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How to Win a Fight: A Guide to Avoiding and…

How to Win a Fight: A Guide to Avoiding and Surviving Violence

by Lawrence Kane

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Well I have to say that my first impression of this book came from the title and it instantly reminded me of a line from the movie, War Games which starred Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy, where a then supercomputer almost starts World War III until it realizes that by playing the game Tic-Tac-Toe that the only sure way to win the game is to not play the game at all, thereby averting World War III. This very same concept was also taught hundreds of years ago by the military genius Sun Tzu in his epic tome, The Art of War, in which he basically advises the reader that the only way to guarantee a victory in warfare is not to go to war in the first place.

From a legal standpoint, it is basically against the law to be fighting in the first place, unless it is under the regulated and controlled conditions of a sporting event, such as; boxing, MMA, wrestling, etc. and then it really isn’t a fight, but a combative sport. You should never ever be in a fight, but unfortunately you may have to defend yourself, and that is an entirely different matter altogether, and that is what Lawrence and Kris are trying to tell you in this very well written and informative book. Very similar to their highly respected earlier work, The Little Black Book of Violence: What Every Young Man Needs to Know About Fighting.

After a great introduction section that includes a foreword by Rory Miller, author of Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence, and his latest book, Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected, the authors go into a prologue and introduction which pretty much sets the tone for the entire book. This is followed up by a "Willing To Do" and "Not Willing To Do" list which everyone should read and fully digest in order to understand his/her capabilities when faced with a violent confrontation. There are no right or wrong answers, but I'd being willing to bet that each individual will be in for a few surprises when faced with some very difficult choices. Just be lucky that for now they are on paper because one day they may end up being your reality. This book is then divided up into three sections; Before Violence Occurs, During A Violent Encounter, and the Aftermath of Violence. What follows is the chapter titles under each of the three sections.


1. Awareness Is Your Best Defense

2. Don't Let Them Get Into Position To Attack

3. Your Words Are A Weapon, Use Them Wisely

4. Live To Fight Another Day

5. Food For Thought - You Will Get Hurt


6. Use Only As Much Force As The Situation Warrants

7. Four Techniques You Can Use In A Fight

8. If You Are Going To Hit Someone, Make It Count

9. Down n' Dirty

10. Seven Mistakes To Avoid In A Fight

11. Things To Keep In Mind


12. Once It's Over, Know Your Priorities

13. Know How To Perform First Aid

14. Don't Exaggerate, Don't Threaten

15. Legal Matters

16. You've Got A "Stay Out Of Jail Free" Card If You Use It Wisely

Now I had thought about writing a brief description about each chapter but I soon found out that I was ending up with quite a few paragraphs under each chapter as the information that Kris and Lawrence provides is really quite superb. Therefore I scrubbed that idea in exchange for a brief overall assessment of the material provided throughout the entire book, which by the way is very informative from cover to cover. Yes, I know that I repeated myself there but that really is the point. This book and the information it provides is good, good, good!

One thing that really stood out for me was the use of real-life situations that the authors had been exposed either directly or indirectly which gave solid real world examples of the points they are trying to make concerning the various subjects. The artwork is also very good, and it should be as this book is illustrated by famed DC comic book artist, Matt Haley. Now did I agree with absolutely everything in this book? NO, but it was really close! The few things I disagreed with were more of a philosophical difference than anything and also on one main simplistic area, and that is this:

Over 85% of ALL crimes are directly related to drugs and/or alcohol, therefore it stands to reason that if you want to avoid 85% of all potential problems that you may encounter, stay away from the people, businesses, events, etc. that consume or partake in drugs/alcohol and you will have a much greater chance of avoiding violence than perhaps any other action that you could take. Now this is going to fly directly in the face of your local AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) group, but if you do want to drink, do it in the safety and security of your own home and only with a very selective few friends, if even that. Well that and use some common sense and you will be pleasantly surprised at how much violence you can avoid.

I guess is I had to use one sentence to sum up my entire feelings about this book and describe the significance of what is contained within its covers, I guess it would have to be this, "Pull your head out of the sand or whatever orifice it may be in and read this because the information contained within it could very well one day save your life."

Shawn Kovacich
Martial Artist/Krav Maga Instructor
Author of the Achieving Kicking Excellence book and DVD series. ( )
  the-cat | Oct 4, 2011 |
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