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Fighting back

A lot of people see 'fighting' as standing up for yourself. Saying No. Not being a victim. Resisting. Having courage. This is a good connotation.


Historically, combat involved weaponry. Nowadays we are not permitted to carry a weapon in the street so our concern must be unarmed combat.
Unfortunately your assailant will most probably be armed.

Unarmed combat

Realistic combat training must include the likelihood of facing an armed attacker whilst being unarmed yourself.

The law

Legally, 'fighting' is usually seen as being a quarrel, a violent struggle or conflict. It can be armed or unarmed. It may involve an aggressor and a victim. It may be between two combatants or multiple opponents.
By law we are permitted to use 'reasonable force' in order to defend ourselves... But what does this mean? People are apt to interpret things differently.


If you succeed in defeating the attacker and injure them in return, will they take you to court? Will you become the accused rather than the victim? Were your actions restrained?

Self defence

If somebody attacks you, what is your intention? In self defence, your intention is simply to evade the attacker. To avoid being injured. Nothing more than this.
If you are required to incapacitate the attacker, this is unfortunate. Ideally, you avoid causing any damage at all.

To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence.

(Sun Tzu)

Martial artist

If somebody assaulted a trained, experienced martial artist them on the street, in most cases the exponent would be willing and capable of defending themselves.

What relevance do tai chi fighting skills have in modern life?

Simple. Tai chi teaches you how to defend yourself from harm.
The world didn't suddenly become safe. People are assaulted the world over for the most ridiculous reasons, and confrontation isn't going anywhere soon.
Tai chi skills lead to less fear, greater confidence and the ability to identify (and avoid) dangerous situations.


Page created 4 July 1995
Last updated 16 June 2023