Learn How To Fight Hand To Hand Combat

Before you learn how to fight hand to hand combat, first you must understand what it actually is.

In order to have a significant discussion about hand to hand fighting (H2H), we must first talk about how we define this type of interaction.  Take a look below so you understand the thinking on which this site is based.  But if you are are anxious just to get on with it then click on over to the Learn to Fight page.

What is Hand to Hand Combat?

How to fight hand to hand combat, 1 175th HHC Train in Hand-to-Hand Combat

1 175th HHC Train in Hand-to-Hand Combat—Maryland National Guard

Generally speaking, a H2H fight is any close range physical battle. And although the term Hand to Hand seems to imply the opponents are unarmed, this is not always the case. Many weapons like sticks or knives or some sort of blunt object can be used in this type of physical confrontation. Really we just leave firearms (guns) and explosives out of the equation here.

Hand to hand combat is often conceptually linked in our minds with the military and their hand to hand training. I suppose this is due to the history of H2H fighting. You see, most ancient societies developed methods for warding off attackers. Some civilizations had a great army, but smaller groups may have just needed protection from bandits raiding farms for food and other valuable items.

Military groups are probably the most organized training and there is evidence that combat fighting training was used as far back as the Zhou Dynasty in China (1022 BC). Most likely the soldiers and guards in ancient India and Egypt also had some sort of formalized training. And other aboriginal groups such as the Native American held contests amongst themselves to see who the best fighter of the tribe was. They tested (and learned) each other’s skills. One could argue this is another form of training.

Types of H2H Fighting:

Combat fighting training-Korean Martial Arts 18

Korean Martial Arts Sport

Really, there an infinite range of types of fighting. Some stemming from Asia have qualities that we now consider martial arts. Others have a more wrestling nature. And others are more strictly boxing oriented skills.

Many of these martial skills have become sports and have lost their relationship to real combat. With sports, rules are set in place to protect the combatants. Now days we just cant have people stepping into the ring and being maimed in 3 seconds. Not only is this dangerous for the participants but it really wont be much fun for the spectators. Can you imagine paying for seats at a boxing match that only lasted 8 seconds?

With this comes a dilution of the skills. Yes the sports participants are great athletes, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they will do well in a real hand to hand combat fighting situation.  With all of the preset fight moves they learn, in reality they may not actually work.

However there are several system based fighting methods which are grounded in reality.  Krav Maga pressure point attacks is one example.

Throw Out The Rule Book!

In the mid 1800s there was a code of sportsmanship written as a boxing code. It is known as the Marquess of Queensberry rules. Basically it is to keep the fighters reasonably safe in the ring. So no clinching, let the other guy get back up if he falls down, only 2 men in the ring at a time, regulation gloves, no sharp objects, etc. These are great for boxing but you MUST throw out the rule book if you are to successfully defeat an attacker in a real situation.

In real hand to hand combat, there are no rules. So you need to be throwing elbows, knees, head-butts, biting, scratching, cutting, ball smashing, eye poking, whatever you can to win the fight. So in essence… play dirty.

The Keys To Learning How to Fight Hand to Hand Combat:

  • Fitness
  • Speed
  • Aggressiveness
  • Emotional Detachment

Fitness is critical to doing well in any prolonged real close combat altercation. If you are a couch potato and the fight last any longer than a few seconds (though evidence shows most fights last 5-15 seconds), your strength may wain. Also with the sudden infusion of hormones that will naturally occur in your body when you stand off against someone, your body can feel shaky and fitness will help you overcome this feeling- or at least keep it in check. There are other posts with in this site on combat fitness so go take a look if you want to know more about this.

Also, with fitness come athleticism. This will help you to remain balanced, a critical requirement of fighting.

Speed comes in many forms. There is the physical limit of time that it takes you to perform an action like a strike to the face. But there is also a mental speed that is required to process the situation. This is the time it takes you to recognize there is an attack coming at you, understand what type of attack it is, and then devise a way to protect yourself- whether that is a counter attack, a movement out of the way of the strike, or some combination of the two.

Combat Fighting Agressiveness

Aggressiveness like a wild dog

Aggressiveness is a big factor in learning how to fight hand to hand combat. Once you have decided that a fight is to commence, you must flip that aggression switch and allow your animal instinct to drive you forward in your own attack. Each blow should be geared toward hurting the other combatants. Your goal is to injure them as fast as you can and get out of the situation.

Emotional detachment is required if you are going to succeed in full aggression. You have to expect to get injured. You have to want to try to hurt that other person (and after all, they are trying to hurt you).

If you truly want to learn to fight hand to hand combat then you must master these keys to self defense.  There is an enormous amount of information and hand to hand combat tips on this site to help you grow your combat skills.  Take a look around the site and see what you can learn.

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