Why You Don’t Need a Black Belt to Fight: An Interview With Norm Bettencourt


You might not think you need to know martial arts if you just want to protect yourself. After all, even the untrained man can knock out an armed assailant with a well-placed punch, right? Well, as it turns out, no—and Norm Bettencourt can tell you why from personal experience.



When most people think of martial arts, they think of Bruce Lee or other well-known martial artists. They probably imagine someone who has devoted their lives training in a traditional martial art, such as karate. While this may be true for some cases,


it is not the only way to learn how to fight–some people have learned street fighting moves on the streets themselves. The best place to get street fighting tips is from someone who knows what it’s like out there on the streets–someone like Norm Bettencourt.


What inspired you to start teaching street fighting?

When I was 18, I got into my first street fight. It was in the middle of the night and it had been raining. The person who assaulted me turned out to be homeless, but I was so angry and scared that it didn’t matter. All I wanted was for him to stop attacking me.