No matter the style of martial art, students of that art train under certain rules. These rules tend to exploit the advantages of the art while downplaying the disadvantages of the art. You should know the strengths and weaknesses of each method of fighting so that, when facing an opponent that uses a different fighting method than your own, you will be able to avoid the strengths and exploit the weaknesses of the opponent's fighting method.
Some martial arts stress avoiding an attack by using body movements and deflecting blocks. Other martial arts stress confronting an attack with hard blocks and strikes. When an avoider fights a striker, the avoider should not attack but make the opponent come after him or her. Striking arts train to fight in close range clashes, so stay outside their range. It is difficult to strike a strategically retreating fighter without making an extraordinary effort. Avoiders should watch for this extraordinary effort and strike when opponent is committed to the attack. Strikers use their hands for blocking and attacking. When the arms or body are being held (clinching), the referee stops the fight and moves the fighters apart since the actions is stopped. By holding and clinching a striker, you remove most of his or her weapons. Kickers need long range, so, when an avoider fights a kicker, the avoider should stay out of range, stay in very close range, or clinch. Quick kicks and punches are difficult to execute from a stationary stance, but the techniques are very powerful. Powerful kicks and punches are difficult to execute from a mobile stance, but the attacks are quick and snappy.
If you are not in a grappling martial art, do not grapple with a grappler. Make them come to you and then counterattack. If taken down, avoid submission holds and attack vulnerable areas as you seek to escape.