At school, you could avoid a do-in from the big bully with your eyes closed. But now, you’re not so sure how to dodge that furious psycho. Don’t panic. Here’s a refresher course from self-defence expert John Skillen.

Find your voice


“When the talking stops, the fighting begins,” says John. “So the longer you can keep them talking, the less chance there is of physical contact.”

Hit the high road


“If you want to avoid conflict, the best thing to do is get away from the trouble. If the person refuses to accept your apology and you’re not bothered about losing face, run. It worked when you were a kid and it still works now.”


Stay frosty


“In street fights the aggressor will try to catch you unaware, so he can get the first blow in. Prevent this from happening by adopting a 45° stance, with your dominant side to the rear (so if you’re right-handed, put your left foot forward). Now place your weaker hand out in front of you. This is your barrier. If the aggressor moves towards you and touches it, then you have the legal right to strike first.”


Push and point


“A strike doesn’t have to mean a punch. Instead slap them hard on the chest and push them backwards to create distance between you, before pointing at them with your lead hand and shouting ‘stay back’. A lot of the time this will bring them to their senses and end the action.”


Kick the goolies


If a boot to the balls is good enough for the schoolyard, it’s good enough for the alley behind Kebab Delight. “If the push and point doesn’t work, kick him hard in the groin,” advises John. “Then hit him in the jaw. As long as you don’t miss, it should result in a fight-finishing knockout.”



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