Fight Club stories (OT)


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Ricky D

Trad climber
Sierra Westside
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 14, 2018 - 08:48pm PT
So my 6 year old Grandson tells me that he had his first honest-to-goodness mammal fight at school the other day. A bold tale of name calling, followed by pushing, then the rising tide of goading from the audience when suddenly - one kid breaks and panic strikes the other with the first real fist of his life. The rest of his breathless story mentioned a lot of hitting, biting and rolling around in the dirt.

The proud Grandpa in me is grinning like a chicken listening to his story, while the proper Grandpa side is thinking about the lecture on how fighting is wrong son.

Then he surprises me by admitting that he got his butt kicked.

That's a heavy admission from anyone, much less a barely 6 year old red-headed kid.

Got me thinking about youth fights in my time. If you were around in the 50's, 60's or 70's, surely you got into fights - schoolyard, playground, bars or crags.
When asked, you can weave great tales of battle and conquest where you won every fight.

But have you ever told about the one where your butt got royally kicked?


Apr 15, 2018 - 05:36am PT
Man this brought back some memories. Yeah I was in grade school in the early 70s and well boys took it to the play ground for sure. I fought this kid probably 10 times over the course of a year. Id win and then I would lose. It was basically a who holds the title all year. So yeah Ive lost and got my butt kicked.

It builds character to taste your own blood streaming out your own nose. I saw that kid probably 5 years ago and we had some good laughs. Kids I think still need to take to the playground and fight it out. It settled that beef right then and there.

Big Wall climber
Bitter end of a bad anchor
Apr 15, 2018 - 05:44am PT
How about the time at the Roller Rink in Bellingham when an honest-to-goodness rumble broke out. It was probably 1971? I was hanging with some bad kids,breaking into cars and generally getting into trouble around this time - just another punk.

A few of us came out after roller-skating (a lot of roll-by flirting)and there was 2 groups of kids having a full-on stand-off out back. My "friends" and I joined the group on one side and joined in on the general boyish bravado...except this time it got out of hand.

Before I knew it, the groups clashed. They had chains and sticks and various other cudgeling weaponry (no knives that I saw). I went behind my bigger neighbor kid, but he dodged right when he saw someone he wanted a few rounds with, leaving me exposed. Some kid next to me got whacked in the jaw with a set of brass knuckles (where did kids get this stuff in Bellingham?)and went down hard.
I turned tail and ran away as fast as I could and never looked back.

A few years later when we took a trip to Tijuana, I thought of this fight and bought a switchblade that worked for about 2 months before it broke.


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 15, 2018 - 08:30am PT
Throughout grade school I was always the second biggest kid. I never felt the need to prove
anything. I had a 15 second fight in 4th grade. I swung and he ducked. My knuckles met the
brick wall behind him. Thats when I learned what a knucklehead was.

The only kid bigger than me, who eventually got a scholarship to play football at Ohio St,
was even less inclined than me to be a tough guy. He was a really nice person, but on the
football field he was a monster.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Apr 15, 2018 - 09:39am PT
I'm in a fight club now, but we do full-contact, armored medieval fighting.

Some groups use blunt steel weapons, but we're a little less hardcore and instead use wooden weapons that are basically baseball bats. So our armor is geared towards protecting you from getting pummeled by baseball bats - wide plate steel with padding underneath, and really heavy steel helmets. We forge and make all of our own armor. My fighting armor kit weighs 72 pounds. Try running around in the woods or a field and fighting in 72 pounds of armor! Especially when it's 90 degrees and 90% humidty!

We still get a lot of broken bones and concussions and BIG bruises. You can cover you whole body in armor but then you can't move, so there is always exposed skin. And when you get hit in an exposed location.... I've been to the ER several times with a dislocated shoulder or other injuries when I got my ass kicked.

Here's a picture of me in battle (left of center, with the black-red-white emblem), about to lay down some misery with my big club. We had about 1,000 fighters on each side for this mle, 2,000 total! One side had red tape on their helmets, the other side had blue tape.
Society for Creative Anachronism &#40;SCA&#41;
Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA)
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat

And some good videos of heavy fighting:


Trad climber
Apr 15, 2018 - 09:55am PT
Ohhh my kid years were filled with various scuffles. The first shot I took was from my slightly older brother square in the nose. It kinda rattled me. Soon I was bigger than him and the little scuffles we got into stopped.

The school district I went to was a little rough with a fair bit of redneck. I began getting into fights. A few memorable ones. I had one that seemed to last forever. At one point I dropped the kid and jumped on him and started some ground-n-pound. I let him up and he swung at me and I dropped him again. Then it was over. But I had broken my hand either off his head or off the pavement. I won though.

Another time I got into it with this other kid and this time it was a little different, I got dropped. Got up a little dazed and he unloaded on me and man did he hit hard. I had to kinda cover up and turn out of the way and admit defeat. In school I avoided him for some time.

I think fights in your kid years are fine and good experiences. I haven't been in one since and hope to keep it that way.


Ricky D

Trad climber
Sierra Westside
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 15, 2018 - 10:51am PT
Holy crap Rat...thats some fighting!

Surprised you don't also have Dire Wolves and Mastiffs.

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Apr 15, 2018 - 01:04pm PT
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Early 50s.

No idea what the provocation was.

Me, the first grade, him in grade 5 or 6. Him trying to shake me off his ankle.

But the surprise, to me: he and his buddies were favorably impressed and left me feeling that I had won something.

Works fine with fists or ankle-biters, but does not translate to a good way to deal with armed conflict.

Apr 15, 2018 - 02:05pm PT
SLR, do your 'sides' integrate into maneuver units (phalanx, flying wedge)? And what's the protocol for combat-ineffective, when you're rendered prone?

Cool stuff. The three opfor at around 1:50 of the helmet cam vid showed good discipline.

edit: Outstanding! Thanks.

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 15, 2018 - 03:37pm PT
SLR. I attended one rennisance festivle as a photographer and had a blast! Looks way cool but I am so over full contact fighting! I did pay 5 bucks at the festivle to fence with a fencing school instructor who had a booth. He obviously was toying with me the whole time which was a bit humbling when thinking back to my days of being reasonably good at that sort of thing..

Had the usual scuffels as a kid growing up but for 20+ years as a young adult was heavily into martial arts. A fair number of challenge matches over the years in the traditional style of rivalry between different dojos. Many of these were bare knuckle affairs but often we would be fully kitted up in whatever sparring gear was popular at the time.
The most memorable challange match for me was the time that I stopped by the rec center in Rutland VT to visit a friend who taught a karate class there. I was on my way to meet a girl and just popped in to say hi. Some dude walked up to me and introduced himself asking If I was Nick Goldsmith. I affirmed that I was. He said " I have heard of you, go get your gear." He was rather insistant so I went out to the car and got my duffel, went in the locker room and suited up with cup, mouth guard, karate GI (funny japanese pajamas) Bruce Lee fingerless gloves and the Chuck Norris foam sparring booties that were popular in the day. We bowed to each other and commenced with the dance. I promptly dropped him with a liver kick, went back to the locker room and towled off. there was not enough sweat to bother with a shower. I then went to meet the girl. Wish I could say that went as well as the fight... A few days later the phone rings and it is the same guy wanting a rematch. We meet in a park in Rutland only this time I have a hangover that would kill a horse. Again we get dressed up in our funny pajama suits and bow to each other. We commence to beating the snot out of each other for a solid 45 min. I knocked him down solidly 3 times. Once with a right hand and twice with jump spinning back kicks. I let him up each time as us Karate guys were not into ground fighting before 1991 when we had our Gracie wake up call. He did hurt me a few times. I know I had a decent shiner from a spinning back fist and he hurt me to the body pretty good but I was a master at not showing emotion or pain so he never knew how close he was to winning from the body kick. Finally we were both pretty gassed but still squared off and ready to fight. I piped in with. " we can keep going or we can go to the bar and have a cold beer" His answer " Beer sounds good but I am good to keep going" I came back with " well I can keep going but a beer sounds good" We did that dance back and forth enough times with both of us in our silly karate stances with our karate pajamas the whole time until we both felt that accepting the beer would not mean that we had conceded the match. We then proceded to get compltly and totally hammered at one of the many bars in rutland. Telling and retelling our battle stories and then finally dragging our sorry asses home to our various lifes,jobs etc. I don't remember his name but I do remember that he attended as a student the Karate class that I was teaching in Killington for the rest of that summer.
Credit: tradmanclimbs
Training in the snow for 4th dan

4 Corners Area
Apr 15, 2018 - 03:41pm PT
The first rule of Fight Club is, nobody talks about fight club.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Apr 15, 2018 - 03:43pm PT
SLR, do your 'sides' integrate into maneuver units (phalanx, flying wedge)? And what's the protocol for combat-ineffective, when you're rendered prone?

Yes, we have individual groups around the world who practice year-round, organized into kingdoms. Every August there is a major war for 2 weeks, just north of Pittsburgh. Leading up to the war, kingdoms start practicing together under the War Lord.

We have multiple types of battles - open field battles, town battles, castle battles, bridge battles, and woods battles. We have fighting strategies and maneuvers for each type of scenario that we practice, especially for narrow-front battles like bridges and towns.

We try to be chivalrous, and we don't intend to harm each other. It's a gentleman's sport.

So you can't hit anyone from behind, and you're off limits if you're down on the ground, until you get back on your feet and signal that you're ready to fight again.

If you're down on the ground because you're dead, then you turtle up, expect to get trampled, and wait for the referees to start yelling "DEAD OUT!" at which point you make your way off the battlefield.

It's a self-correcting gentleman's sport. If you violate the rules, you get subjected to a very unpleasant and painful beat-down by everyone in the group you offended.

Tradman, we always get rip-roaring hammered on meade with our adversaries every night. We always have a cold keg of Smithwick's in our camp, and our enemies are always welcome to help us drain it.

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Apr 15, 2018 - 04:03pm PT
SLR, that looks like the sport that football didn't have enough testosterone to be.

For me: When I was in 5th grade, an 8th grader used to sit behind me and bully me on the bus- ear flicking, that sort of thing. After a few days of me trying harder to not respond and him escalating to hitting me in the back of the head, I turned around and punched him in the nose. He bled and cried, his friends threatened to kill me, and I got suspended from school for 3 days. But he never bothered me again.

In junior high, one of my friends had 2 pairs of boxing gloves, and his mom used to slice oranges for us to eat and then use the peels as mouth guards while we boxed in his front yard. I guess that is a sort of fight club? I took a solid upper cut to the jaw once, not fully unconscious but on my knees and not caring about anything else in the world except that throbbing in my head. Man that hurt for the rest of that day!

When I was in high school, I came extremely close to exchanging blows with a friend. We were chest to chest and both big eyes and pissed off, and I guess you can say I was intimidated. The guy probably outweighed me by 20 pounds at least, pretty solid, and I didn't want to get hit. I turned around to walk away and he pushed me in the back. That was that. We became friends again, and I cried at the wake after he blew his head off maybe a year later. I cried many more times over the years when hearing a particular song that would remind me of him.

As an adult I've never had a need to be in an altercation, but one time: I was 20-something, at a New Year's Eve party my wife had helped organize. One of the friends-of-a-friend got overly drunk and belligerent and started pushing people around. Other people tried to calm him down but he wasn't having any of it. My wife implored me to do something, so I put him in a full nelson and carried him outside. No fists flying, no blood. He was 5'6" and I'm 6'1", so it didn't require much in the way of skill or heroics on my part.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Apr 15, 2018 - 04:05pm PT
Some groups use blunt steel weapons, and their fights are a lot more violent. I'm twice the age of most people I fight, but too old for the really violent sh#t.

The Battle of Nations fights are smaller because there aren't many people who want to get into that ring.


Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 15, 2018 - 04:17pm PT
SlR. Are there are some kind of rules about how your swords can be constructed??? What constitutes dead??

A few times over the years I have slapped submission holds on people who desperately needed calming down but never as an adult have I had to strike someone outside of a formal martial arts situation.

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 15, 2018 - 04:27pm PT
those eastern Europeans looked pretty seriously nuts!
Off White

Tenino, WA
Apr 15, 2018 - 04:56pm PT
Wow, that's really off the hook Sir Ledge Rat! As an aside, did you ever read Dies The Fire by SM Stirling? Post apocalyptic story set in the NW with a funny premise and kind of ham handed writing, but the relevant point is that in a world where electricity, internal combustion, and gunpowder no longer work due to some mysterious physics alteration, those folks with SCA backgrounds became high value rockstars. I think the only SCA event I saw was pretty light, nothing like the kind of brawl ya'll enjoy. Thanks for the stories and videos!
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Apr 15, 2018 - 05:48pm PT
Are there are some kind of rules about how your swords can be constructed??? What constitutes dead??
Yes, there is a 3-4 month apprenticeship period before you are authorized to fight outside of practice, where you learn all about armor and weapon requirements, and rules of conduct. All armor and weapons have to be inspected by referees before each and every fight.

Ice climber
Apr 15, 2018 - 05:51pm PT
Junior High School. I (grappler) squared off with JB (puncher). He got in the first shot. Split my face just above the eyebrow. A one and done deal as I headed down to the doctor to get it stitched up.

Strategy going forward, don't let somebody get in the first punch, get 'em down on the ground and choke 'em out. It's worked reasonably (is getting in fights reasonable?) well since.

Not a fight, but my two buddies were riding double on a horse when Billy slipped off the back and the horse kicked him right in the balls.

Another trip to the doctor was in order, but at least he wasn't bleeding.

Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Apr 15, 2018 - 06:06pm PT
I've never understood the attraction. Horses are natural jerks.
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