What Martial Artists Can Learn from Animal Fight Videos

Humans are animals. This is a fact we often forget in our day-to-day lives. We have instincts and behaviours that are very much linked to our bestial ancestors. Legend has it that a number of ancient martial arts masters observed animals to develop their techniques and fighting styles. If it was good enough for the masters, it’s good enough for me. So without further ado, I bring you the lessons to be learned from some of YouTube’s most popular animal fights.

1. Rabbit vs. Snake

This video is a wonderful demonstration of the power of intention. The rabbit in this video, for whatever reason, had a strong intention to drive off a rattlesnake. Ordinarily, we wouldn’t imagine an animal as docile as a rabbit to behave so aggressively, but for whatever reason, it was powerfully motivated to fight off the rattlesnake, to the point that it was hopping in and biting the snake. I’ve always taught women in my self-defense classes that if their intention to defend themselves is stronger than their attacker’s intention to dominate them, they have a much stronger chance to driving off their attacker. The rabbit in the above video demonstrates this point beautifully. The rattlesnake, of course, has the tools and ability to seriously harm the rabbit, it simply wasn’t motivated enough to face up to the fierce intention of the furry creature that assailed him. In fact, the snake was so shaken that it even tried to escape by launching itself up a tree! Rabbit 1. Snake 0.

2. Kitten vs. Rabbit

This video shows a beautiful example of how to use an open guard. The rabbit continually tries to get around to the kitten’s head, but most of the time, the kitten manages to get a paw on the rabbit then pushes off its body to re-establish its position. Even when the rabbit managed to get around the kitten’s legs, the kitten skilfully takes control of the rabbit’s head with what amounts to a Muay Thai clinch and even uses the clinch to get back up to its feet. I’ve always said you can learn a lot about ground fighting from watching cats, and this video is no exception. Kitten: 1. Rabbit: 0.

3. Chickens Break Up Rabbit Fight

Strangely, I think people who work in law enforcement or security can learn a lot from the above video. As the chickens demonstrate, breaking up fights or violent situations is less about using physical force and more about being assertive. While the chickens may have had to lightly peck at the rabbits to separate the aggressors, once they had them separated, they only needed to flap their wings and cluck, positioning themselves in ways that kept them separated.

4. Crow Starts a Cat Fight

The above video is reminiscent of how drunken fights go down in or around bars. Two parties may feel some sort of hostility toward one another. While ordinarily they might back off and stick to their own territory, sometimes third parties, like their friends may serve as enablers who encourage aggressive action, whether it’s by egging them on about “manning up” or fuelling the anger toward the individual. The cats may have ordinarily kept to their own territory, depending on the situation, but in this case a crow pecks at them, pissing them off to the point that one of the cats lashes out at the other rather than at the offending crow that started the whole situation. This reminds us to watch the company we keep.

5. Bird vs Cat

The lesson to be learned in this video is that if you act like an aggressive jack-ass, sooner or later it will bite you in the butt. The above video gave quite a literal demonstration of this. Who knows why the bird kept tormenting the cat, which was pretty patient considering how long the bird kept at it. But if you act like the bird, either verbally or physically pushing other people around, sooner or later someone will lose their patience and their temper with you and take it up a notch. Cat: 1. Bird: 0.

Got any similar animal videos with lessons to share? Please feel free to post them in the comments. 🙂

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