Streetfighting Rules?


I was just talking about fighting this morning (why do I talk so much?), and it reminded me of some streetfighting/knifefighting rules I read about in Shantaram (one helluva good read — at nearly 1000 pages, I wished it were longer).

Street fighting:

  • First rule – Stand your ground and never walk backward, unless you’re preparing a counter-strike.
  • Second rule – Never put your head down.

Knife fighting (p.585):

  • First mistake – Fighting on the back foot. (Never step back – just keep on going.)
  • Second mistake – holding the knife as if it was a sword. “A man uses an underhand grip when he expects his knife, like a gun, to do the fighting for him…. The knife is just there to help him finish it. The winning grip is a dagger hold, with the blade downward, and the fist that holds it is still free to punch.”

p.584 “In my first knife fight I learned that there are two kinds of people who enter a deadly conflict: those who kill to live, and those who live to kill. The ones who like killing might come into a fight with most of the fire and fury, but the man or woman who fights just to live, who kills just to survive, will usually come out of it on top. If the killer-type begins to lose the fight, his reason for fighting it fades. If the survivor-type begins to lose, his reason for fighting it flares up fiercer than ever. And killing contests with deadly weapons, unlike common fistfights, are lost and won in the reasons that remain when the blood begins to run. The simple fact is that fighting to save a life is a better and more enduring reason than fighting to end one.”

Speaking of which…

p.298 “… what we learn from pain — for example, that fire burns and is dangerous — is always individual, for ourselves alone, but what we learn from suffering is what unites us as one human people.”

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