Punching Day: 1001 Street Fighting Secrets 🌭

1001 is probably too many secrets to be keeping about street fighting, but in 1997, Sammy Franco wrote this:

My experience with books starting with “1,001” suggests I shouldn’t bother looking inside 1001 Street Fighting SECRETS: The Principles of Contemporary Fighting Arts. This number is too high. Sammy is going to run out of punches and kicks by 47 and have to list his favorite karate songs and mid-maiming snacks to fill the next two hundred pages. Plus, is he even crazy? I’d better look up some of his other books to make sure I’m not going to be combing through increasingly boring variations of “remember to lock your car” and “every bulge on a bus passenger could be nunchucks.”

A good sign. These are fucking nuts. Okay, let’s get started.

Speaking of secrets, the book starts with a quote from Henry Ward Beecher, a historical figure who cheated on his wife so much his adultery is included in the first sentence of his Wikipedia entry. He was sniffing another man’s wife on his fingers when he said this and was absolutely not talking about karate secrets.

This is going to sound too cute and nerdy for a book about killing day drinkers with your hands, but the last secret in his book of secrets is a secret! The first 1000 secrets are a clue to decoding it! It’s the kind of idea you would have if the only people you talked to were adults in ninja costumes, and I mean that in the best way. I also mean this: if you’re a book that doesn’t do this, fuck you.

Eight pages in and we still haven’t started the secrets. Sammy first has to thank the United States Border Patrol (USBP), the kind of idea you have when you and the adults in ninja costumes you talk to have a secret favorite race. He also gives an acknowledgement to God (T.M.F.B.A.K.M.), an abbreviation he never explains. Which means this street fighter has an inside joke with God and I’ve made the right decision to read his book.

Right now would be the perfect time to start listing secrets, but I’m sure you’re wondering how Sammy Franco’s school, Contemporary Fighting Arts, got its name. He explains all three word choices for an entire page and during that time there are no twists or surprises. It’s obvious and no one asked. It’s like someone getting out of The Muffdiver Express and telling you how his van got its name. It’s like a man named Buck building an interactive exhibit so customers understand the creative process behind the name Buck’s Fishing Supplies.

Before we get to the secrets, Sammy warns he will be including some defense and spirituality. As he explains many times, these things will get you killed on the streets, but they are what separate you from the animals. Like most people training you for the imaginary, Sammy’s advice changes depending on whether he’s thinking of an underground kumite or a restroom pervert. Still, knowing your spirituality made you better than your local tough guys had to be a big comfort to an adult ninja in 1997.

Every moment is a potential attack. That’s why Sammy’s first street fighting secret is DON’T BLINK. I love it, but this is already too figurative to be useful and very, very much not a secret. No one’s last words in a death tournament have ever been, “The rules never said I had to pay attention!”

This rules. Sammy was out of secrets at number zero and he still has 999 to go. Wait, I forgot about entry ? ? ?. He only has 998 to go.

Really wanting to kill the other guy is an important step most street fighters forget. Sammy illustrates the 10th street fighting secret, “a virtuous killer instinct,” with a picture of one of his students thumbing a man’s eyes out. He is experiencing rage, happiness, and ecstasy– all the emotions you feel when taking a man’s life eyeball first, over a caption about how he’s demonstrating a perfect lack of emotion. It’s something to keep in mind, that this author who dedicated his life to surviving an afternoon in Jackie Chan’s body is weirdly incorrect whenever it’s possible to be objectively wrong.

After learning how to breathe and get comfortable with murder, it’s time to reveal the street fighting secret of standing like you’re in a fight. Sammy calls this BLADING YOUR BODY which is how you get a 1997 adult ninja to say, “Oh fuck yeah.” And they’re right.

You know, Sammy, you’re the one who decided to frame these as “secrets.” You only have yourself to blame for looking like an idiot here. You are revealing the secret of heads to head owners (this includes top, front, sides, and back). You’ve made a fighting system so basic you’ve accidentally written an operator’s manual for a parasitic mold colony. This is an instruction manual for when Jackie Chan wakes up in your body and you don’t want your wife to get suspicious.

I think we’ve learned enough about blinking, breathing, and the benefits of heads. It’s time to practice surrendering. Sammy has now spent over twenty pages explaining how to master every last thing your body does involuntarily. If you read 1001 Street Fighting Secrets to a baby their first words would be, “oh my god, no shit.” It would be so hilarious if after all of these exhausting essays on what ears and fingers are used for, Sammy finally gets to the actual fighting and goes, “I don’t know, hit him with your foot.”

No fucking way.

Groin kicks: the 40th street fighting secret! Sammy calls them “vertical kicks” because if he called them groin kicks he’d have to write three chapters on your changing body and how a groin swells when its owner blinds a man with his fingernails.

The 70th street fighting secret: poking them in the eyes! I know enough about literature to know every 1,001 Things author discovers there’s nothing left in their brain long before they finish their book. Here is where it happened for Sammy. He has explained both kinds of kicks– dick and regular, and now he’s shown the reader his forbidden eyeball strike. That’s all his moves. He genuinely thought there would be more karate in his head than 70 karates, but the rest of the book is the desperate panic of a frequent sword browser. You’re going to love it.

How are you going to tell me not to do spinning punches in a book for imaginary fights? If I’m taking out a hypothetical knifeman, I am doing only hypothetical rad shit. Full splits. Bikini beach setting. I might make him Dylan O’Brien so I can say, “You should have never run out of that maze, Dylan O’Brien! For no minotaur in there is as fierce as my very much spinning punch out here, Dylan O’Brien!”

Eating a raw opponent runs the risk of disease, which is not me making fun of Sammy, but actual advice he gives after telling the reader to deeply, penetratively bite their enemies, anywhere, to send them a message.

Reminder: the double-thumb gouge is a nuclear grappling tactic that can produce devastating results. My count might be a little off, but when Sammy Franco street fights something without eyes, he only has 814 secrets.

Exactly! Dylan O’Brien didn’t become a household name by defending mazes. I doubt this is good advice for a fight, but only the dumbest dumbshit would read a street fighting book for good advice. Sammy is telling the reader to put all their faith in dick bites and eye gouges, and that rules.

Shit, don’t be airborne? This sucks again.

Think of how desperate you must be if you’re sitting down to write street fighting secrets and you think, “Y’all ever look around at karate class and wonder who are these people? I know you guys have seen the shy one– always hesitant to participate in training. Why are you so shy, shy one? Is it because I told you to take a bite out of a sick man in our parking lot? And y’all ever do karate with a dilettante? Talkin’ ’bout karate isn’t important and shit. And that’s a double-thumb gouge! Nobody is safe from Sammy! Let’s see, who else…”

Oh no. I need to kick but I have the flu. Suddenly I flash back to my Sammy Franco flu kick training. You thought you could strike while I was weak, but I have been preparing for this exact situation, Dylan O’Brien. The two of us mount our combat wheelchairs and gossip one last time about who is the worst in our karate classes.

Find yourself a nice mannequin head at a cosmetology school to practice your eye strikes. This is a fantastic secret. I think everyone should have a few mannequin heads lying around their home. “They’re for poke practice,” you can tell your guests.

This is probably the most important street fighting secret. Non-street fighters do not respect books, especially street fighting books. Plus, if someone else reads your street fighting books, they will know all of your moves, like how your punches don’t spin and where you shop for mannequin heads.

Half of all street combat takes place in the library. Three of Sammy’s street fighting secrets are plugs for his other books, and I happen to own Killer Instinct: Unarmed Combat for Street Survival. The jacket says “On the streets of America, there is no bushido, the honorable code of the ancient warrior,” and speaking of insufferable weeb shit, Sammy also suggests reading The Art of War “at least 10 times.” Maybe check the newspaper to learn the methods of your local criminals? Oh, and be sure to pick up the Uniform Crime Report so you know which ethnicities to watch out for. This isn’t as useless as it looks. Racial profiling and untreated paranoia are a huge part of street fighting.

Everyone who says Sammy Franco wet his pants at the Boulder No-Contact Open, Blue Belt Adults and Under Division is a karate liar!

When Sammy finally limps his way into the 300s, he is filled with a new self-confidence. He is certain he must be a genius. He starts taking the most basic concepts and making them impenetrable with the biggest words he can find. Words that say, “buddy, be serious” when you look them up. So for about a hundred entries something like “hit them with a bowling ball” will become “cranialize yon Midgard child with the sphere of leisure!” It’s like he’s writing a Family Matters spec script called “Everybody Was Kung Fu Urkel.”

Oh no, this one feels real. I think Sammy Franco is still mad about the time he got interrupted biting a homeless man to death.

Real street fighters avoid crowds and events because no one has enough thumbs to blind an entire baseball game. “People get ambushed and trampled all the time outside,” says the non-paranoid man writing a perfectly sane book for real, awesome fighters.

Less than 700 entries to go! Um, park your car… at the end? This reduces scratching risk by half, and right, I forgot to mention– this curb has a mean guy who will fight you if you park where his car scratches it. I’m not sure even Sammy Franco knows what he’s afraid of at this point. His enemies are everything from sudden axe maniacs to grouchy shoppers to the general public. He has no idea what they want, but he is desperate to give it to them at any cost.

Don’t worry about thinking sometimes. Using all the judgment you have as a paranoid master of bites who knows which races do which crimes, know when it’s the right time to turn off your brain and get crazy.

Follow the rules of the death formula, the formula everyone knows for justifying deadly force. Wait, wait, I think Sammy got confused because instead of telling us that he told us to multiply where we want to hit our enemy by how hard we hit him? Ha ha that’s not anyth– wait. I guess… yeah, (1) Dick multiplied by (2) So-Goddamn-Hard does equal Death. I guess I knew this one already.

I love this book so much.

Really? The assailant’s inside position doesn’t sound very serious. Do you maybe have a picture of it?


There really is just the one street fighting secret.

Alright, I’m on it.

I really wish you put these in a different order, Sammy.

I … ha ha I love this book so much.

I love that Sammy made up a friend who once got massacred by a baseball bat ambush to help explain why revenge can be dangerous. He even called him a “street fighter!” Like, he wasn’t a dentist who won a fist fight after an arena football game. He was employed as a street fighter. How is this the first we’re hearing of this guy, Sammy? You thanked the border patrol at the start of this book but didn’t have room to mention this dear street fighter friend who died(?) in a Tom & Jerry skit?

In America you can walk right up to law enforcement officers and say, “That’s the man who bit me at the mannequin head store.” This is almost all of the book’s legal advice, by the way. It’s almost an afterthought, as if the possibility of a real fight is so far from Sammy Franco’s life it didn’t occur to him until secret #493 that you can get in trouble for it.

I can’t wait to see what these are going to be.

I love it.


Every country has its own stick strangle, but there is no better way to end a man’s life or a below average marriage than the American Stick Strangle.

Examining the motivations of the knife criminal may help you defeat him. “Reason number 8 of question mark: my lawyer said he has an easier time with my stab murders than my gun murders and, um, I’m not gonna pay a guy $40 an hour and not listen to him! Reasons 9 and 10: everywhere, affordable. God, listen to me go on. I just love knife crime!”

Everything about this is good advice. Anyone who tells you not to jump directly at a knife is probably trying to kill you with a knife.

Every street fighter should carefully, if possible, move to a house where they can own a gun.

Earlier you might have thought I was exaggerating about this author losing his mind after he ran out of special attacks. And here we are at secret #809 where he is listing all the skills you unlock if you spec your character into Gun Flashlight. He has listed four reasons it’s good to have a flashlight on your gun. Three of them are seeing in the dark, and the other one is not seeing in the dark. This is iconic in its dumbness. This is the American Stick Strangle of dumb.

Everyone thinks they’ll be able to trade jokes during a gunfight, but the fact is, cowboys and cop buddies learn specifically to shoot and speak at the same time. Without proper training, you might try to say, “Consider this a divorce, sweetheart!” and it will come out, “BOOMno no no what happened, what have I done?

After number 867, Sammy gives up the longform street fighting secrets and starts writing little philosophical quotes. The only problem is he’s dumb as shit and his “Philosophy” is a child raised by television going through mood swings. These are fortune cookies that disagree with him and each other. They’re t-shirts you might see at an insurrection. They are bumper stickers you read on a truck before not making it out alive.

A bold stance to take in a book about ending lives by way of hand, knife, and gun is “the state should execute more people.”

I think you should have to wait more than 91 entries from your last failed explanation of flashlights before you start mocking stupid men.

In the early 900s, Sammy’s writer’s block crashes into the part of his brain that hates karate class. You’re not fucking magic, Karate. Sammy’s going to tell everybody, Karate. Maybe 15 or 20 times; it’s that important.

I don’t think kindness or consistency is fundamental to the Contemporary Fighting Arts System, but it will always protect you, you fat coward fucks. Why don’t you die already.

Easily, the most repeated theme in the book is how you can’t trust anyone, especially the trustworthy friends you trust. And yeah, I wasn’t expecting a self defense author to write a book about how things usually work out and you don’t have to worry about it, but this is a man who can’t order hot wings without telling the waitress she’ll die first if he tastes one single bite of poison. This is a man waiting for the world to betray him, and he’s ready with a flashlight on his gun that does nearly two things, or as he would put it, over four things.

Exactly like he promised, Sammy ends his book with ? ? ?. I looked everywhere for a code, but never found one. I thought maybe the first letter of each paragraph could spell something, but it was a dead end. After all, only a crazy person would do that. Only a crazy person would do that. So in the end, we can only guess what Sammy Franco’s final street fighting secret must be. All we know is that it’s probably dumb, crazy, and very different from something he said earlier.

This article was brought to you by our fine sponsor and Hot Dog Supreme: John Minkoff, whose name is an anagram of AAIIIIEEE! AAIIIIEEEEEEEE!

16 replies on “Punching Day: 1001 Street Fighting Secrets 🌭”

Sammy, I don’t know how this passage about ancient Chinese horse logistics is going to prepare me to… ‘assign inferior and subhuman qualities to another person’?

Sammy, this is very important, are you telling me that step one in any fight is imagining that they’re a centaur, so I know to kick them in all the secret centaur weak points?

Oh my bad you were actually trying to get me to induce a racist fugue state, that does make more(?) sense.

In my head canon, it stands for “The Mother Fuckin’ Bad Ass Killing Machine.” And now that I’ve typed that, I realized that holy shit, that ABSOLUTELY accurately describes the Old Testament God!

Somewhere deep inside the earth, an ancient cog turned for the first time in countless millennia in response to your obviously accurate guess.

Remember to read your bullshit Eastern “Art of War” at least ten times before ignoring and rejecting all of it

–Some Dipshit

I read this today, took a nap, and then had a dream about being at Seanbaby’s birfday party on a big boat. I didn’t even know it was your birfday!

Sean keeps the date of his birth as secret as he keeps his forbidden American Stick Choke moves. Too many people have died from each.

Holy Kumite! Did this guy put Punchmaster on the cover of “The 10 Best Sucker Punch Tricks”? Brilliant marketing.

I love this article so much. I’ve probably read it a dozen times now, and this is the first time that it clicked that you hid a message in the first letter of each paragraph. “Master betraying the rest of the world first. Aieeee. Aieeeee.” Something like that, right? This is why I’ve been loving your work for like twenty some odd years now Sean. It’s super dense with jokes that I only notice on like the fourteenth read, and that’s incredible.

I got the impression that Sammy considers being a street fighter being a good guy. So when he describes one street fighter waiting in a bush for revenge, that’s the friend (or he’s covering up for himself).

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