I don’t know if I remember my very first fight or not. I can tell you about the first fight that I remember. I was a very small kid growing up, tall and skinny. I came from a poor family, no father, my mother was a psychopath, I had bucked teeth, was quiet, enjoyed school, and had very few friends. I know, I know, sob story of the year. None of this is to pull sympathy from you. Despite all of this I remember being fairly happy. My brother was my best friend, and we had more good times together than I can count. But all of the above deficiencies were reason enough for bullies to pick on me. I was constantly getting pushed around or having people call me names, but I rarely if ever defended myself. I figured that if I just took it, it would be over quicker. I’ve learned since, that is complete bullshit! If you take it, you”ll just get more of it.
Bullies, assholes, and stupid people in general are like rivers. They always take the path of least resistance. If you fight back, you pose a challenge. They don’t want a challenge. The want a punching back (both verbal and physical). The worst advice I ever got as a kid was “Just walk away.” The advice I should have gotten would be to stand your ground. Fight back. If they want to kick your ass, make them work for it. Don’t hand it to them on a silver platter. Which brings us to the first fight that I can remember.
I was being picked on by some bully in my class in the third grade. We were at recess and he had been calling me names and pushing me around. Finally he tripped me and I fell to the ground. He walked away laughing as the bell rang to go inside. We all lined up outside of the door, ready for our teacher to lead us inside. In what would be a somewhat rare occurrence for me, my pure rage got the better of my common sense and fear. I don’t know if my memory of this day is blurry because I was so high on adrenaline, or because it was so long ago. Doesn’t matter. So I walked up towards the line, bent over while on the way, picked up a handful of sand from the playground (which was almost entirely sand), and walked straight up to that fucking bully. I tapped him on the shoulder, and when he turned around I threw the entire handful of sand in his eyes. As he screamed, and rubbed at his eyes I proceeded to kick him in the stomach. When he fell to the ground I fell on top of him and did my best to rain down blows upon him. Of course my tiny little fists probably felt more comical than anything, but he was already hurt. The point had been made. “Fuck You!!!”
While he still made the occasional remark about me for the rest of our years in school together, he never laid his hands on me again. I put up a resistance. He moved on to other targets in our class who just took it. That day taught me one of the most valuable lessons in my life. It’s just a shame that I always seemed to forget it. Fortunately, many people chose to pick fights with me over the years, and that gave me plenty of opportunities to remember what I had learned.
Of course I’ve had my ass kicked many more times than I’ve done the kicking. Other than the fact that I usually weigh about half of what my assailant does, the reason I can’t defend myself well enough is because I need that rush of adrenaline. It’s only when I am completely overcome with rage that I can take any beating. I can beat any attacker, because I don’t even realize that they’re hurting me. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that amount of pure anger, and it’s also been a long time since I’ve been a fight. I guess both are good things. I would assume that the only thing that could work me up to that level at this point would be a threat against my wife or kids. For example…many years ago, before my wife and I were even married, we were living together. We had a basement apartment with another girl, and lived below two more girls and a guy. We all decided to have a party one night, and a friend of mine brought over a friend of his. Well his friend got wasted and after a few rude interchanges with my wife decided that he was going to smart off to her and get in her face. I don’t have that clear of a memory of what happened next, but I’m told by people who were there that I sprang up and was at his throat in a split second. Apparently I was screaming and doing everything I could to get at him. Unfortunately 2 or, according to some versions of the story, 3 guys were holding me back as this guy literally went running from the house. He ran from a 120 pound 19 year old.
On the reverse of that is the story of my last fight. It was almost 5 years ago. Two of my friends and I were all hanging out in a garage. Drinking a few beers, playing guitar, having a good ol’ time. We were all in a band together at the time and it was proposed that it might bring us closer together as friends and bandmates if we were to fight each other. Basically have a fight club in the garage. yes, beer can lead to some GREAT decision making skills. Nevertheless we decided it was a good enough idea and we went to work on each other. One of these friends outweighed the other two of us by probably 100-115 pounds and was also about six inches taller. He made quick work of both of us. I walked away from that with two broken ribs, and my fair share of bruises.
So what’s the moral of the story? Only fight when you have to, and make damn sure that it’s over something worth fighting for. If you’re not completely committed you’ll get destroyed. If you’re fighting for a principle, or for a loved one, then you have all the power in the world. When in doubt, bring up every last scrap of rage that you have. Get your heart pumping, get your mind racing. Get all of that adrenaline in you to numb the pain. Just stay standing and keep pounding until the other guy isn’t. Also, there is no honor in fighting. You’re physically attacking another human being. You couldn’t resolve it with words and are now resorting to the means of a savage. Why at that point would honor even come into it? People say it’s cheap to kick them in the balls? I say it’s cheap to fight in the first place, so if you’re going to go, go all out. I’ve kicked guys in the balls, thrown the aforementioned sand, sucker punched, scratched at eyes, and even pulled hair. Well, that last one is a misstatement. I didn’t pull it, I grabbed it. A guy’s long hair can make a great handle for you to guide him towards your fist. Use weapons. Do whatever you have to. I once picked up a guy’s bike and threw it at him on a basketball court.
On a slight sidenote…it hurts when you punch someone in the face. This may seem like common sense to some, but I still remember the first time I punched someone in the face. It hurt like crazy and I was so shocked by it. I assumed it would only hurt him, but remember that his bones are hitting yours with the exact same momentum that your bones are moving towards his. That’s why it’s best to punch in the stomach. It also increases the chances that they’ll be convulsing to much to fight back. At that point, you can just kick them a few times to make sure that they don’t get up again.
I’m not condoning fighting. I think a good discussion is the way to handle most things, but if you can’t talk it out, then get brutal. Get dirty and dishonest. Just make sure that whatever your fighting for is worth it.