How to win a fight without throwing a single punch

The art of fighting without fighting, so said Bruce Lee. There are many books that tackle this subject. Derren Brown’s Tricks of the Mind has a great example. Today I will be sharing a lesson from Kevin Dutton’s book Flipnosis. 

“I’d been told about Marco Mancini by a friend of a friend at a party. She had worked with him, once, at the Job Centre before handing in her notice and going to live by the sea. She had left, in fact, after only a couple of months- struggling, as many had before her, to keep up the payments on her sanity. Four times, one week, the fire extinguisher bounched off the wall. Not to extinguish fires, but rather to stoke them up, catapulting against the cast-iron security grille that had separeated her work-station from the waiting area. Then someone pulled out a gun.

Marco, she said, was different. And a lot of it was in the way that he spoke to people. While everyone else cowered behind plate glass, Marco worked face-to-face-doing everything out in the open. He always had some coffee on the go. And his desk was right in the middle, where anyone and everyone could see him. That to her, seemed reckless in the extreme. Insane, even. And, I had to admit, I agreed. But that was the funny thing. Despite all the trouble- and there was a lot of it- in the two and half years that Marco had been at the Job Centre, there wasn’t a single recorded instance of him ever having been attacked. Not one.

But there was something else about him, too. It wasn’t so much the way he talked to people, it was also…no, she shook her head. But once people came into contact with him they seemed to just…chill out. As if a switch had flicked or something. Nobody knew why, but everyone had noticed it. Maybe he was crazy, they said. And other people picked up on it.

I was surprised by Marco when I met him. I had expected…not sure, really. De Niro in Heat? Pacino in Scent of a Woman? But I was confronted instead by a trendy, urban Jesus, who looked like he worked in a juice-bar.

‘So, Marco,’ I said . ‘In the two and a half years that you’ve worked at the Job Centre you’ve been trouble-free. What’s the secret?

The secrate, it turned out was surprisingly simple…

He sat on his hands.

That, plus there was something going on with the chairs. The one for the client facing his desk was adjusted just that little but higher than his own, so people could literally talk down to him while he listened. Oh, and one other thing. Once things had calmed down a little and the worst of it was over, he would look them in the eye, these angry, crazy people and smile. And he would touch them, once on the arm.

‘I never forgot something that happened to me when I was ten,’ Macro told me. ‘There was this kid at school and he had said something to the teacher about me and I was angry. Really angry. I went out looking for him in the playground, and when I found him I was going to beat the shit out of him. And then, when I did  find him, all I did was shout. And then I shut up.

It was something about the way he was sitting. He was sitting low down, on a wall…

on his hands.

I mean, how can you hit someone who’s sitting on their hands? It’s like shooting someone in cold blood. How can they defend themselves? Plus he had his head down all the time I was shouting, and then he sort of looked straight up at me, still sitting on his hands. It was like he was saying: Ok, well, here I am. Hit me if you want. And I couldn’t. Somehow I just couldn’t. So I left I walked away.'”


Sit on your hands, give the other guy the position of power. Avoid eye contact. Back away as soon as you can.

That’s great if you’re facing a single opponent but what if there are more? For that hit the subscribe button and be notified about the next post.

This excerpt is taken from the book Flipnosis

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Stay tuned for the next article which tells the technique Derren Brown used to win a fight, without throwing a single punch.


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