How to Prepare for a Real Prison Fight

So I was talking about real world examples and who we should talk to about surviving in real life situations. I correlated which martial art would be best in those situations. I guess I didn’t think about the scenario where someone might be incarcerated. I was trying to use the good guy scenario and ignored the fact that inmates are people too and they will most likely encounter a life-and-death situation, probably even more so and more often than a Navy Seal. In prison, you’re constantly on the lookout for people trying to do you harm. Prison is one of the few places left in today’s modern world where a man is measured by his ability to fight. So while you generally shouldn’t take life advice from a person who has ended up in prison, when it comes to learning how to fight and survive a violent encounter, there is something to be learned from inmates.

I read some testimony about the subject from former inmates as well as former prison guards to learn what it really takes to survive when your life is on the line and the only thing standing between you and a cold metal slab is your capacity for violence. The first gem of advice will be to hit them first. I always tell competitors that when you’re defending an attack, you’re usually losing the fight.

Don’t wait for the other guy to throw the first punch. Nobody really cares who threw the first punch.

The only difference is that the person who hits first has a big advantage. The majority of people who wait to be hit before defending themselves end up losing the fight. That’s because while you’re covering up or trying to block a person’s punch, another punch is already on the way. And by the time you block that punch, another is on the way. It’s a cycle that repeats itself until you get knocked out. Don’t be on the receiving end of that cycle. Hit first. Hit hard. And keep on hitting.

Have you ever heard of a shank? Prisoners will go to almost any lengths to make sure they can protect themselves out in the yard, and one of the best ways they do this is by being armed with a weapon. A good weapon acts as a force multiplier and can greatly increase a man’s ability to do serious damage in a fight. Because of this, inmates are constantly coming up with new and inventive ways to make sure they always have access to something dangerous when they need it. One of the more ingenious methods I heard of is a prisoner who hid a weapon in plain sight by sharpening a piece of metal, then taping a few leaves to the end of it and sticking it straight into the dirt out in the yard. To the rest of the world it just looked like a small weed popping out of the ground. But to the prisoner who put it there, that “weed” was a potential life-saver. Out in the real world you don’t need to get this creative. Depending on what country you live in, it’s perfectly acceptable to carry a knife or gun with you for self protection. Remember, having the right weapon can save your life. Conversely, you should also keep an eye out for weapons that your opponent may have. Always be aware of people’s hands.

I’m not telling you to join a gang, but in a gang fight, a man without backup is as good as dead. Unlike in the movies where a lone hero can take out ten men using nothing but his speed and fighting skills, in the real world, having reinforcements can mean the difference between getting a few cuts and bruises, and ending up in the hospital. In prison having backup usually means joining a gang, but on the streets it could be something as simple as hitting up the local bar with your buddies instead of by yourself, or being friendly with the doorman. At the very least, do your best not to get in a fight with someone who’s rolling with a bigger crew than you are.

You probably don’t count on going to prison, but in general, you should train for fighting and pick up a martial art. I know I say this all the time, but in prison, you will be happy you did so. Most of the guys in prison aren’t trained martial artists. A few of them have boxed or wrestled, but when it comes to fighting most of them don’t really know what they’re doing and just rely on strength and aggression.

The good news is that strength and aggression can be overcome with proper training.

Most martial arts are bullshit and won’t help you against a real attacker, but a few of them will. These are the five most legitimate martial arts for learning how to win a fight against a bigger and stronger opponent.

The best advice that was offered by the inmates and guards was to always be alert. Prisoners are constantly on the lookout for trouble. That’s because inmates don’t normally telegraph the fact that they’re about to attack someone. Firstly, the guards would try to shut them down before they had a chance to do their business. And secondly, they don’t want to give up the element of surprise and warn their victim that an attack is imminent. Lucky for you that’s usually not how it usually works in the rest of the world. Out in the real world, most people make a big show out of preparing to fight. This is more true in prison where surprise attacks are the main way to get the upper hand. Always be ready. May you never see a prison yard from the inside, but if you do, be ready to get your chuck ems on and be on the winning end.

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