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The 10-Year-Old's Guide to Fighting

Lesson #4:
Do Not Use the Death Touch

There are many, many versions of the death touch. At last count, roughly one in five fourth graders alive today knows how to kill a man with a single blow. The exact method -- whether that's by use of a pattern of ancient Chinese pressure points, the secret Special Forces maneuver that forces one knuckle through the temple or the infamous Steven Seagal flat palmed nose-into-the-brain strike -- will vary from child to child. So, why isn't every fourth grade graduating class made up of one solitary, triumphantly screaming, blood-soaked child who has bested all comers?

"I AM VICTORIOUS! THE BLOOD OF MY ENEMIES STAINS MY OSH KOSH! I AM READY FOR THE FIFTH GRAAAAAADE!"

It's because we all promised our masters -- be they fathers, Senseis or governments -- that we would never, ever use the forbidden blow. It was only for honor's sake that we restrained ourselves and that Jeremy, the big kid with the bowl cut who took our lunch money, wasn't dead and in the ground faster than he could say "I never knew my father."

Lesson #5:
Practice, Practice, Practice

If something looks like, feels like or could theoretically be used as a weapon, you should probably take advantage of the opportunity to get your practice in. There was nothing better in life than a good, weighty stick -- to this day I cannot walk by a fine, sword-shaped branch without grabbing it and practice-swinging for a block or so before ultimately feeling foolish and tossing it away. But there are many other every day items that can double as deadly weapons in a pinch. And you must get your practice in. You must stay sharp. You must be ready for the day that fateful call comes. The one that says, "This is the president. The worst has come to pass: The robots have arisen. Yes, yes I'm afraid they all know karate. Little Timmy Johnson, I beg of you, will you help us?!"

This behavior is so ingrained that remnants of it stay with us even into adulthood. If, impossibly, there are still some ladies still reading this right now, watch your man the next time he picks up literally anything over a foot long with a decent weight and a handle. For a brief moment, a far-off look will pass over his eyes. This is because he is no longer your loving husband and regional manager of a struggling IHOP. No -- right now, he is elsewhere; busy killing ninjas with that torque wrench or broken mop-handle in the burned out wreckage of the world.

Personally? I'm always a sucker for the Sock-chucks:

You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook or you can just use that time to name all of your various moves things like "Dragon's Flame Punch" and "Psychosis Kick."

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