Cool, SLR! My former co-worker does that a lot here in town on Thursdays. He too goes to the big events. Another friend of mine back in Austin, Keith Ewing, used to be king of his area. He was just selling a big tent he and the wife realized they were not going to use at an event anytime soon now that they had kids.
Both of these guys are pretty big, but the guy in black is my former co-worker Tony. We used to call him The Mountain. My other co-worker Jeri used to be a hand-to-hand fighting trainer in the Army, while Tony had a few MMA bouts. He used to joke, "You so f*#king big, I'm just going to have to shoot you." I got some lessons in judo from Tony once. He's the nicest guy you would ever meet.
5th or 6th grade. Kid kept kicking me. So one day I grabbed his leg, held it and popped him in the face (not full force), to let him know. He stopped.
Later was saddened about fighting. There are so many other things to do in life. Fighting for no reason or irrational ones is not one of them. Enough savagery in the world and we'll see mans inhumanity to man be born out.
Doesn't mean I wouldn't defend myself, my friends and neighbors, the underdog or my country from invasion.
I've never understood the attraction. Horses are natural jerks.
From the Sherlock Holmes movie: "Dangerous at both ends and crafty in the middle. "
Went to pick up our daughter after school in third grade where all the kids played in the gym while waiting for their parents. I walk into the doorway and start scanning for her and finally spot her with a boy who is clearly annoying her; she doesn't see me though. As I watch, she does a quick look over the boy's shoulder and around to ensure no one is watching, turns her face 180 degrees away from the boy, and then punches him in the face while looking away from him. She then instantly drops her arm and walks away like nothing happened leaving the kid a bawling mess.
It's only then that she spots me and realize she's totally busted. We then have the first of many talks about how hard it get your thinking cap on at times and that as you get older the thinking caps get even more important and harder to get on before you make a bad decision.
I tended bar for nineteen years in a series of less-than-genteel joints. Some nights it was like working at Fight Club.
Our first rule was "nobody calls the cops" because excessive police problems can be grounds for revoking the liquor license.
Every joint had its own "security system", which was usually a stout truncheon (pro tip: a pool cue makes for a crappy weapon). One place had a "house" revolver (Ruger Redhawk .44 Mag, in stainless steel, of course, because it was a food service environment). That place had bullet holes in the walls, concealed behind various pictures and signs.
I've seen a whole bunch of bar fights, and had to participate in more than I ever wanted to, and the one thing I can say about all of them is that nobody ever looks good in a fight. With no rules and no refs, it ain't no sweet science.
I could fill this thread with fight stories, but it'd be like telling a bunch of jokes without punchlines, because they were all stupid.
Tradman, Interesting stories, and I respect your decision vis-à-vis martial arts. I was especially disappointed when I had to stop martial arts because my knees were no longer amused by all the kicks in TKD. I was in my early 60's and had to decide if I loved the disciple more than I loved the thought of being able to walk in my old age. I loved the movement, the forms, the philosophy, and the discipline, though; Master Kim very much emphasized the "mastery of self" in his classes. I never really enjoyed sparring, probably my least favorite part of TKD, although I did it as much as necessary to prepare for various belt tests. As a kid the fight I lost scared my much less than the fight I won.