Having been in several real world fights where, unfortunately, a big, psychotic drunk relative that literally has red eyes and becomes virtually possessed with rage and fury, I know WELL how it is to be a real fight for my life, for he was literally trying to put his fists through the back of my head with each haymaker strike.
Think of BIF from Back to the future, now add about 100lbs, get him drunk with rage and fury and multiply his aggression from the movies about 10x and you have an idea what it's like to fight this guy. Were I not into serious old world gung-fu where we specifically train to fight all out, fight drunk guys, guys on drugs or the like.. I would have needed reconstructive surgery at the very least after each confrontation.
The ONLY way to train in ANY form of fighting is to train ALL OUT. You have to make sure that you have solid strength, speed, timing, reaction.. which means to specifically train your blocking, grappling, locking AND KNOW how to counter attack all in one flowing movement. These types of skills and knowledge are a MAJOR part of what is missing from most martial arts today. This is why most MA's lose when it comes to real fights.
I've visited many martial arts schools over the years and in every one of them I've seen people throwing punches, blocking and doing other techniques with NO power, NO intent, NO strength, NO focus.. they were doing movements as if they were literally drunk. I was with a few of my students at the time and they also could not believe it.
Where I trained, we were specifically taught that most of the people that you're actually going to encounter in a real fight, ARE going to be people on drugs, drunk or very aggressive in nature. This is why we practice doing hundreds of push up, blocking with 15-20lb weights, movement, stepping, grappling, internal power and something called discipline technique, which is what REALLY brings your fighting, skills and abilities to a whole new level you usually only see in the movies.
Discipline technique is when you practice one technique, be it a punch, kick or other strike hundreds to thousands of times per day with the correct technique over a period of years until you can literally kill with one strike.
Bruce Lee did this by punching 2000 times per day with varying weights and 1000 kicks per day for years and he did achieve this kind of killing power. This is also why his fighting skill was at a whole other level from anyone else he met or fought. This is one of the MAJOR missing pieces of knowledge, skill and practice in martial arts today. These are trade secrets that most people don't know or understand.. but in a real fight, especially with those that are on drugs or extremely aggressive and large, that is what you MUST have to be able to prevail.
When you are able to strike with that kind of power, your overall energy, strength, skill, speed, timing and reaction are ALL enhanced significantly and your abilities and skill go up accordingly. That is why almost no one today attains the levels of the old Masters that you see in kung-fu movies, because most don't have the time, patience or discipline to train that way anymore.
When you are at that level, you're courage also increases along with your skills. While you will still feel fear in any fight, once the punches start going or the attack comes, you're training WILL automatically kick in and the fear will disappear in a second and you will just begin to move as you have trained over the many years. That is why happened to me when I was attacked each time, I instantly just thought "This is just like fighting the advanced students down at the advanced school".. because that is how they would come after you for real world practice and training. Once it started the fear vanished and I simply moved as I was taught, blocked, grappled, locked him up and counter struck a dozen times or more, but because of the heavy alcohol and decades of nerve damage, he hardly even felt the blows, even though I used to strike my trees in the backyard 300 times per day for over a year. He was all screwed up the next day, but that doesn't help when you're in a literal fight for your life, which I was because he was screaming "I'll KILL YOU, I HATE YOU, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE".. with each strike.
So I circled around and countered his next few crazy strikes, push locked his arm against him as I got into a deep bow and arrow stance and pushed him against the wall, then took a deep breath, guided some chi to my arm and hit him with that discipline strike to the solar plexus, knocking the wind and breath completely out of him, dropping him to the floor and eventually going unconscious. This is a technique called "sealing the breath" in gung-fu.
So when it comes to real fighting, you have to not only know the right ways to train, which is to DRILL for such situations over and over and over again, which almost no martial arts know or practice anymore today, but you have to have people that are at a level to be able to spar with in such situations.
This is why in gung-fu, we keep our shoes on, use no equipment, hit hard to the body and train to both attack and defend with real aggression because that IS how it's going to be in a real fight. It's not going to be a boxing match with rules, gloves on, head gear or anything else. It's going to be wild punches, tackles, possible ground fighting, grappling, some kicks.. it's going to require a strong root, which means strong stances, speed, hard hands so that when you strike the other persons body, head, faces or bones you don't break your hands, as well as having at least some basic iron body training so that any hits will not stop you. But again, SO few train this way or even KNOW that they should be training this way which is why most people fail when it comes to real world confrontations.
Iron Hand Conditioning - 1 How to Properly Condition Your Hands 1/2