety comes first. If you're fighting for your life, you need to give yourself every possible advantage. The only thing that's important is you survive to see another day.
Look around, and if there's anything you can use as a weapon, grab it. Bottles, a piece of pipe or even just a rock in the palm of your hand can do a massive amount of damage when you use it to strike your opponent.
One thing that could make all the difference in a fight like this is our strikelight. It's a solid piece of aluminum that can be wielded as both a baton to fight off an attacker, and it doubles as a flashlight that can be used to momentarily blind your opponent. My wife carries one of these in her handbag, everyday, just in case.
Once you've managed to win the fight, don't hang around. Your goal is to get a window of opportunity to escape, as you never know when your opponent may recover, or his friends may come running. Book it the hell out of there, and don't forget to congratulate yourself for winning a fight against a larger opponent.