One of the biggest mistakes you can make in a street fight is to stand tall. Too many fighters make the mistake of standing almost straight up, like an old time boxer. They square off to their attacker and put their fists up and look like the old time photos of John L Sullivan getting ready for a bare knuckles fight in the early 1900’s in America. You just can’t do that in a real fight and expect to win.
The lower stance is a much more powerful and flexible stance which does several important things. One: it gives your opponent less of a target because you are presenting a smaller area for him to attack. Two: it allows you to block the attacks much better because you are limiting the target area the attacker has and that forces him to use fewer techniques for attack and fewer techniques means you have more options for blocking. When you are bent slightly over, with your legs bent you are much better prepared to block and to counter. When you are standing straight up, you are much more open to different attacks from your opponent and have much less ability to counter the attacks.
The great Kickboxing World Champion and Pro Boxing World Champion Troy Dorsey has a fantastic Martial Arts school in Mansfield, Texas and when I went to visit him a few years ago to do a book and DVD with him. I noticed that all the kicking bags in his dojo were set very low and I had to actually bend down and over to do my kicks, and when I wanted to do my high kicks I would kick over the top of the bag. I assumed that this was because I am 6 feet and Master Dorsey is about 5’8”. So I began to move the bag up to a higher position and Master Dorsey stopped me and asked what I was doing. I told him I was adjusting the bag for my height and higher kicks. He politely asked me to stop and then explained why. When the bags are low you are forcing the students to bend their legs and keep low and to make their attacks low. You are working their leg muscles more and giving them more power and endurance. He went on to say that the secret of winning Kickboxing fights and street fights was to attack the body, and then the head. Too many people begin the fight attacking the head and stay attacking the head. Master Dorsey beat his opponents by attacking their bodies. Which in turn weakened their leg muscles and caused them to drop their hands, and then he could go upstairs and knock them out. You should pay attention to this great teacher. Troy Dorsey is the only man ever to be a World Kickboxing Champion, and Boxing World Champion. He knows what he is talking about and he knows what works. He knows that you keep low and do low kicks and punches. Attack the legs and the body and then go for the head.
The other mistake that is commonly made by fighters who know how to kick, or think they know how to do high kicks, begin to try to do the fight with some flashing head kicks or even worse flying kicks. This just won’t work. If you watch the MMA on TV you seldom see a fighter doing high kicks to the head with the front foot and seem even less flying high kicks. Why? They just don’t work to knock the opponent out and always leave you open for a hard counter attack which often will result in your being knocked out. High flashy kicks are great and look great in a karate tournament but will not work in a street fight.
My good friend Guy Mezger, who is a former UFC Champion, Pride Champion, World Kickboxing Champion and World Karate Champion, tells his students not to do high flashy kicks, if you want to win the fight. If you want to get the audience hollering and screaming and appreciating your great kicking ability, then throw some high flashy kicks, but if you want to win the fight. Attack the knees and the legs. In the street attack the groin, the back, and the floating ribs. Keep your kicks low and powerful.
When I practice kicking the heavy bag I always throw viscous powerful kicks to the lowest part of the heavy bag. This toughens my shins and builds my legs power. If you get hit with one of the kicks in the lower leg, your leg will break. If you get hit with one of these kicks in the knee, your knee will break. If you get hit with one of the kicks in the back, your back will break. Now if I break you leg, your knee, or your back the chances of me winning the fight have greatly increased. I would say my chances are now 100%.
To summarize, when you are in a fight get low, stay low and attack low with your kicks and your punches. Break his legs, break his knees, break his back, break his ribs and then you can break his nose. Don’t attack the head exclusively and don’t give high tall area to attack. Keep low and attack low.