Single Dude Survival Q & A with James

The Single Dude's Guide to Survival
This installment is in response to Anon1’s comments and questions concerning Volume 7 of the Single Dude’s Guide to Survival. The questions are spot on, and by answering them in detail I might be better able to assist the readership in their quest to stay off the aggression menu and be able to handle themselves when they end up in the à la carte slot.

The way the black guy’s head just slacked as he was pounded to a pulp was terrifying. I mean people often watch these types of fight videos and cheer the winner versus the loser, [if the winner was responding to the threat] but when you think about it its really fucked up isn’t it?

This man has suffered permanent neurological damage and is having a seizure. When this happens to a boxer he is barred from sparring and competition for 6-18 months pending a doctor’s release. Although he did not eat hard punches his spine was locked up and fat boy was battering his brain, essentially like sticking screwdriver in a fuse box and shorting it. He also does not have a durably constructed head. God did not intend ‘New York’ to box. Tall heavy men are prone to this due to their accessible chin and the fact that their mass does the same thing to expose their spine to shock in the cervical (neck) area. He was an idiot and brought it on himself by throwing a punch, but I don’t think he deserved what was dished out. On the other hand, the opponent was limited in his own way. In Baltimore, in a black on black situation, the friends of the victor would have played football with the head of the loser.

Learning a lot from this survival series actually. I like the emphasis on situational awareness and body language to make yourself a less appealing target.

This is the art of survival. I personally know three champion fighters who have been shot because they were known for what they were. Two of them are dead and one is crippled. Just being a badass is often not enough to survive. You must manage your human interactions.

One thing I still remain confused about is what role if any, that martial arts play with helping a person deal with the physicality of having another person hit them, or get on top of them and beat them?

Martial arts are a mixed bag of candy, serpents, and knives essentially. There is more crap out there than utility. This series will address your options sooner rather than later.

Are there any recommendations besides the usual “study BJJ, Muay Thai and do some MM fights” advice most people tend to give?

My best advice, particularly in the UK, is to join a boxing gym. You do not want MMA at this juncture as it is as sport focused as the NFL. Muay Thai, delivers, but largely what it delivers is boxing, so box. Just keep in mind that your goal is not to box on the street, but rather to be your own referee as much as possible. The primary goal of the survival boxer is to learn how to behave after he is hurt, how to avoid being hurt when hit, how to avoid being hit, and how to hit.

For reference I’m based in the UK, the worst we have in my parts is drug dealers, maybe a knife pull out, guns are very rare outside of big cities or if you’re a farmer.

In England, Geof Thompson had—the last time I checked—a standout survival kickboxing and grappling program—a bouncer from Coventry, I think. He would surely suggest you get some boxing under your belt. In the UK there are some hardcore kickboxing gurus like him who specialize in survival, over sport.

All I’d want to know is how to handle and drill myself sufficiently that:

a) I could telegraph a punch.
b) The whole being calm if your brain has been sloshed around thing, you mentioned in an earlier entry.
c) How to train for keeping calm and following a drill should any threat arise.
d) Maybe some knife stuff. But to be honest it would more be like “what part of your body should you shield yourself with if the opponent has a angry dog or a knife?”

a) Boxing will teach you how not to telegraph your punch. It is all about deceptive leveraged motion. I have a boxing handbook I am serializing online here. The book is focused on self-learning for the beginner.

b)The best reason to box is to learn how to handle yourself during and after concussive contact.

c) Relaxation drills will be covered in this survival guide. Note that boxing is essentially a military tool for relaxing the mind of soldiers and officers.

d) I’ll give you the knife and the dog right now. The dog wants your throat. Let it have your forearm, which is your natural reaction anyway, then kill it with the other hand, or at least rip it’s eyes out. For the knife you need to protect your heart and the left side of your neck first, then your lungs, then your liver, finally your kidneys, in that order. If they have a knife, present your right foot and hand, refuse your left side by keeping the left foot behind, and cover your heart with your forearm. Shield your throat and side of your neck against the inward slash with your wrist and open hand.

For reference I’m average height and big (in terms of mass and size). At a glance, I certainly look tougher than I am, but there’s no training to back that up. My body language is not what it was when I was a university student.

Based on your appearance you are at higher risk of social ego based pissing match fights which can be avoided by being cool and humble. You will currently profile as a group attack target where predation is concerned. Once you get the appropriate training in awareness and conditioning, you will be increasingly deselected by such predators. But, once you have begun to project combat ability, the chances that an attack on you will be an armed attack increase.

Did a bit of martial arts Wing Chun etc in the past but got disillusioned when I got whooped by a MMA, capoeira guy very easily. And never knew what to pursue since.

Wing Chun, for instance, is not a good art for big men, and was designed for use by women in very traditional confrontations against people who kicked! Honestly, if you must take a martial art, take BJJ or some other kind of grappling. Train someone who will let you practice with your back against a wall or fence. MMA schools are good for this reason. Mario “The Zen Machine” Sperry, multiple world BJJ champion and MMA pioneer, advocated wall and cage grappling for self defense. Grappling is easier to learn than boxing. Learn to box, then trade lessons with an MMA or BJJ guy, show him your boxing and let him school you on grappling.

Honestly I’m gravitating towards boxing, and one other physical art. Any advice would be most appreciated cheers.

If boxing is your primary I recommend finding a grappling art that is not a traditional Asian system but something sport oriented like BJJ or Judo. You can learn knife and stick fighting yourself better than it is usually taught. You could start with my serialized stick-fighting manual.

God luck, and thanks for the input.


James LaFond

Horror and science-fiction author, James LaFond, writes on violence, urban survival, racism, masculinity, boxing, MMA, stick-fighting, fractional autonomy, history and man-whoring, from his ghetto rental in Harm City, U.S.A. His articles are available at You can purchase books by James on and you can follow him on his Facebook page.

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