September 4, 2022

How Much Does Height Matter In A Fight?

Have you ever thought before getting into a physical altercation with someone who is taller than you? Did you ever think about or doubted your chances of winning the fight? Does it play a role in such a situation?

These are the questions which most of us have had at some point in our lives. 

The main advantage of possessing an edge over height is, reach. A tall person usually has longer arms as compared to a short or an average height person. This trait gives them an additional advantage over their opponent. 

The issue in contention here is, does that mean that the shorter person does not stand a chance? 

The answer is NO!

Height certainly has its advantages, but it does not entirely negate the chances of the shorter person winning in a fight. A shorter person can still win a fight with a taller person if he has the right skills.

Short people are usually more agile and nimble-footed, which gives them some advantage as well. They can evade an attack by a taller person and then lay a counter-attack on them.

Since we now have a basic understanding of the subject, let us dwell more in-depth into the topic and answer more questions related to the advantages of height. In the following paragraphs, we will try and break down the technical aspects of height. This will give you a comprehensive idea about the topic and also help clear doubts and questions which brought you here. 

Let us now jump into the advantages and disadvantages of having a good height in a fight.

Advantages of having a good height in a Fight

Height certainly has numerous advantages when it comes to a fight. Having a reasonable height is something which everyone aspires to possess.

The odds are more in favour of a person with a height advantage rather than a shorter person. Let us now carefully understand these advantages in a detailed manner.

Better Reach

This essentially translates to the fact that when it comes to a street fight or a fight in general, then, a tall person can hit his opponent while maintaining a safe distance from him. This becomes possible due to the fact that a taller person has longer arms and legs, which give him the reach to lay blows on the other person. 

This extended reach advantage is not only useful in street fights but also in martial arts and boxing. 

Art of Intimidation

Another advantage of having a superior height is Intimidation. A tall person can menace and intimidate his opponent as he looks more significant.

Tall people have the upper hand as they can easily terrorize their opponent with their dominant and assertive body built. In such a scenario, the shorter height person may get threatened and lose confidence.


Tall people boast more confidence in comparison to a short person.

When a tall person gets into a fight, his mental state is much more stable as he knows that he already has a height advantage over his opponent. In such a scenario, the shorter person might lose confidence and therefore end up losing the fight even before it starts.

Kicking Advantage

Tall people are blessed with long legs which gives them an added advantage when it comes to kicking. A kick, if rightly placed and timed, can knock down a person or at the least injure him to an extent which will render him incapacitated to continue with the fight.

Kicks are vital in a fight, and a tall person has the upper hand whenever it comes to kicking.

Thumping Advantage

Another very important advantage a tall person has is that his Kicks and blows have a high thumping impact. This is again due to the fact that tall people have longer arms and legs, which has a whip-like effect. This means that the blows are both brutal and hefty at the same time. 

Everything in this world has pros and cons. And height is no exception. While having a good height gives you a particular advantage over your opponents, it also takes away some. 

In the coming paragraphs, we will try to decode the disadvantages associated with having a good height in a fight. We will discuss the drawbacks and snags of having a superior height in a fight.

Disadvantages of having a good Height in a fight

Lesser Ground Advantage

A street fight or a fight in general also involves taking down your opponent and pinning him/her to the ground. In such a scenario, the taller person might find it challenging to get back onto his feet again.

This is due to the fact that a taller person has a bigger body built which restricts him from doing so and therefore, he is not very agile. 


Grappling is something which is inseparable from a fight. It involves manoeuvring the opponent in such a way that keeps him on the ground. It is highly useful in close range. Grappling not only gives you a corporal advantage over your opponent but also helps you in wearing them out.

People who are involved in the fight, try to grapple their opponent, which tires them and makes them fatigued. A tall person has a little counter to offer when he is roughed up against the ground. 


Posture, as well, is a very important factor when it comes to martial arts and fights. Posture is a way a person operates in his day to day life. This includes walking, running, sitting, standing etc. So, it is basically the way the body of a person functions or performs.

A tall, lanky person has a natural posture which does not go with the average position recommended in a fight scene. The off-centre posture of a tall person makes it difficult for him to maintain the balance of his feet.

Longer Reaction Time

Fighting is all about reacting to the maneuvers and blows offered by your opponent. The body structure of a tall person makes it difficult for him to counter the impacts of his opponent. The reaction time also is higher in case of taller persons due to their build. In such a scenario, a short heighted person has the upper hand as he can use this time to lay more fatal blows to his opponent in a shorter span of time.

Lesser Punching Power

A very important arena in which a person with a greater height lacks is the punching power. People who have shorter height have a greater punching power; just look at Joe Frazier or Mike Tyson. When you carefully notice their fighting styles, you will find that they do not have a nice reach but they use the power in their punches to the next level. The punches are very fast and explosive.

The reason why short height people have more punching power are listed below:

  1. More Muscle Mass – More muscle mass is directly proportional to higher punching power and that is something that people with greater height lack.
  2. Leg Muscle – When a person with a short height is facing a taller opponent, he/she punches them from below going upwards. This punch is very deadly as they utilise the leg muscle to generate more power.
  3. Faster Body Rotation – The leaner you are, the quicker you will be able to rotate your  body. Hence the strikes will be more powerful. The shorter people are always more agile than the ones with bigger height.

The Verdict

Having a reasonable height is a gift, and it’s advantages in a fight are numerous. You have a better reach, more confidence, and you might even manage to overawe your opponent with your body build and structure. 

Although it is also very important to understand that having a good height is like a double-edged sword, it comes with its own impediments and hindrances. The main obstacle to this is being slow. 

Yes, tall people can be sluggish and torpid at times which makes them vulnerable to quick attacks and blows. Anyone who understands this can use it to their advantage to stun or daze their opponent. 

So where does skill come into play? Is skill relevant when it comes to a fight, or is it inconsequential to the outcome of the fight?

The answer is that skill is the key. A person can be tall, but he can lack self defense skills which in turn will make him weak in front of any opponent. On the other hand, a short person with skill can very much get the advantage over a tall opponent. 

If you have the necessary fighting skills, combined with the art of laying blows and grappling then your height or weight is just an added perk to your cause. 

Another very important aspect of fighting is keeping and maintaining your calm and being unruffled in any adverse situation. Your brain is the place where everything is controlled, so you have to hold your mind.

Having a courageous and brave mindset which remains restrained in any situation is just as important as your skill.

Eugene Hardy

Eugene is a professional Muay Thai fighter, with several years of experience. Also, a black belt holder. He actively participates in tournaments and provides training to his students. Eugene started this blog to share his experiences with Martial Arts.

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