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How to Avoid a Sucker Punch

Need to dodge a sudden, unexpected punch? Follow this guide to avoid becoming a sucker.


  • Step 1: Keep away Stay more than an arm's length away from any potential aggressors -- your opponent can't deliver a sudden punch if they have to run towards you.
  • Step 2: Watch their body Watch for signs that an adversary's about to attack. Look for subtle clues in their body language -- if they drop their chin, widen their eyes, tense their muscles, or drop either of their shoulders back, they might be preparing to throw a sucker punch.
  • TIP: Use your peripheral vision to watch your opponents' hands.
  • Step 3: Pay attention Ignore any distractions that might divert your attention. Be aware that your opponent may try to create their own distraction in an attempt to make you drop your guard.
  • TIP: Try to know what's happening behind you, too -- a sucker punch can come from anywhere.
  • Step 4: Run away Think you're in real danger of getting sucker punched? Get out of the way. Duck your head to protect yourself from a potential blow and run for it.
  • Step 5: Use a counterattack If you can't avoid a sucker punch, react defensively. Use any maneuver, no matter how immature it seems. Then, retreat to safety, leaving your foe to wonder how they became the victim of a sudden attack.
  • FACT: For much of the 19th century, Illinois was known as the Sucker State.

You Will Need

  • Physical distance
  • Body-language clues
  • Focus
  • Defensive strategy
  • Peripheral vision (optional)

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