Is It Possible For A Human Being To Fight A Lion And Win?

Can human beings fight a lion and win? This question has probably crossed your mind at least once. We can’t help our natural curiosity!

Is It Possible For A Human Being To Fight A Lion And Win

But if we were to seriously consider this question, is it even possible? Well, in this article, we’ll be having a look into the true plausibility of this concept.

From Boy To Man

In certain African tribes, killing a lion has been a rite of passage for boys to become men.

But to get to the stage where they would kill the lion, the boys would go through years of training, usually from a very young age, and then when the time came, they would be equipped with the correct knowledge and weapons to do so.

More often than not, the boys were told that if they didn’t kill the lion, they couldn’t come home.

This rite of passage put everything on the line for them, so they went out with the instinct to fight and kill, so they could return home.

They usually had some form of a spear, ranging from long to short, and they’d know exactly when the correct time to strike would be.

The humans would have an advantage in this situation because they would have suitable tools and weapons, and because they would have been trained from a young age, they would be equipped when it came to facing the lion.

If you were to just go up against a lion with no training and no knowledge, unless you were really, really lucky, you’d just end up as an afternoon snack for the lion.

Knowing Where To Strike

So if your luck is pretty bad, and when it comes to fighting a lion inexperienced, it will be, you need to rely on knowledge in order to successfully kill a lion.

If you were ever in a situation where you did need to fight and kill a lion, your best target would be right alongside the neck.

But lions have manes and the manes are there to protect them, so even if you did manage to sneak up on one, it wouldn’t be an easy feat to defeat one.

But one thing humans have now that these tribes didn’t were guns. If it really came down to fighting for your life, guns would help you considerably.

A huge part of your success in fighting a lion is bravery. You might not think of this off the top of your head as being important, but if you were to face the beast head on, without bravery you wouldn’t get very far.

You may still be killed by the lion regardless, but if you stand your ground and show courage, this will take you a long way.

When we are too scared, all we want to do is bury our heads in the sand or run away. Showing bravery helps you to concentrate more and goes against your flight response.

Fighting A Lion With Your Bare Hands

Is It Possible For A Human Being To Fight A Lion And Win

So, with weapons such as spears and guns, we know it is possible for humans to fight a lion and win. But how about with your bare hands?

In short, the answer is no. Lions are ridiculously strong and are equipped with sharp claws and teeth. Humans, on the other hand, don’t have these advantages. Lions are natural hunters and apex predators, the wild is their domain.

Your best bet in a situation where you only have your hands and no weapons would be to attempt to gouge the lion’s eyes out.

It sounds brutal, but this could temporarily shock the lion because of the pain it would be feeling, as well as knock out one of its most important senses; sight.

Whilst the lion is currently trying to recover from the pain and shock, your best course of action would be to run away as fast as you can.

But be warned, lions can run up to 50 miles per hour and they can leap 30 feet in front of them, so you didn’t hurt them enough or they still had their sight, once they recovered, they would come straight after you… and they would catch up without a problem.

Evening The Odds

The best way to even your chances against a lion would be to get a weapon of some sort. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a gun.

As stated in the part of the article about the boys in tribes, spears would help you out tremendously.

It would help your odds even more if you were trained to use it, but even if you aren’t, having it at your disposal against a lion could keep you alive longer and keep the lion from causing you harm.

Spears are what allowed humans to become the top of the food chain apex predators in the first place, so keep that in mind if you ever need to use one.

Even a shield would increase your odds because you would be able to better protect yourself.

Melee weapons in general give you a much better chance of defeating a lion in combat. It gives you more force, more reach, and less chance of the lion overpowering you. But you still have to be careful.

If you’re not trained in melee weapons, it might be a bit of a learning curve, but if your survival instinct kicked in, you’d be surprised how far a spear would get you.


So we have established in this article that yes, a human can fight a lion and win, but not without the help of weapons.

Fighting with just your bare hands will put you at a major disadvantage and won’t really increase your chances of beating the lion.

They are agile, adept hunters, who have a strength that ultimately surpasses the human being.

The most intelligent thing to do really is to avoid getting into fights with a lion. Unless you have the life long training, your odds of beating a lion in combat are very, very slim!

Joe Edwards