You’re unlikely to land too many flying kicks or finishing moves in a real fight, especially in a place like prison or war, where you may be fighting for your life. If you’re ever in jail, a lot of guys have great stories of the fights that got them in there in the first place. Some are looking to fight as many people as possible as a hobby.
Most of the fights I saw in my lifetime were around bars or involved alcohol. Some guys (and plenty of women) get hyper-aggressive when drunk, and bouncers at drinking establishments regularly have to intervene in fights.
But you can’t always be a pacifist. Sometimes you end up involved in a fight, not matter how mellow and friendly you are. People constantly find themselves victims of random violence, and you could be facing a larger person, multiple people, or someone who’s armed.
If you don’t want to be taken advantage of and want to be a confident “alpha” in a fighting situation, here are the YouTube fighters and self-defense gurus to teach you how.
10. Bas Rutten
MMA legend Bas Rutten doesn’t have a YouTube channel of his own. He’s still on here because he made a great self-defense video back in the day, and he actively makes guest appearances on self-defense channels. This Dutch fighter is in his 50s, and his style is the mix of wrestling and kickboxing that made Mixed Martial Arts a legitimate sport.
9. Code Red Defense
Nick Drossos and Patrick V are collectively trained in Kung Fu, Taekwondo, boxing, and kickboxing. They combine this training with reality-based self defense to teach people how to defend themselves in real situations. The self-defense system is called Code Red Defense, and it’s a great look into the gritty reality of fighting another person in a TON of real situations.
8. Tristar Gym
Conrad Pia and Firas Zahabi are the Montreal-based trainers behind some of the best fighters in MMA history, including Georges St-Pierre, Kenny Florian, Rory MacDonald, Miguel Torres, Robert Whittaker, Jon Jones, and so many more. It’s an advanced fighting channel, but it also has great post-fight analysis on some of the biggest professional fights. Real athletes train this way, and you should too.
7. Kung Fu & Tai Chi Center w/ Jake Mace
Jake Mace is just a wonderful content creator in that he uses my technique of covering all of his passions to not end up pigeonholed. He teaches fighting, meditation, gardening, and all sorts of philosphy in the process. He’s a multi-faceted every man, yet he’s still an effective fighter. You could learn a lot from this enlightened guru.
6. Fight Compilations
This relatively small channel started in 2019 has a variety of fight compilations so you can see how real people reacted to all levels of real-life violence. Gang fights, riots, one-on-one street fights, and everything in between is covered. People will take any fight into the streets or just sucker punch you at your desk or in your car. Be prepared for anything.
Former professional fighter Trav hasn’t updated his channel in a while, but the information he does have is very useful in a street fight. In the above video he challenges a variety of people to punch him in the face, and he just moves his head to prove how effective it is to not get hit in a fight. Winning a fight doesn’t have to be about striking someone yourself – you just need to wear them out by floating like a butterfly.
4. Master Wong
Master Wong is reminiscent of Mr. Miyagi, and his mastery of fighting also includes a lot of balance. He’s just as effective as a fighter as Miyagi too – the man is quick, precise, and serious about the lessons he’s teaching. Wong has clearly mastered the art of fighting out in the real world. His first self-defense move is to aim for the eyes, a sign of very high-level training in his chosen disciplines of Wing Chun and Tai Chi.
Shane Fazen doesn’t just teach you how to fight – he teaches you how to be effective in the fighting business. If you really want to make fighting a career, you need more than just fighting skill (although that’ll definitely help). You need to understand the business, navigate the politics, and so much more. And you’ll need to do it professionally and with humility and grace. Learn the lessons you can’t learn in your neighborhood’s underground Fight Club.
2. Stephan Kesting
Stephan Kesting’s Grapple Arts brand delivers professional-level training videos to teach MMA students BJJ, submissions, grappling, and ground fighting techniques. Winning a fight ultimately comes down to much more than technique – otherwise every UFC fighter would technically be ranked the same in an even playing field. Some skills (like predicting your opponent’s next move) can only be learned by doing, and this master grappler does his best to show you those fighter instincts anyway.
1. Active Self Protection
Self protection is something that will most likely pop up when you least expect it. Active Self Protection regularly features real-life security footage of booth armed and unarmed situations people had to defend themselves from. You could just be eating, sleeping, or walking by when violence happens upon you. These guys train the skills necessary to stay alive to whoever’s willing to learn.
These videos are just the start – you’ll need to actually put in time practicing for these techniques to truly be effective. Be aware that if you’re a woman, child, elderly person, or just look weak, you’re more likely to be targeted for an attack. Don’t ever be afraid to defend yourself against the evil people in the world.