If for some reason you wanted some asshole’s inexpert explanation of various justifications for antifascist action to link to, here’s one.
Critical to any understanding of fascism and fascist-aligned movements is how they rely on empowerment through patriarchal masculinity. That is, fascism relies heavily on presenting its opponents as feminine or feminized. It declares that current society is feminized. It offers a way to regain masculinity through purging the feminized elements of society. It emphasizes individual patriarchal heroes that, in fascist understandings and mythologies, imposed their will upon the world. Fascists tend to operate with cultish masculinity, rituals of manliness.
You know what really tears apart these pretensions and these ideas? Getting your ass kicked by one of the feminized enemy. The hero-myth falters, the manliness conferred on you is shattered, and the very idea of masculinity is called into question because the girly society is proving itself stronger.
In addition, fascism relies on the belief that society can be divided into the Volk and the enemy. The Volk all stand behind fascism, and the fascist, or specifically their Fuhrer/Duce/Caudillo-figure, is able to interpret the Volk’s will inherently.
Getting their ass beaten and not seeing anyone foam at the mouth to track down and murder their tormentor? A spear jabbed into that complex of ideas. So is getting their ass beaten and people making fun of them for crying on TV, which ties back into the fragile masculinity as well.
Fascism also heavily believes in the triumph of the will over crude matter, that they will win because they want to. Losing disrupts that, and there’s only so much self-purification you can do before final victory becomes untenable.
So, punching Nazis is a huge attack on Nazi ideology. You might say, “yeah, but has anyone ever actually stopped being a Nazi because they caught one right on the schnozz?” and while there are anecdotal examples. we can say that the historical fortunes of the NSDAP, the Nazi Party proper, depended on their ability to provide victories and empower their members. When they ran low on funds, when they lost major street battles, when they lost seats in the Reichstag, they lost membership in both the party and in the SA/SS.
Punching Nazis isn’t solely about the simpler factors like self-defense or the broad ethical factors. There’s also an ideological-psychological reason for doing it. Anyways, keep your thumbs out of your firsts, and swing low.