Skip to main content

Mutual Combat

Historically, the only way to determine what martial arts techniques and approaches worked was to argue about it. And everyone had an argument that convinced themselves.

Then an idea as simple as wheels on luggage finally got global attention - if you want to figure what works, have exponents of different styles fight each other. That was UFC 1 in 1993, and from it, a vast body of knowledge about what works have been developed. You can call it martial arts in the arena.

The UFC marketed itself as, "as real as it gets." However, there's another means to learn what works, and it may be rearler as it gets.

The rise of cell phone video and security camera footage has opened up a second window to determine effectiveness. Call it martial arts outside the arena. This can be roughly divided into several main categories:
Self Defense;
Dojo Storm;
Informals
Bouncer;
Stop Bullying;
Bullchido - the opposite of what works; and,
Mutual Combat

What is Mutual Combat?

Legal in only a few states, this is when two individuals or two groups decide to fight each other, typically on the street, outside of any organized sporting context. There are typically some rules, either explicit or implicit, that include no weapons, and can extend all the way to punching only - no kicking or wrestling. It's basically another term for a street fight.

Mutual Combat is distinct from Self Defense in that in the latter situation, one participant or group is involuntarily defending against an aggression. And Mutual Combat is distinct from Informals in that the intent is darker, and does not follow, even informally, the rules of any established combat sport. Further, Mutual Combat typically involves a high degree of animosity, while an Informal can be between friends.

As Mike Martin, a vet London lecturer in war studies, explains, Mutual Combat is literally in our DNA.

“Humans fight to achieve status and belonging," he said to The Irish Times. "They do so because, in evolutionary terms, these are the surest routes to survival and increased reproduction”

So it's a part of who we are, and it's a window on what works - if you want to see what works in a street fight, watch some below.