Martial Development

Martial arts for personal development

Are You Smart Enough to Fight a Monkey?

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52 Comments

Commemorating the birthday of Charles Darwin, and capping our recent discussions on the evolution of martial arts, I offer you one worst-case example of a real-life assault.

LaDonna Davis, 64, and her husband, St. James Davis, were visiting Animal Haven Ranch near Bakersfield on Thursday when two male chimps escaped their enclosure and attacked the couple.

“When we made eye contact, the charge was on,” LaDonna Davis said. “There was no stopping anything, and the big chimp came around from behind me and pushed me into my husband. The male came around from behind and chomped off my thumb. My husband must have realized we were in deep trouble because he pushed me backward. At that time, they both went for him.”

St. James Davis, 62, lost all the fingers from both hands, an eye, part of his nose, cheek, lips and part of his buttocks in the ferocious attack, his wife said over the weekend on NBC’s “Today Show.” She also said one of his feet was mutilated. A Kern County Sheriff’s commander also said his genitals were mauled.
[Source:Fox News]

Nasty, brutish and short
Guess what? Those angry chimps never attended a martial arts class. All animals (including homo sapiens) know how to attack. It isn’t exactly rocket science.

The challenge of stopping such an assault, in contrast, might justify the time and expense of formal training. This is why your instructor taught specific defenses against biting, tearing and gouging attacks, which constitute the evolutionary basis of human combat. Right?

Update: The full story behind this attack is given in Esquire Magazine’s new article, “The Worst Story I Ever Heard”.

Charla Nash after chimp attack

Update 2: Charla Nash, the victim of a separate chimp attack, told her story on Oprah this week.

Categories: Fighting and Self-Defense · Martial Arts News

52 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mr. Patterson // Feb 13, 2009

    I’d probably have distracted the monkey with my banana. Call it my own version of “the art of fighting without fighting”.

    ;)

    ~BCP

  • 2 Rick Matz // Feb 13, 2009

    Am I smart enough to fight a monkey? I’m not enough not to.

  • 3 Tim // Feb 13, 2009

    I really hate to be “that guy” but someone has to do it.

    Could I fight a monkey? Maybe, they tend to be pretty small.

    An ape (for a chimp, gorillas, and orangutans are apes), probably not.

  • 4 Chris // Feb 13, 2009

    It’s not just chimpanzees, but also children who use biting and scratching attacks.

    Mr. Patterson,
    Uh, those chimps nearly ripped off his “banana”. So I’d keep it hidden away if I were you (except maybe at the grocery store).

    Rick,
    Good point. But did you click through to the full article? Even while Davis’ attackers were ripping him to shreds, he was trying to negotiate with them intellectually. I hope this is not your plan.

    Tim,
    “Monkey” made a better title. Anyway, have you ever tried to bathe an anxious cat? Now imagine that cat was twice as heavy, four times as strong, and hungry for vengeance.

  • 5 pseudoman // Feb 13, 2009

    One maybe but 2? Highly unlikely. Considering all of the variables like age, training, weight, etc. maybe someone else wouldve had an easier time and maybe used enough force to scare them off but then again all we can do is speculate.

    Unless of course we are talking about a Chuck Norris scenario then those monkeys would’ve been in some major trouble.

    You can use this example for any animal basically. Any single person would have a bad day against
    2) squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, raccoons, cats, dogs, lions, tigers, bears, oh my, elephants, goldfish, puppies, gummy bears, you get the idea.

  • 6 Rick Matz // Feb 13, 2009

    Chris,

    Good point, but we have some coyotes around the neighborhood; but no chimps.

  • 7 Liara Covert // Feb 15, 2009

    Avoidance strategy becomes a more effective option as you gain insight into qi energy and how to sense energy fields. Working toward mastering energy is useful to gaining proficiency in any martial art.

  • 8 tannage // Feb 15, 2009

    Chimps are also a LOT stronger than men are. Get two of them and it’s nigh on impossible to defend yourself against that sort of brute force.

    It’s still horrible what happened to that couple and there wasn’t anything they could have done to defend themselves (unless they had a shotgun perhaps)

  • 9 Chris // Feb 15, 2009

    tannage,
    Although the odds were clearly stacked against Mr. and Mrs. Davis, I disagree that “there wasn’t anything they could have done to defend themselves”. Nearly any response would have worked better than the response he apparently chose.

  • 10 pseudoman // Feb 15, 2009

    Chris,

    A response may have scared them or couldve caused them to become more agitated and killed the man. Obviously we will never know.

  • 11 Chris // Feb 15, 2009

    pseudoman,
    Would you give that same answer, if the chimps were trying to rape him instead?

  • 12 Massimo Gaetani // Feb 16, 2009

    What happened to Mr and Mrs Davis is obviously a tragedy and it should be described as such: perhaps the question could be: “are you strong enough to fight a monkey?” I am not sure whether either of them was an expert of martial arts and whether this would have helped. Also let’s not forget that primates have a muscle structure that makes them faster, more agile and much stronger than an equivalent human being in terms of size and body mass. However expert you are in a discipline you will be trained to defend against just certain kinds of attacks. This person has been attacked by 2 enraged animals that, obviously, used any possible means to hurt him or perhaps killing him: while shaped in a different way if they were attacked by two enraged dogs or large cats like a cougar or lynx the result might have been even worse.

  • 13 Chris // Feb 16, 2009

    Massimo,
    If the question were, “are you strong enough to fight a chimpanzee/monkey?”, the obvious answer would be No. Thus we must use our heads.

    Mr. and Mrs. Davis were not martial arts experts; well, neither were their attackers. And I am disinclined to treat this attack as a special case, for the following reasons:

    1. The average martial artist trains every day to compensate for their relative lack of size/strength/speed. So how is this different?
    2. The average human attacker is operating at the intellectual level of a primate. During a fight, higher brain functions shut down (unless you have specifically trained to retain them, and succeeded). So how is this different?

    P.S. You might be interested to know that, in Bruce Lee’s movie Circle of Iron, the hero’s first test was to fight a monkey and win.

  • 14 Rick Matz // Feb 16, 2009

    Ok. Enough fooling around. This appears to be a trend:

    http://wcbstv.com/breakingnewsalerts/orangutan.attack.stamford.2.936381.html

  • 15 Massimo Gaetani // Feb 17, 2009

    Without trying to monopolize the discussion here I would like to make a few points:
    0. if Mr and Mrs Davies were not martial artist then this is a simple debate about whether a couple in their sixties would be able to defend themselves on the street. Obviously the answer is no and if the attackers were 2 (say) very aggressive twelve years old boys the couple would have probably been in similar troubles.
    1. an average martial artist doesn’t train everyday; on top of that, however good and complete you can be as martial artist, you will be able to defend against familiar attacks. I trained and sparred with many tae kwon do, dan level, experts in my life: they are excellent with kicks and to block kicks: as soon as you get past their kicks and start boxing with them they loose all their power. If you are not trained to see punches you just have no defence against them. So in this case one, actually two, primates that bites and can jump around and arriving from funny angles is a very challenging task even for an expert martial artist.
    2. I don’t know who you consider average human attacker but I strongly disagree that a person, in normal intellectual capacity, shuts off higher brain function and fights like a primate: a few million years of evolution have built enough conscious mind to actually make that quite difficult.
    3. in movies you see people jumping on and off trees, get shot hundreds of times without any major damage and so on: the fact that in a Bruce Lee’s movie the test was about fighting a monkey or a tiger for that sake, doesn’t mean that the average Mr and Mrs Davies should be able to fight two enraged chimpanzee.

  • 16 pseudoman // Feb 17, 2009

    Chris,

    The same would apply to rape as well. Fighting them may agitate them and make it worse. Instead of anally raping him maybe tey wouldve bit his dick and balls completely off, then raped him. You never know what a response will do when dealing with a wild animal. You said any response wouldve worked, I say it’s impossible to know. Way too many what ifs. I think a natural response would be trying to kick them atleast but there’s no way of knowing if it wouldve helped or hurt. Might have been like prison rape Chris. You fight, you get a torn ass AND busted head.

  • 17 pseudoman // Feb 17, 2009

    At 30 seconds into the clip you can get an idea of how a full on attack would go down. This guy is fortunate because it seems as though it’s not really attacking. Everyone seems to have the answer when sitting comfortably in their chairs. I understand your view Chris but in all honesty you have no idea how you’d react in that situation because you’ve never been attacked by monkey’s. It’s like saying you would disarm a gun wielder when you’ve never been faced with that situation. Training is great, dont get me wrong here but training and real life arent the same. It’s like an Army Ranger freezing up in combat, which has happened.

  • 18 Chris // Feb 17, 2009

    If this were not a martial arts blog, we could simply declare such attacks a tragedy, opine that life is unfair, and conclude that nothing could possibly be done. Finally, we could proclaim that this animal savagery (bad!) is completely unrelated to martial arts (good).

    This view is not my view. Pseudoman, I do not think you understand my view.

    What I actually said was, any response would have worked better than the one he chose. And at that time, nobody is excused from making a choice; not because they are elderly, or innocent, or “not an expert martial artist”. Davis is not alive because he placated his attackers, he is alive because someone else intervened.

  • 19 pseudoman // Feb 17, 2009

    Chris,

    Had he died while trying to fight them off then we would be discussing how it’s better to not to do anything in that situation. I’d love to see you break out some kungfu on a bear. What I’d really love is to see you put in that guys exact same situation and see how their monkey kungfu rolled you and they nawed your face and nuts off. It’s easy for people to say “OH I’D DO THIS AND THAT IN THAT SITUATION” but in reality you may just do the exact thing he did or worse and shit yourself. The monkeys didnt circle him like in Westside Story, snapping fingers and waiting to dance fight, they ran at him and mauled him. The attack in reality probably was a matter of seconds, not minutes.

    [Many people have injured themselves through ill-conceived neigong practices. As someone who knows, I felt obliged to point that out. I am sorry if I hurt your feelings in the process. --Chris]

  • 20 Cobra-Kai // Feb 17, 2009

    Bite back I noticed how he did’nt attack the chimp in the video but ran. But then again humans are the weakest of the primates in my opnion we just suck.

  • 21 Chris // Feb 17, 2009

    I’d love to see you break out some kungfu on a bear.

    Here’s some footage from my Canadian vacation.

  • 22 Cobra-Kai // Feb 18, 2009

    I never knew you worked for John West lol

  • 23 Alain Gibson // Feb 18, 2009

    More award wining reportagerie by Pop Cult’s devil-may-careless Alain Gibson.

    Imagine the horror… You are midway through your dream family holiday, a self catering canoe trip up the Congo, when suddenly the river turns nasty: A large male hippopotamus, flagrantly erect, has mistaken your small dugout for a female of the species. Your family are in the water and Mr. hippo is now mighty pissed. Normally this brute is a harmless vegan but hippopotami are well known for their aggressive behaviour, especially when coitus interuptus is involved – He’s angry, his cavernous mouth armed with gigantic teeth is about to clamp down and smash your puny body… What do you do???

    Steve Cadaver has spent countless years accumulating a vast repertoire of aboriginal hunting, tracking and bare knuckle, animal combative tactics. These strategies are know to only a select few, very hard men, including the Navy Seals. Steve recently returned from a two year Inuit Polar bear wrestling camp, held at a secret location close to the North Pole. Cadaver is just as well known for showing naked aggression to journos, so I considered myself fortunate to hold the interview and also to escape with all my teeth. What follows is a direct transcription of Cadaver’s rambling monologue and a unique insight into his singular world view.

    P.C. So, Steve it’s been a while – how did you get back from the polar wasteland?
    S.C. “I barely got home alive, only the thought of completing my Pop Cult article and a diet of sun-dried walrus blubber saw me through.”
    P.C. We hear that you have finally decided to release some of your less extreme ideas into the public domain, do you think this is entirely wise?
    S.C. “If you follow my eight week program the answer to the hippo dilemma and many other carnivorous questions will be your own property. The first week of this unique program (African Safari) is free – not just to any old John Doe but to the exclusive readership of your prestigious magazine only!.”

    Here is “African Safari”, the first week of Steve’s eight week programme – free to Pop Cult’s readership…

    Great White sharks, a living, predatory, prehistoric fossil with a big mouth filled with hundreds of pointy teeth. This shark fears no one (apart from Orcas and Steve Cadaver), bossing his hood with a Don-like attitude. Under normal circumstances, this cold-blooded, primeval killer would only bite your leg off if you bore a close resemblance to a fat little fur seal. However, I can think of a few friends who fit this description quite closely (Tommy), so if the beast did go for you – Show it aggression / go psycho then while it is momentarily stunned by your temerity, quickly swim to its side (use a modified Breast stroke here, not the crawl, as this can occasionally leave your foot in the sharks mouth at a critical point) and employ a swift rabbit punch next to the gills, combined this with a fin disabling wrench and an eye-gouge. This should do the trick. It’s always good to be prepared and remember, those fins are worth a fortune in Japan….

    The Nile crocodiles are experts at the ambush attack – they are very patient and can wait concealed under the water for hours by breathing through a hollow reed. Their eyes are like swimming goggles and they will easily spot anyone taking a sly leak in the murky waters of their riverbank home. Using subterfuge the toothy behemoth rears its ugly, handbag skinned head with swift-like dexterity, clamping down its powerful jaw-like mandibles onto the victims fleshy extremities. Escape is all but impossible due to the Crocs ratchet like teeth. What can you do? Take the monster by surprise… Relax; let it take you into its horrific death roll, then simply swim to the side of the riverbank when it least expects it.

    An agitated Grizzly Bear can reach up to 10 meters in height, that’s as long as a double decker bus and twice as aggressive. His arms are powerful enough to knock a small child’s head clean off, he can climb trees or shove them over if they look a bit too prickly. A big bear can eat clean through a cow in under forty minutes. Imagine the scene, you have accidentally driven your open-top sports car through the bear’s picnic, stalled and flooded the engine… The horror! Don’t delay now, leap out of your seat (after unfastening your seatbelt), assume the fencing position and – as he charges into your Combative arena – feint with a lead jab then lash out with a devastating Thai leg kick, just above the knee. As you bony shin smashes into Mr. Grizzly’s tender nerve cluster, strike him repeatedly in the groin with your steering lock, that you kept concealed up your Ralph Lauren polo shirt in case of just such an incident.

    A heavily pregnant White Rhino, these lumbering armour plated bulldozers may be an endangered species but you would feel in danger of extinction yourself if one was bearing down on you at fifty four K.P.H. whilst you were lying prone, engaging in a spot of tan work under the dusky African sky. If that horn skewers you, you could be kebab meat for the hyenas. First, leap to your feet at the last minute thus evading her initial drive by. Then use more footwork to outfox the blind bastard as you reach for your trusty hunting rifle stashed under the Land rover dashboard (remember those horns are worth hard cash).

    The Spotted Hyena will normally eat carrion if it is available but remember what we said about Kebab meat? Once they have had a few lean hours in the savannah nightclub, they will take whatever they can. The Hyena is all muscle, teeth and bone, don’t try to punch him in the head or you may break your fist. As he lunges forward to bite your face off, ignore the stench of his putrid breath and spear you hand straight down his throat. It is important to achieve maximum penetration so that your shoulder wedges his jaws open. Grope around inside that fetid gastric chamber until you can feel his beating heart of darkness, then seize the organ and rip it, still pumping, from his body.

    What about a rabid giraffe? I hear you say. A double sidekick to ankle – then the knee, should bring it down to range. Then quickly, run round to its rear – grab the tail and run up its back, using the ribs as steps. Finally, leap up into a neck lock and clinch tightly with a guillotine throat lock until all breathing stops…

    Poisonous snakes are simple – small ones, just stamp on their heads with your heavy desert boots. Flashing a torch in their eyes whilst you grab their tail can fool more tricky devils. Now quickly, crack them like a whip and watch as the poisonous head flays off into the sand. At the very least, doing the wet towel snap should disconnect the nerves of the spinal column, causing total paralysis, thus enabling you to skin the bastards alive. Snakeskin makes a trendy belt and their kidneys (eaten raw) will make you irresistible to women…

    To receive the remaining seven weeks of this fascinating and essential program (the Hippopotamus dilemma is solved in the eighth week), send a cheque for only £999.95 to Pop Cult for each additional week you require. Private Combative training is also available at exorbitantly expensive rates. Terms and conditions apply. Do not attempt to perform any of these procedures unless you are fully trained in these combative tactics or are Steve Cadaver. All of these Combative stratagems are non-functional and none are guaranteed to work on the street. Steve Cadaver is a fictional parody and not meant to resemble anyone eaten by crocodiles mangled by monkeys or mauled to death by Grizzly bears.
    Alain Gibson
    Actually – I would seriously like to know the best way of fighting off an attacking dog – there’s a lot of big ones about, many with irresponsible owners.

  • 24 pseudoman // Feb 18, 2009

    Chris,

    My feelings arent hurt. It’s a simple debate. Nice Northen Bear style too.

    Alain,

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…For a minute or two I thought it was a real guy.. a real CRAZY guy up until I got to the croc attack…funny

  • 25 Chris // Feb 18, 2009

    Angry monkeys turn tables on cruel trainer

    Angry monkeys turned on their cruel trainer, and beat him senseless with his own stick. They went ape when their owner handed out a vicious beating to one of the trio during a performance riding mini bicycles in a market in Sizhou, eastern China

  • 26 Alain Gibson // Feb 19, 2009

    Actually I do know a guy who can give you all the answers…
    Jamie Clubb! I’ll point him over here today.
    He will no doubt be able to give you the truth of the matter because he is an amimal trainer, runs a zoo and is a self protection expert to boot.
    He and I will both be at MAF-UK.co.uk this April
    Advert over and out ;-)

  • 27 Jamie Clubb // Feb 19, 2009

    Hi and thanks for the nod, AG.

    My father is a wild animal trainer and my mother comes from a long line of wild animal trainers. I have seen several wild animal attacks and experienced a few myself as my right hand will bear witness (12 stitches and a skin graft from a hyena we hand raised).

    There are a lot of misconceptions regarding animals and what they are capable of, thanks to the Disney-fication of them over the 20th century and the growing lack of contact humans are having with them. Think about it, a century ago we relied on animals an awful lot and today we are in the era of the cyber-pet.

    Interestingly there was discussion of monkeys. Before we even get to the type of monkey featured in the picture above this post, which looks like a type of rhesus, I know of several instances where an even smaller type of primate has caused quite serious damage to human beings: the humble and normally placid lemur. One bit straight through a pair of jeans I was wearing and I know several people who have had to go to hospital for bites to their hands care of a ring tailed lemur. I also know of lemurs who have lost several fingers to one another. So, little monkey ain’t always as cute and easy to handle as one might expect. The rhesus monkey, like the lemur, has remained on the Dangerous Wild Animal Licence 1976 and with good justification. They can be very aggressive and sport rather canines. My parents’ rhesus monkeys are only ever handled by our most senior members of staff for good reason.

    We also have mandrill baboons – still haven’t got up the danger category of the chimp – and the males of this species can cause some serious damage. In the wild they have been known to bring down fully grown leopards and have some huge canines on them. They also possess very wiry strength that is easily a match for the average human being. I have seen them bend sheet steel without too much effort.

    Chimps, along with elephants, are perhaps the most misrepresented animal on the planet. Not only do they possess incredible strength compared to ours, but are also highly intelligent. An adult chimpanzee becomes a high risk after he or she reaches the age of about eight. Then they could make Brock Lesner eat the soap! Of the attacks I know of, many people have lost their hands and feet to chimps and thought to be lucky. They attack limbs – a bit like a Keysi fighter – and grab and bite in a terrifying frenzy.

    Defence against animal such as this is similar to that against any dangerous animal. If the situation cannot be avoided you need to use your voice and any object you can lay your hands on. Attitude is everything. Running when you haven’t got an immediate safe shelter to get to is not a great option as it aroses the predator instinct in a creature that can easily out-run you. Voice and a weapon are the absolute best options.

  • 28 Rick Matz // Feb 19, 2009

    Could a human being even hit a 200 lb chimp hard enough to make a difference?

  • 29 Alan Gibson // Feb 20, 2009

    I remember an awful news item in the uk not many years back when a child got to close to the chimps cage in a zoo. He wasn’t in the cage, just over the barrier.
    A chimp, female I think, grabbed hold of his arm and pulled / bit it clean off.
    If you think about how agile an adult monkey is and how they can climb jump and easily swing around with all that weight – you can get some idea of how strong they might be. Try doing the monkey bars in your local kids playground yourself and you’ll soon realise that you do not posses anywhere near the kind of strength required to do what they can do.
    I have always been facinated by gibbons myself but always stand well clear of those wiry arms when I visit them in the zoo.

  • 30 Dave // Feb 23, 2009

    Alot of chimps play this game,it’s called “castrate the dummy who brings cakes to monkeys”.

  • 31 Dave // Feb 23, 2009

    By the way,let every anti-gun nut hear the desperation,agony and horror of the woman who almost lost her friend to one of these filthy beasts as she is yelling at the not so bright 911 bureaucrat to quickly “bring a gun”…
    Also,don’t even think about some stupid karate moves against these animals,they are faster and stronger than an NFL linebacker.

  • 32 Chris // Feb 23, 2009

    Dave, who would win in a fight between an average adult chimp and an average NFL linebacker, or UFC fighter?

    Do you think the UFC should be suspended, and its competitors locked in a zoo for “reality-based training”? If not, why not?

  • 33 Jamie Clubb // Feb 24, 2009

    “they are faster and stronger than an NFL linebacker”

    …and that is a massive understatement! As for the UFC, please see my Brock Lesner reference.

    Alan,

    Very true statement and that is just average sized monkeys. Please see my bit about the male mandrills we have.

    All the best,
    Jamie – a “reality-based” coach who trains in a zoo!

  • 34 Fredrik // Jun 12, 2009

    I think it’s possible for a man to beat a monkey, but it can’t really be an office worker, or someone who’s not in touch with their primal instincts. These monkeys train everyday, they climb around, run, pick fights with other monkeys. You can’t compare that, to an ordinary human being that sits still all day, and only walks from the sofa to the fridge, or someone who spends his whole day at an office.

    But, if you put a man that trains everyday, picks fights (or sparrs with someone), I think that guy would be able to fight a monkey. Just think of, (bad example but, you need to know the guy to get my example) Mike Tyson, (in like his 20′s, not as he is now) versus a full-grown monkey.

    In any case, it would’ve interesting to watch, in the name of science. Just think of Mike Tyson with an Adrenaline Rush, should be strong enough, don’t you think?

  • 35 Jamie Clubb // Jun 12, 2009

    Sorry, Fredrick, you are really in fantasy world here. A fully grown chimp would have killed two Mike Tyson’s at their peak and on steroids! I have seen a chimpanzee in action and I know the victims. Read the reports of people who have been attacked by chimps and you will find that in most cases people lost their finges, hands and other appendages within seconds of the attack happening. Unarmed humans just cannot inflict that degree of damage at that rate.

    As I said even a baboon is not the type of animal you would want to face unarmed. Humans are naturally tool using animals. Even when trained we are comparatively less dangerous to virtually every other animal on the planet.

  • 36 Alan Gibson // Jun 12, 2009

    Ok
    What about if I distracted the monkey momentarily with a picture of a naked female chimp on heat…
    Then, lulled him into a false sense of security and frienship by pretending to fancy her too, before smacking him hard in the nuts with a cricket bat…
    Then, accidentally on purpose slam his fingers in the lid of the piano that I happen to be playing to accompany the comic scene…
    Then, as he attempts to recover I finish him off by offering him a banana (with a lighted stick of dynamite hidden in it)?
    Ok I’m being silly but only to emphasise the fact that you are not listening to the one mane here who actually knows the truth….
    Jamie Clubb!

  • 37 Chris // Jun 12, 2009

    Maybe we should send a few of these “invincible chimps” to Afghanistan?

  • 38 Jamie Clubb // Jun 13, 2009

    Who said anything about a chimp being invincible? That’s a strawman argument. My point is that an unarmed human with no resources, no matter how well trained, is no match for an adult chimpanzee.

  • 39 Chris // Jun 13, 2009

    It seems to me that no unarmed human has a good chance of beating a stronger, faster, or meaner opponent, chimp or otherwise; and yet martial artists never stop trying, nor should they. Once in a while they will succeed; more often, if they are trained and prepared. There is a difference between realism and fatalism.

    If man can split the atom, them hopefully he can somehow manage to fight off a chimpanzee.

  • 40 Rafael T // Apr 9, 2010

    What about a man with a sword, like a samurai or something

    Could he fence off a chimp ?

  • 41 B N // Jun 30, 2010

    I got to back up “Jamie Clubb” on this one. A human, ANY HUMAN, would be hard pressed to defeat a chimp in unarmed conflict if the chimp was invested in the fight. The only way you could possibly win would be by taking advantage of things like terrain or weapons. A chimp has a muscle density of 4 or 5 times a human.

    Simply put, a chimp is about 4 times stronger than a person of equivalent weight and they have a bite strength sufficient to sever limbs. Using their hands alone they can crush human bone. And they’re smart enough to immediately attack to disable, with their first targets being the hands, face, feet, and genitals. A straight up fight with one of these things would work out like when that really big guy tried to arm wrestle Jeff Goldblum in “The Fly.” Bone would break skin, human would go into shock.

    With that said, it is theoretically possible to beat a chimp one on one. If you were allowed to ambush one, I think it would be relatively straight forward for a well trained person to take down a chimp. It’s cheap, but it’s probably doable. You’d probably need to kill it though. Break its neck or pierce its brain via its eye, and you’d probably only get one shot at it. One could probably also hurt a curious/hostile chimp enough to dissuade it from attacking further. I don’t know if that counts as a “win” but in a real situation, I’d consider that a MAJOR win. If you can prevent a potentially hostile chimp from trying to attack you, you have just won your life. So maybe if one had a good knowledge of chimp-pressure points and got in one good hit, that could make it decide to get lost and fight somebody else.

    But, in a real fight, where the chimp is driven to kill you? You won’t win that one with your hands. They’re too fast and too strong. Nobody would be quick enough to avoid having it close on them, and once it was in range and got you in its grip things would be all over. Limbs would be crippled, eyes would be gouged, etc.

    In that case, your best offense would be a good defense. Probably the most effective way to kill a chimp would be to push it into deep water or off a cliff. Chimps can’t swim. It’s actually impossible for them. That muscle density that makes them so strong? It makes them negatively buoyant. They sink. Throw one in the water and it will go to the bottom. Game over. It will probably also freak out and thrash around aimlessly. So, if a chimp grabs you your best chance is probably to throw both of you into some deep water. It will hopefully let you go as it sinks and you can escape. Does that count as a win? Because that’s probably about the best outcome you’re going to get in a hand to hand context.

  • 42 william // Aug 2, 2010

    There is a story of a man who as his initiation ritual killed a lion using only his bare hands ripping out its tongue:http://maizebreak.com/regional/article/15 . If a chimps bite is comparable enough to a lion and jaws wide enough then you can kill the chimp by ripping out its tongue just when it lunges at you Strength and balls factored in.

  • 43 Jim Jones // Aug 5, 2010

    I agree w B N & Jaime… Monkeys have millions of years of evolution of being in the wild using their bodies…what’s our evolutionary advantage (that only some monkeys only have begun to show)?? TOOLS….tools tools tools!!! If you had a sword a stupid ass monkey would still get in close proximity to rip out your appendages– unaware that your “stick” is a very large and sharp “tooth”… Plus if you had a silly mask that you wear on the back of your head, the dumb ass monkeys would think you had too heads & would be wary of approaching you from behind ( deception is what separates monkeys from other “higher” mammals)… Thus giving you a very high advantage…it is obvious a Human in a monkeys “element” will lose…that’s why we are smart enough to bring our tools with us…even pepper spray could probably ward off an entire crowd of monkeys (esp if you hit the alpha male and he books it)…

  • 44 will // Sep 25, 2010

    The only way and the best chance to fight a chimpanzee is to jab its eyes or gouging it which would causes extreme pain and possibly blindness which is however the best chance you have got barehanded. Its far better to be armed with a weapon such as a sword which can decapitate the chimpanzee or a shotgun which will kill it.

  • 45 Dan Arles // Jun 2, 2011

    I would prefer to have a chainsaw, over any other weapon.

  • 46 cynos // Jun 16, 2011

    william,

    If you believe that story, then you need to be supervised in your day-to-day life.

  • 47 Alan Gibson // Jun 17, 2011

    ha ha Love your comment above Cynos (and agree too).
    I like this thread, it reminds me of the old martial artist versus a knife/armed attacker scenario – where everyone thinks they would be able to act like this or that, but the reality is likely to be far more appalling.
    Incedetally, I was attacked by a dog the other day, totally unprevoked – the first thing I knew was that I had been bitten on the upper arm.
    I’m a trained martial artist but the ferocity of the attack shocked me. I tried to ward it off, and the owner tried to restrain it but the animal was frenzied and far too strong for him.
    At some point, the worst thing happened, it was on a narrow woodland path and my retreat took me into a briar patch where I tripped and fell over backwards.
    The dog attacked again and fortunately I had the werewithall to stay on my back long enough to boot the beast sraight in the face as it re attacked. This hurt it and sent it back to the owner who then managed to restrain it.
    I was very (VERY) shaken up and shocked and had about 16 puncture wounds in my arm from the initial bite.
    The dog was a German Shepard crossed with a Rhodisian Ridgeback, clever brave and dangerous as as I now know.
    I’ve never owned a dog and so have very little experience of how to deal with an attack.
    The same would be true, of most people, for almost any wild animal attack – esp a large chimp.
    Call in Steve Cadaver I say…

  • 48 Jim Jones // Sep 21, 2011

    Alan,

    I am sorry to hear about your unfortunate dog attack. Hopefully you were able to get the owner to pay a good some not only for your damages but any other ancillary annoyances you incurred (hey that’s what the laws were made for)

    But there is however a very good strategy with dogs that you can use:

    You said on your back you got a good foot on the dog which–using leverage w your back perpendicular to the ground–was able to hurl the dog away…which is good…but without that owner there to help you out that dog would of landed, recovered, and been back on you while all you got was tired…

    Dogs are a funny breed cause you’d think just kick them in the head and they’ll back off; but this isn’t the case…as with our primate cousins (and just about all skeletal creatures) we have evloved thick ass skulls to protect our mushy computers that enable us to think. As well, we lack pain receptors in the brain so only the very thin skin/fat layer is all we really feel (ever see a gunshot victim in the head walking around & talking normally? (assuming nothing critical was destroyed initially)) I have…

    So what’s the secret??? The paws…a dogs paws are like our elbows: they go one way easy but the other way it does not move… This eables cujo to run real fast cause he can leverage his weight on the sitffness of his paw when the paw is on the floor… So paw can let loose downwards…but upwards… It will not move…

    That is unless you grab that little thing and use all your strength to pull that “puppy” upwards…trust me it WILL work… Let him bite you as much as we wants in your arm/leg/whatever… The once you pull that paw upwards the dog will not only feel it but know very quickly that without the paw; his leverage in weight will be zero and he will lose immediately…some people think punching a dog in the nose works but all you’ll get is a hand full of teeth

    Think like our monkey cousins…there is no such thing as dirty fighting in the wild…there is a winner & loser only ….lol. A dogs MO is to bite and then aggressively shake to rip out what he’s chewed… If a dog latches on to you: you will have some precious time to go for those skinny little legs they have while he’s doing his thing… Monkeys are more dangerous cause they use/know multiple weak points (dogs use the neck btw) so if they miss one they will go for the other without much time elapsing …

  • 49 R. Rob Tanner // Jul 14, 2012

    I have no idea how I stumbled upon this page – BUT- I have to state- there is NO possible way for an unarmed man- regardless of whom, could fight off an adult chimp in its prime. I have read some very good points here, but the basic fact is it IS 4-5 TIMES stronger than a human. ALSO, they are INCREDIBLY agile and fast. Even Mike Tyson would get ONE shot MAYBE to punch an adult chimp…and it probably wouldn’t knock it out. It MAY phase it a bit, or it may cause ot to go berserk. And that woyld be IT for a human’s offense. T that point the agility, strength and speed of the chimp would shut down basically ANY offense a human may have. Think about it- one would get ONE chance- MAYBE… to throw an Iron Mike Tyson PERFECT knockout blow of EPIC proportions (and probably NOT knock the animal out)- and the chimp would just RAGE, and THAT is unstoppable. It would disable you in a matter of seconds. You would find yourself finger (or HAND) less. Possibly blinded and at that point- well… it is over. The chimp COULD have it’s way with you, kill you, whatever… probably under 5-10 seconds that would be the case.

  • 50 troll // Aug 15, 2012

    I could EASILY kill a chimp with my BARE hands. EASILY.
    All I have to do is falcon punch it in the upper jaw, which would cause it to instantly die from the pressure applied there. It would break the jaw and send the bones flying into the brain causing it to die INSTANTLY. I could EASILY kill one in less than 3 seconds. Even an infant could kill an ape!

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