How many times have you seen (in a movie or in real life) someone try to break up a fist fight? Now, I don’t mean to jump in and help a friend, I genuinely mean to break it up. And when you’ve seen this, don’t the guys (I don’t mean to be sexist but it is usually a guy who is fighting) grab their *friend* to stop him fighting? And where are they when they grab him? Why, they are behind him aren’t they? Of course they are! So they are grabbing him from behind! Good move! [major sarcasm alert here] And how do they grab him? By the arm? Or maybe they grab him around the body? Another good move! [even bigger major sarcasm alert here]
What did you just do? Why you helped the person your friend is fighting by preventing your friend from protecting himself. And you surprised and distracted your friend by making what seems like an attack from behind. What’s he going to think? That he’s being attacked from behind right? So don’t be surprised if your friend turns on you at that moment. And don’t be surprised if, just as you try to break up the fight, the other guy lands a major blow on your friend.
Want a better move that will protect your friend without more trouble? Try getting between your friend and the person he is fighting and facing your friend. Try to shield your friend without grabbing him. Don’t forget to hunch your own head and back because you will get hit by the other person. You may also get hit by your friend until he realizes that it’s you. But it’s safer for your friend.
Bottom line: if you go to break up a fight, you have a choice: you can handicap your friend or risk getting hurt for him. I don’t recommend the first choice. The second depends on how good a friend he is.
PS: This discussion is only for fist fights. If weapons are involved, DO NOT do this under ANY circumstances it is *way* too risky for all concerned.