Maybe you think a fistfight as no big deal. But it can be dangerous, even deadly. In 2012, the FBI found that just in Texas, 101 people were killed by other-people’s fists, or feet. California held second place with 87 killings.

This is why you need to avoid conflict at all cost. But this guy is not giving you an option. How can you stop a fight fast? How can you disable an attacker without killing them? How hard can a single punch be?

Step 1: Cool it

If someone turns violent on you, maybe they have a reason. Show empathy. Try to defuse the situation. If they feel offended by something you did or said, apologize. Explain that wasn’t your intention, and seek out a solution.

Step 2: Swallow your pride

Ok, maybe this guy is really annoying you, threatening you, and even trying to humiliate you. But you’re better than that. A fistfight can bring some terrible consequences, such as broken bones, torn earlobes, bruises, lacerations, or even death. So, swallow your pride and ignore it.

Step 3: Tire’em out

The first punch is thrown. Things have gotten really dangerous here. You have to keep moving. If running away is not an option, escape every punch by mirroring your attacker’s moves. The average fight with two participants lasts about 47 seconds. But every second can seem like a nightmare. The best advice is to be in better shape than your opponent, and tire them out without throwing one single punch. Remember, “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

Step 4: Kiss the ground

You may have a better chance of surviving or avoid major injuries if you go to the ground. According to a study published by the Los Angeles Police Department, more than 90% of fights between men finished on the ground.

Step 5: Learn some moves

Once on the ground, you want to avoid being choked, you could learn some takedowns from wrestling, and the famous arm bars from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. But always remember, martial arts are defensive disciplines. ”

Step 6: Finish it

If your opponent refuses to give up, and is still trying to hurt you, maybe your only option is to fight back. But try to finish it fast, the longer the fight gets, the more chances you have to get injured or killed. One single punch can be enough to end a fight. Body parts like the nose or the chin are really vulnerable, and can stop an aggressive attacker.

The human nose can break with only 3 to 4 kg (7-9 lb) of pressure. Just think about that. Professional boxers can hit pack a punch with almost 590 kg (1,300 lb) of pressure.

If your attacker is throwing punches, protect your head. The soft mass of the brain is floating in liquid. So a hit can generate enough trauma to bounce the brain inside the skull, causing a temporary shut-down. This would make you unconscious, and much more vulnerable.

There’re many ways to avoid a street fight and even stop it. You should look for peaceful solutions to conflicts. Even if you can survive a street fight, or recover from your injuries, there are serious psychological scars that can be harder to heal, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, nightmares, flashbacks, and depression.

Perfect, finally you could make peace with your opponent. Maybe now you can be friends. What about a trip into the jungle together?

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