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How to win a fight: Tips from a lawyer, a kickboxer, a comic and a hockey enforcer

These days, most people have to fight to keep their jobs. But, for some people, fighting is critical to their job. Whether they are physical fighters, like boxers, or mental ones, like lawyers, they learn quickly how to deal with conflict or start looking for a new career. Tbt* asked a few of them their advice on winning a fight. — Susan Thurston and Jay Cridlin tbt*

Jim Norton


"My favorite two methods are to brandish a knife or just break down and begin crying. Nothing makes a heckler more uncomfortable than a comedian in the fetal position blubbering and mumbling, 'Please love me.' "

Billy Blanks

Kickboxer and creator of Tae Bo

"If it's a confrontation in the street, the most important thing is to see if you can get yourself out of it. Talking is the best way first. I think self-awareness is a key tool to being able to protect yourself. How you carry yourself helps out a lot. But if I have to call the cops, I'll call the cops before I put myself in a situation. Because when you start putting your hands on people, the next thing you know, you get sued. It's just not good."

Do random meatheads come up to you and say, "Hey, man, you're not so tough," and try to challenge you?

"No, because people know who I am, I think — and I'm pretty nice to everybody. It kind of takes people out of that mode. Some people might walk up to me and say, "Hey Billy, can you still fight?" I say yeah, I train every day. Fighting ain't nothing but an attitude. If I want to walk around looking tough, I can walk around looking tough. But that's a game. I want to be able to communicate with people. I want people to be able to come up to me and ask questions. If you walk around thinking you're gonna beat up the world, people are gonna challenge you. I've been pretty blessed not to get that."

Chris Dingman

Hockey analyst and former Tampa Bay Lightning enforcer

"Hit the guy more than he hits you. It's being prepared. The biggest thing is conditioning. If you are bigger and in better shape, you know you are going to do well. If you are prepared, there's no real surprises, or less so. Every game you need to know who's on the other team and who fights. If you don't know, you find out. You ask people, you look at video. A lot of times you don't want to fight but you have to. It's part of your job.''

What about fights outside of the game?

"Most of the guys you might fight are mild-mannered guys off the ice. I've been in so many fights starting from when I was 16 years old that the last thing I would want to do is get in a fight off the ice. Fighting is always the last- case scenario. The last thing I want to do is get hurt.''

Luke Lirot

First Amendment attorney well-known for representing adult business owners, including strip-club king Joe Redner

"It helps to believe that your client is constitutionally in the right, regardless of what society thinks about the issue you are defending. My technique has always been to be as prepared as I possibly can be. I try to keep it at the highest level of dignity I can, even if the content of what I'm defending is graphic. I always try to be more courteous than my opponent. I don't have any enemies, that I know of.''

How to win a fight: Tips from a lawyer, a kickboxer, a comic and a hockey enforcer 09/29/11 [Last modified: Thursday, September 29, 2011 12:52pm]
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