One of my readers posed a question: “Frank, Be Honest. Could You Kick Keith Raniere’s Ass in a Fight?”
I am assuming the reader meant a one-on-one physical fight, since I already kicked his ass in an intellectual/ public relations/ legal fight.
Would it be supervised or unsupervised fight?
There are fights in the ring, and fights on the street.
In street fights, there are two kinds. One is mutual combat, where parties agree to fight, and the other is where one [or more] persons suddenly, predatorily attack, and, in response, the other is forced to self defend. The attacker has the advantage of surprise.
In the ring, there are rules, and they vary depending on the type of fight. In a street fight, there are no rules, except try to win.
In the ring, at age 65, I would need to train for the particular type of fight, in conformity with the rules of that sport or martial art. I would need to know the conditions [how many rounds, indoor or outdoor, who referees, etc.] I would want 90 days to train.
My fee would be $1 million, plus 10 percent of gross ticket sales. [$500,000 paid when I sign the contract, and $500,000 when I arrive at the stadium where the fight is held. Percentage of the gate to be paid at the conclusion of the evening, with my agents co-monitoring ticket sales, both presale and night of fight sales. Video and audio rights to be determined.]
I would want a 10-round minimum [15 rounds is ideal, with three-minute rounds, one-minute rest] so I can take my time drawing my opponent out. Under these conditions, I think I could defeat Keith with a knockout in round 7 or 8.
If it were an eight-round fight, I would look to inflict damage, and place my opponent in a breath-negative condition [i.e. winded], from round #2 onward and do the takedown in round 4 -5. In a four-round fight, I would rain punishment on my opponent from the onset, risk some return punishment, and take him out late in round-2 or midway in round-3.
All of these predictions are based on Keith being a topflight judo expert, in extraordinary physical condition, something akin to the abilities of an East Coast Judo Champion, with the athleticism of say, Jim Thorpe.
Now for a street fight
In a mutual combat, no-holds-barred, no rules, no weapons, no time limit, street fight, there are logistical challenges. These kinds of fights usually end with a knockout, or other disabling condition, surrender, or flight.
Surrender or flight are the most likely scenarios. I would want a locale where my opponent could run away but I would not consent to a condition where I am required to chase him. Keith said he tied the New York State record for the 100-yard dash, and he likely can run away faster than I could possibly chase him.
The fight would have to be conducted in a jurisdiction where mutual combat is legal, even if death occurs. There would have to be a waiver of liability by Raniere and his family holding me harmless, filed with the local authorities.
Under these conditions, I believe that I could kick his ass in under three minutes, unless he escaped and ran away, which would happen in about 2 minutes.
As for the other type of street fight, where someone launches a surprise attack, there are factors to be considered.
A surprise attack is, by the code of most ethicists, unethical, on the part of the attacker.
As an ethicist myself, it justifies a lawless self-defense that pays no heed to ethics. Weapons are justified, including anything handy, rocks, bricks, a broken bottle. Attempting to disable, even kill, is justified.
In mutual combat, a highly-skilled, ethical fighter seeks to do the least damage necessary to disable his opponent. In a surprise attack, all bets are off.
All human bodies – even those of super athletes like Raniere – have vulnerable internal organs. And it is easily proven that the consciousness of every human is fragile and easily disrupted.
When the fight is fair and is mutual combat, I prefer to disable a person through gradual infliction of pain, and using non-permanently damaging methods to bring about loss of consciousness and collapse of the body.
This generally includes infliction of pain in the abdomen, and careful blows to the head to cause dazing, and eventually fainting without causing brain damage. If necessary, this sometimes requires infliction of more severe pain and temporary immobilization techniques such as breaking fingers, toes, [which will, of course, heal] and nonfatal blows to the neck and groin to take the individual off balance and stun and confuse him, making him more vulnerable to loss of consciousness, or the best, desired goal: the decision to stop fighting out of fear, and pretending to lose consciousness.
Quick blows to the kidneys, and when turned around, a non-lethal, comparatively gentle blow to the sacral plexus and/or a careful, not too forceful strike to the third or eleventh vertebrae, will usually render an opponent docile in seconds, once in position, without having to hurt him. The goal is, of course, to coax loss of consciousness.
On the contrary, a surprise attack offers no time for carefully executed, gradually disabling, consciousness-depriving action.
Since a surprise attack relieves the defender of ethical considerations, he may ethically seek to do irreparable damage, including
- Causing blindness, by removal of the eyes from their sockets,
- Flattening the nose by swift compression using the palm, and,
- Simultaneously, using some handy item to stuff the mouth to cause choking, suffocation and possible drowning in swallowed blood, or vomiting.
- Knocking out teeth by a hard blow to the jaw, combined with a swift punch to the top of the abdomen, causing the teeth to be involuntarily swallowed
- Tearing, or biting off ears, [this is not painful, but induces a surprisingly frenetic response that makes taking away consciousness quick and easy, as the conscious mind seeks to retreat.]
- Breaking of multiple bones,
- Embracing the opponent in a tight hug and biting the neck drawing blood and severing a carotid artery.
- Causing severe internal bleeding through a rapid series of chops in precise order, [note to beginners: always use open hand chop when attacking the heart, never clench fist, and remember to exhale when delivering chop; the short shout is unnecessary]
- Rabbit punching behind ears, etc. to cause cervical vertebrae and spinal cord rendered non-functioning, causing crippling effect
- Temple tap and head blows causing loss of consciousness without regard to causing brain damage or death.
[I have mainly mentioned hand techniques since these are my personal preferences. I do not for a moment suggest that the use of the knees, feet, and elbows are ineffective. And I do not share the bias that some of my fellows have that using the legs in rendering someone unconscious is somehow less honorable and shows an inferior ability. We are talking about surprise attacks.]
As an ethicist myself, the use of brutal methods, which are in contrast to the more gentle consciousness-deprivation techniques used by ethical fighters in fair fights, is justified only in cases of sudden attacks from ruthless, psychopath predators.
In some ways, this kind of attack and my defense is analogous to the type of fighting I did with Keith and his partner, Clare Webb Bronfman. They attacked me by surprise with the goal of destroying me.
In a fair fight, obviously the goal is not to cause pain or permanent damage, but to encourage loss of consciousness, or to confuse the conscious mind of the opponent into thinking his pain may be mitigated by giving up one’s will to inflict pain on his opponent.
A surprise attack requires hastily conceived methods.
From out of the blue, Keith and Clare launched a surprise attack on me, using perjury and the advantage one has in the US legal system when one can outspend one’s opponent 1,000-to-one. Their goal was to immobilize me, to make me lose my consciousness of being a free, US citizen – to steal my freedom by putting me in prison.
As they surprise-attacked from the rear, I was temporarily knocked down, but I arose and defended myself. The fight lasted about five years from the time I realized I was attacked to the time Keith was sentenced to 120 years in prison and Clare got 81 months.
Keith was virtually killed in the fight, for he got a life sentence. Clare was knocked down pretty good. Her ass was well-kicked.
Had they fought honorably, and given me fair warning that they were seeking to steal my freedom, I would have been able to prepare a defense that would not have been so punishing for Keith and Clare.
I do not know if Keith deserves 120 years or a life sentence for his crimes of conviction. But he took to fighting by surprise and that comes with its own punishment.
As the victor, however, I can afford to be magnanimous. There could be forgiveness with full disclosure and recompense.
Meantime, to answer the reader’s original question, “Be honest, Frank, could you kick Keith Raniere’s ass in a fight?”
Yes, dear reader, I believe I could.