Here at the BarWhiz blog we talk a lot about the best party cities, the best cocktail recipes, and even the best way to pickup a girl in a bar. Seeing as all three could very well be a recipe for disaster, alcohol sometimes brings out the worst in people, today we are going to talk about the best way to survive a bar fight.
#1 – It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint
In other words, pace yourself with your alcohol. We all know that the sauce can do crazy things to some people, and although you may be a happy drunk the guy sitting next to you might be the complete opposite. Your good natured sarcastic comment could very well land you in the middle of a bar brawl, so if you pace yourself, you may have an advantage against your opponent.
#2 – Walk Away
Probably the best way to survive a bar brawl is to not get into one in the first place. Sometimes that can be easier said than done, but if you have the ability to do so, just walk away. Bar fights typically stem from some sort of intoxicated misunderstanding, so be the bigger person and leave. Just make sure you don’t turn your back on the hostile drunkard as you do so.
#3 – Use Your Powers Of Reasoning
Although not the easiest thing to do when dealing with an over-agitated, hypersensitive, intoxicated individual, but if you are unable to walk away try using your powers of reasoning before the fists, or bottles, start to fly.
#4 – Seek Help
If your gift of the gab is getting you nowhere, you still have another option to save your hide before it comes down to fisticuffs. Bar staff is used to dealing with intoxicated and aggressive individuals, and for the most part, bar fights aren’t good for business. So seek out the assistance of the bouncers or even the bartender, it is their responsibility to eject the individual, not yours.
#5 – Prepare For The Attack
If nothing is working up until this point it is time to prepare for the inevitable attack. Get yourself in a defensive posture, one that is not menacing – you don’t want to look like you are encouraging the fight. Firmly plant your feet, lean forward slightly and position your open hands, palms forward, by your face. As one last ditch attempt to stop the fight loudly say, “Stay back! I don’t want to fight you!” Worst-case scenario, you will draw the attention of onlookers, who can be used as potential witnesses to vouch for your self-defence claim, if things should become ugly. Best case, the attacker will either back down or the bar staff will intervene.
#6 – Prepare For The Attack (2)
Strength in numbers usually prevails, so even the drunkest of bar bullies will usually not start a fight unless they are confident in the support of their friends, should the fight not turn in their favor. You will need to stay alert, keeping an eye on both your attacker and those people around you. It is also a good idea to know where all the exits are located, should you have the opportunity to make a quick getaway.
#7 – Act Crazy
You are now locked eye-to-eye with your opponent and there is no turning back. Your only hope is that the bar staff, or the attacker’s more level-headed friends, will intervene before the fight can begin. You still have one more option however. You can try to make the drunkard back down by acting crazy. So give your best and loudest war cry. If it doesn’t intimidate your opponent at least it will draw more attention to you.
#8 – Defence Is The Best Offence
Being on the defensive is a not only a great tactic for self-survival, but it will also help you if and when the law gets involved. If you are seen to throw the first punch, more often than not, you will be considered the instigator. Not only will you get ejected from the bar, or worse banned, but you may also face legal ramifications. So be on the defence and keep moving, it’s harder to strike a moving target. Look for cues when your attacker is going to throw a punch. If you followed the advice in the first tip you shouldn’t have a difficult time dodging what comes at you.
#9 – Act Decisively
You can only stay on the defensive for so long. If help has yet to arrive you may have to take matters into your own hands. Counter your defence with an offensive attack. It greatly helps if onlookers have witnessed that your attacker has landed the first punch, but this doesn’t mean you have to take one square in the face. As Zaron Burnett III advices, “When it comes to getting hit… counter to every instinct you have, don’t avoid it. Instead move towards it. When some dude throws an obvious punch, shove your forehead at his fist. This will hurt him far more than it does you. Then when your attacker recoils in pain- it’s your turn to swing.”
#10 – There Are No Rules In A Bar Fight
For good or for ill, you are now fully committed to this bar fight, at least until the bouncers break it up or one of you goes down. The trick is to make sure that your attacker is the first to hit the floor. In order to survive you must keep fighting until one of these things happens. Remember, there are no rules in a bar fight, so strike vulnerable areas first. A head butt to the chin, knee to the groin or even thumb to the armpit will not only be unexpected, but it will also hurt like hell. You can also use your open palm, targeting the bridge of the nose or even the throat. It’s amazing how fast a bar fight ends when your opponent realizes he is having trouble breathing. It’s also not a bad idea to continually scream, “Stop! I do not want to fight you!” throughout the ordeal, even while you are pummelling your opponent. Surviving a bar brawl is not only about getting out with your skin intact, it’s also about saving you from spending a night in jail, or worse.
#11 – Protect Yourself From Weapons
One of the biggest risks of committing to a bar fight is the use of weapons, and we are not only talking about the conventional type, such as guns and knives. In a bar, everything is a potential weapon, from bottles and beer mugs to pool cues and barstools. You not only have to worry about your opponent drawing a weapon, but also their friends. This is why staying alert is so important. If a weapon is drawn try to distance your self as much as possible from the person wielding it. You should never use a weapon yourself, not only for the legalities involved, but also the weapon can always be knocked from your hands and used against you. If you can’t get a physical barrier between you and the weapon-wielding attacker, use a chair or barstool to keep them at bay until the help arrives.
#12 – Fending Off Multiple Attackers
There may come a point in the bar fight, especially if you are winning, when you may have to face multiple attackers. If this happens your best defence is to keep your back against a wall so no one can attack you from behind. Just as in dealing with an attacker wielding a weapon, try to distance yourself and get some form of physical barrier in between yourself and the attackers. The most important thing here is to make sure you stay on your feet, if you fall you’re done for.
Although we may have given you some of the worst-case scenarios, for the most part bars can still be a very fun and safe place to party. The staff will do their best to break-up any fights that occur as quickly as possible. However, in the advent that you have to commit yourself to a bar brawl, stay alert, be on the defence and remember, the best way to survive a bar brawl is to not get into one is the first place. So be the bigger person, and just walk away.
Author: Corey Rozon
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