Writing a realistic fighter



Growing up in our cosy modern day lives in snug cities or picturesque villages, it’s easy to forget how natural and common violence truly is. People use violence, simply because it works.

Motivation for violence

There are two types motivation for violent people, those who do it as a means to achieve a goal (goal-orientated criminal) and those who get off on the act itself (process-orientated criminals). Neither of them requires elaborate justification for their deeds. It is simple, effective and saves time. It’s a lot easier and faster to rob someone of their month’s wages than work for it for four weeks.

Having a violent nature or not isn’t black and white. It goes on a gradient from light to dark. The scale goes like this:

Nice < Manipulative < Assertive < Aggressive < Assaultive < Murderous
The gradients of violence that most modern day people are familiar with

Nice people avoid conflict and generally behave the way we wish all of society would aspire to.  They don’t understand why people are mean or how they can be so ruthless. Their niceness makes them an easy target for manipulators who use gossip and ganging up on people as ways to get what they want. They get things done their own way and don’t see anything wrong with it because “nobody is getting hurt”. An assertive person will stand up to the manipulator and say ‘hey I see what you’re doing and you better knock it off right now.’ They set boundaries and reinforcement them if need be. Because of this, they are usually seen as bossy or pushy by nice people. An aggressive person stops the assertive person by showing explicit violent behaviour such as screaming, threatening, showing physical size or strength. Modern day people tend to crumble before these behaviours and find them very aggressive and scary though aggressors themselves don’t see anything wrong since they are merely ‘expressing’ themselves.

The dark that most are inexperienced with

Assault kicks the aggressive person in the balls and makes him run home to mum. When an assaultive person is angry, they are cold and comfortable to use violence as a tool. After the assault, they justify their actions with lines like ‘you shouldn’t have made me angry. You had it coming. You asked for it.’ This is typically seen in wife-beaters. Assaultive people are stopped dead in their tracks by murderous people. Murderous people are cold, calculates. They are far apart from all the other gradients of violence.

 The behaviours
The types of professional violent people
Intel collectors
  • Gather intel
  • People’s person
  • Extraordinary friendly
  • Outgoing
  • Do not volunteer information
  • Willing to make a friend when you know you will set him up to be killed
Pro violent
  • Decide if you can kill if you know your victim
  • Obsessed with maintaining control
  • Know the options and plan own safety
  • Social network to keep you sane
  • You do what you do, cause you know how to do it, most people can’t do it and it has to be done
  • Forget you work with extremes (easy to believe all people are bad and dangerous, like the ones you experience at work)
  • Either unstable relationships or full-disclosure relationships with their spouse
  • Either does not think of his victim as a person or is unable to attack him because he knows him too well.
  • Pros (e.g. soldiers) are trained to fake being murderous for a period of time (e.g. the war) and pay the price afterwards in isolation, PTSD, nightmares, addiction and so forth.
  • See violence as natural – a communication tool to say stop (good guy) or gimme (bad guy)
  • Use force to stop or prevent behaviour.
  • Dark humour
Beginner violent
  • Must learn to de-humanize his victim. First attacks will be sloppy because of emotional blocks
  • See violence as a mysterious thing that happens in a topsy-turvy world
  • Use force to establish dominance
Mentally ill
  • Motivated by sheer terror in a fight.
  • Unpredictable
  • Respond to a world only they can see and hear.
  • Extremely dangerous
  • Often misinterpret intervention as an attack
  • Feeling corners will thrash, slash, bite, scratch
  • Can fight until heart failure.
Pro vs Beginner: Entering the stadium
Pro walks around the building, noticing traffic, entries and exists and possible routes that provide shelter or cover. Beginner will look at doors, stairwells and breakable windows.
Corners in a room limit the amount of directions you can be approached from; the number of directions you need to watch Corners himself in the room.
Keep note of mirrors, reflecting objects in the room, light sources that cast shadows and freedom of movement Forget to mind advantages such as mirrors and shadow casting light sources.
Scope the room from outside as much as possible, pass doorway as fast as possible and take in the rest of the room as fast as possible. Hesitate in the doorway, scoping the room before stepping through completely.
See doorway as funnel of death. See doorway as safety threshold.
Move, shoot, communicate Hide, dodge, freeze, repeat loops
Pro vs Beginner: Meeting other people
Recognize other Pros. Fail to recognize.
People kill you with their hands. Watch the hands. The eyes are the window to the soul.
Sense other person going into hunter-mindset Oblivious about being hunted, maybe a vague feeling of being watch by an unknown source
Recognize the need and usefulness of social networks (not loners)
Pro vs Beginner: Before the fight
Pro’s primary skill is see violence coming before it arrives and avert it. Do not always see the violence coming, but can see it sometimes
Pro will attempt to avoid unnecessary fights Is unnecessarily boastful and challenging, provoking fights
Pro vs Beginner: The physical fight
Pro will do whatever in his power to do, to prevent a fight from being dramatic. The goal is simple, get the advantage asap, keep it. Beginner will show macho behaviour, dramatizing the situation.
An untrained fighter can hit approximately 8-12 times a second A trained fighter can hit approximately four times a second
Hardened criminals know how to surrender – keep their hands in plain sight. Know how to behave when cops show up. Learns by trial and error.
Pros know how much fight they can give without being hurt. Regular people don’t know how to behave. They will use unlawful force and make unrealistic demands of cops.
Hardened criminals will try to provoke the cops into acting unjustly so they have leverage later. A regular person will not truly know what he is like in a life-threatening situation until he has been in one. Even then, a gunman is still a beginner in a fist fight and respond as such.
An antisocial pro will walk into a situation without hesitation, methodical, aiming, firing, murdering. A beginner will spray fire in an attempt to make others duck and tries not to get shot.
Predators will do a risk-reward analysis before executing behaviour, even mid fight. (E.g. don’t cause fatal damage – avoid the death penalty)  Forget about rules and laws, can easily escalate into unlawful or excessive violence.
How can I beat him? can I beat him?
We are all going to die. There is no way around it and no way, other than suicide, to even control it.  I don’t wanna die!
At another level of faith, professionals take comfort in tangible things– their training, their experience or their team—so that they can believe that they won’t die this time. It gives them the courage to go in, the belief that, sooner or later, they will be rescued if captured.  Sense of loss of control. Possible panic-stricken state. Afraid to be killed or hurt.
Gender differences
  • Grow up rough-housing
  • Associate taking a punch with fun, bonding, learning
  • Grow up taught not to hit women
  • Big spike of adrenaline, stress hormones fade quickly
  • Fire back as soon as he sees an intruder
  • Loses fine motor skills faster
  • Goes into freezing faster
  • Worse memory
  • Sleepy or horny afterwards
  • Violent with intent to establish dominant or hurt you
  • Enraged men probably stops when opposition is dead (learned to stop rough-housing, short adrenaline)
  • Grow up without rough-housing
  • Associate taking a punch with being punished, shame
  • Slower build-up of stress hormones, slower build-down
  • Retreat carefully, then fire back
  • Has longer retention of fine motor skills
  • Freezes later
  • Better memory
  • Crying afterwards
  • Temporary out of pro-violence due to pregnancy
  • Violent with intent to hurt you
  • Enraged women keeps going after opposition is dead (never learned to stop, longer adrenaline flush)

 Source: Miller, R. (2010) Violence: a writer’s guide