and realize that not only HOW... but what you punch is equally important. For instance... crack him in the jaw which is moveable, thus highly unlikely to damage your hand... and that's where the "button" is anyway. However, if you hit him in the forhead because he ducked... your hand will suffer.
Learn combinations and recognize that not every punch is meant to knock your opponent out. Sometimes punches are used to keep your opponnent at a distance, other punches are used to keep him off balance, others are a set up for an upcoming combination.
I find that most people on the street don't know what to do beyond a single punch. If you clock a dude several times in a combination, if he isn't unconscious... he's scared. Chances are that he's never been hit 3 or 4 times in a second. Then, while he's still stunned that you just did that... ktfo baby!
Also, in a street fight... there are no rules. Hit him in the throat and it's over, (just get the hell out of there before the police come).
If you're in a fight in a public place... while you beat his ass, yell repeatedly... "get off of me... let me go... quit hitting me." That way, if the police end get involved... all the witnesses will remember is that you kept telling him to get off of you, or stop hitting you. Now this is B.S. because you were kicking his ass, but people are wierd in what they remember from stressfull situations... and this little tidbit will be your alibi for self-defense, rather than going to jail for assult.
Finally, if there are bouncers at a club that you frequent... make sure they're on your side. Tip them, buy them a round for when they get off, talk to them... whatever. Just make sure they're on your side. That way, if something breaks out, you're golden.
Finally, another tip. If you're in a club and some dude is starting shit and you don't want a fight... calmly stand up tall, raise your hand in the air and point at him. You'd be suprised how much this jesture stands out from a crowd, thus getting the bouncers attention... and guess what? They'll be looking at what you're pointing at, (the dickhead you want thrown out).
Also, get on youtube and search Bas Rutten Bar Fights. Bas has a bunch of videos on streetfighting tactics and how to win a bar/street fight.
Again, just remember to get the hell out of there as soon as the fight is over... even before your opponent starts twitching on the ground. If you drill a dude in the adam's apple and immediately walk away... nobody will remember who layed that dude out. However, if you stick around to gloat... everybody will remember and you'll have malicious wounding on your arrest record.
One last tip... go to the bank and get a roll of pennies that is in one of those plastic/saran-wrap type rolls... not the paper. Just carry this in your pocket. If shit hits the fan, just squeeze it tightly in your dominant hand and drop the dude. The coins will support the bones in your hand, reducing the chance for damage, and the added weight drastically increases your knockout power.
Now, all that being said... I hate fighting. I've got a pretty long fuse and it takes a lot to get me to fight. 99.9% of situations are avoidable. Read the room, know your surroundings and pre-identify the pricks. Fights are just stupid (unless it's consentual, sanctioned and in a ring). You never know who has a
, a gun, or 10 friends with them.