4 Ways To Break Up a Fight
When two people get into a brawl, it can be difficult to know how to separate or break them apart. There’re, however, several steps you can take to calm their aggression, but you must consider your safety while doing so.
In this article, I’ll explain what you need to do to break up a fight and the circumstances you’re allowed to intervene in.
Should I Break up a Fight?
Whether to break up a fight or nor is a highly subjective issue and depends on the
individual situation. Before breaking up a fight, you need to evaluate the fighting situation. Consider how many people are involved, their physical stature, weapons present, or anyone around to assist.
I’ve had a lot of experience in self-defense and managed a dozen bar fights while working as a bouncer, and in most cases, I advise that you don’t interfere with a fight. Don’t do anything.
See, if two random strangers are determined to fight, they will, regardless of your intervention. There’s nothing you can do about it, so let them beat themselves senselessly. And so, the only logical thing to do is step back and avoid getting into a fighting situation as possible. After all, the parties seem intent on stupidity, so let them deal with the consequences.
Of course, I understand why a cop, teacher, or bouncer would be keen to get in between. I’ve nothing against them, but you should let people fight if you’re not an authority figure.
The unfortunate thing with fights is you usually don’t know how far both parties are willing to go, and I’ve in several cases seen one person getting knocked out trying to get in the middle of a brawl. Trying to stop a fight puts you directly in harm’s way, and you run the risk of hurting yourself or one of the two getting more hurt than the other because you tried to “help”.
Furthermore, in some municipalities, like NC, even breaking up a fight can result in the police charging you with a simple affray (misdemeanor).
Deciding whether to intervene in a physical fight is a complex decision that hinges on multiple factors, including the potential risks to your own safety.
So, I advise you to step back and generally let their problems be their problems. It’s better to call authority figure as they are trained to handle such situations. You might also stick around to give a statement to the cops but don’t get involved unless you’ve to. It’s too dangerous.
In many cases, the best course of action might be to call the police or inform someone with more authority rather than risking your own safety. It’s crucial to remember that breaking up a fight can be hazardous, and unless you are trained to handle such situations, it’s often better to seek help from professionals.
When to Step In
Of course, there’re exceptions, and depending on the situation, you might need to step in and break up a fight. However, as always, I recommend that you put your safety first.
I might consider breaking up a fight if one person clearly doesn’t want to be in a fight. For example, if they’re asking for help or being pummeled without reiterating, it would only be humane to stop the fight.
Secondly, if you witnessed the genesis of the fight, and you’re sure that one guy attacked the other without provocation, it makes sense to break up the fight.
Also, I would intervene if one of the combatants doesn’t want to fight or they’re already in a state where they cannot express the desire not to fight. It also makes sense to break a fight if one of the parties is visibly trying to escape. And finally, step in, if you’re already involved in the situation or are obligated to stop the fight.
Otherwise, two adults should be allowed to square off. You only need to sit there and enjoy the show.
How to Break Up a Fight
There’re several ways to break up a fight, which usually depends on the circumstances and current situation.
Get in Between Them
Sandwiching yourself between the warring parties is probably one of the most effective ways to break up a fight. In most cases, getting between the fighting guys will diffuse the situation.
While doing so, you must always remain indifferent. Don’t side with any parties, even if your friends are involved.
If that doesn’t work, you need to get physical. Start by shoving them apart, and let the distance do the work. If that doesn’t seem to work, take it higher and knock the shit out of them both. This is a risk; you must be well-prepared for a retaliatory attack. Also, only apply this technique if you understand basic self-defense and martial arts.
This is not the best way to stop a fight, but you can intervene by grabbing one of the parties. Only physically intervene if one of the combatants is your friend. And you know their limits. Friends are less likely to attack you when you do it.
Ideally, the best approach is to grab one of the combatants by the waist while moving them away.
Don’t make the mistake of pining their arms or shoulders down as you drag them away. You might think holding their hands stops the fight, but it makes them defenseless. So, while you’ve stopped one person from throwing punches, you’ve provided the other party with an opportunity for a clean shot, which is generally counterproductive to your goal of ending the violence.
In other fighting situations, it’s easy t break up the fights by yelling insulting or sarcastic remarks from a distance.
Say something like, “Get a room” or “What would your kids think.” And once they acknowledge and you draw their attention, make a few more jabs at them. The more a**hole you sound like, the better the job of separating them.
After successfully shifting their attention and anger towards you, walk away. Hopefully, the distraction will cool their nerves and frustrations, and they might even be so confused to resume fighting.
*This usually works for people you know and know how they can react to certain jabs.
Why You Should Never Fight
Fighting should never be a way to resolve conflict. There are far better ways.
The problem with fighting is the risk of injury or death. You never know when a punch will send you sprawling into the edge of a desk or traffic. And most of the time, when two people want to fight, it’s usually over something stupid or petty.
Even when you’re willing to accept the risk of injury or death when you get into a fight, the consequences are usually more far-reaching. It disturbs the peace, leads to a more violent society, and may injure those nearby.
There’re valid reasons why you might want to stop a fight, but you must also put your safety in the front seat. If you think the conditions aren’t favorable, simply step back, and call the relevant authorities. No need to get harmed for other people’s stupidity.
Breaking up a fight can be a dangerous task, but sometimes it’s necessary to prevent harm to the individuals involved. Here are some steps to consider if you find yourself in such a situation:
Assess the Situation: Not all fights are the same. If the participants are using weapons or if the fight involves a large number of people, it might be best to call the authorities immediately.
Stay Calm: It’s essential to keep your cool so that you can think clearly and make the best decisions.
Call for Help: You should not try to break up a fight alone. Call for backup, whether it’s friends, family, or the authorities. In many cases, it’s best to call the police.
Use Your Voice: Try to defuse the situation by speaking loudly and clearly. State that the fight is not necessary, and try to remind everyone involved about the potential consequences.
Avoid Getting Physically Involved: Physically separating people who are fighting can escalate the situation and can lead to injury.
Create a Distraction: Sometimes, creating a distraction can break the tension and stop a fight. This could be something like yelling “fire,” or “police are here.”
Wait for the Right Moment: If it’s safe and you decide to intervene, wait until the combatants have somewhat exhausted themselves, reducing the risk of them lashing out at you.
Speak to the Aggressors Separately: If the fight breaks up, don’t allow the individuals to remain near each other. Try to separate them and speak to them individually to calm them down.
Report the Incident: After the situation has been resolved, ensure to report the incident to the necessary authorities if required.
Remember, your safety should always be a priority. If you are not confident that you can break up a fight safely, then your best option is to call for professional help. Always use your best judgement.