Podcast episode 22: Interview with paramedic Doug Wittrock on handling injuries suffered in training or street fights

Whatever martial art or self-defense system you train in, eventually you are faced with injuries. Either you suffer one or you have to help somebody else. In a street-fight or a self-defense situation, you or a friend or loved one can get seriously injured too. What do you do then? What should you do before the ambulance arrives or before you can get to a hospital?

In this episode, paramedic Doug Wittrock covers the most common injuries that result from physical violence and explains the best practices on how to handle them.


Podcast episode 22 - Interview with paramedic Doug Wittrock on handling injuries suffered in training or street fights

Doug Wittrock

Show notes:

1. Intro:

2. Training injuries:

3. Self-defense and street fight injuries:

4.  Doug’s photography site:

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The brutal consequences of a street fight

Something that tends to be overlooked, in particular by young and fit men, is the potential brutal consequences of a street fight and just how extreme these can get. They’ve all seen videos of how a guy gets knocked out and then a few people step in before things get worse, thinking that’s how it goes. For sure, this happens. It happens a lot actually, in particular when you look at the typical dominance display and puff-up-your-chest fighting young, inexperienced men tend to gravitate towards. The critical mistake is thinking this is the only kind of street fight or violence that exists.

There are others.

Here is one such example. As always, a caveat:

  • We weren’t there. All observations on this video are nothing but an opinion, not a fact.
  • We don’t know what caused this. There is no way of knowing what was said, done or threatened to make this street fight happen.
  • I’m not making any judgements on who is right or wrong. I don’t have enough facts to decide on that. My comments pertain only to the incident itself.

Please keep this in mind when you read the rest of this article.

If the video starts from the beginning, skip ahead to 2min. 7sec. That’s where the incident begins.

Here goes:

Some observations about this video:

  • It looks like “No-shirt” wants to de-escalate things. We don’t know what he says, but he seems to want to avoid a fight and get away. He goes to grab his jacket and then attempts to leave.
  • The other guy escalates it. He gets in the way and blocks No-shirt in his tracks. He also closes into striking distance. No-shirt pushes him away and tries to keep going.
  • He strikes first. The other guy opens the fight with a backhand slap to the face and then it’s on.
  • Everything goes downhill from there. No-shirt quickly takes the upper hand and things devolve into the brutal consequences I want to talk about here below.

Some lessons we can learn from all of this: [Read more…]

From self-defense to excessive force

Here’s a great example of how your actions can take you from self-defense to excessive force in the eyes of the law. I’ve written many times about why this is important, but this video is a perfect illustration of the many factors involved in street violence. I’ll comment after the clips, but first a caveat:

I have no idea what started the confrontation.

I also don’t know if the man survived the beating he took.

There is the obligatory idiot screaming “Worldstar!” the whole time. You might want to turn down your sound.

That said, here are the two videos:


Some thoughts on all this: [Read more…]

Santas street fight

Santas street fight? Yes, you read that right.

A bunch of Santas apparently got into a street fight at a Santacon Conference. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps it’s no longer the season to be jolly but the season to be violent? Regardless, there’s something inherently wrong in seeing a bunch of Santas getting involved in a massive street fight. If I read it right, this happened near Union Square in New York last weekend.

Here’s the video:

These idiots are punching, kicking and stomping each other like common thugs. From what I’ve read, the whole Santacon thing is often an excuse to go on a pub crawl and get wasted. So I guess this kind of mayhem is only to be expected.That’s said, it takes a special kind of stupid to dress up as Santa and then get into a street fight with a bunch of other idiots, also dressed as Santa.

Anyway, when I sometimes say mankind doesn’t deserve to survive, this is the kind of stuff I’m talking about. What a bunch of douchebags… But I guess it could have been worse. It could have been this Santa here mixed into the street fight:

Santas street fight

Kick-ass Santa?

Just saying…