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"I Do It for the Hugs Afterward."
February 10, 2011 3:01 PM   Subscribe

Geeks Trading Punches, Captured on Film: Oft-publicized Gentleman's Fight Club endures, and is now captured in a ten-minute film. Previously on MeFi.
posted by darth_tedious (56 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I dunno, more power to them and all, but there's a difference between escapism and escaping. They're still in the rat race. They're still rats.
posted by alex_skazat at 3:23 PM on February 10, 2011


I like the tags. I like that these guys are having fun; laughing. We don't laugh as much as we should.

And of course they're still in the rat race. We're all in the rat race.
posted by Fraxas at 3:25 PM on February 10, 2011


Next meetup. Anyone in?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 3:28 PM on February 10, 2011


It'll be great. I'll punch Cortex in the kidney and Jessamyn will knock one of my teeth out, and then we'll all hug.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 3:28 PM on February 10, 2011


Jessamyn will fuck you up.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:29 PM on February 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


We could pad up and wail away with banhammers.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 3:30 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Instead of a MeTa thread we all just run around in the woods in nerf bats and paintguns until we're all tired and ready for juice and chips.
posted by The Whelk at 3:34 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lightning bolt, lightning bolt, lightning bolt!
posted by Splunge at 3:45 PM on February 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


Well, good for them since they all seem to like it, but "I do it for the hugs afterwards"? Here's a shortcut: You can just hug. Hugs club just doesn't have the same ring, though, eh?

Also, you do not have to be a "highly trained athlete" to fight full-contact longer than a one minute round. You have to train some, and yes, being tired sucks, but it is not out of your reach, Gentlemen. These guys have conquered their fear of being hit, but apparently not their fear of "jock stuff." Which is probably why they're in the garage instead of a muay Thai gym.
posted by ignignokt at 3:57 PM on February 10, 2011


The trick is to not live such a sheltered existence in the first place that one feels the need to stage microbursts of violence to restore some sense of actually existing.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:59 PM on February 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


Ass-kickers don't fantasize about working for Yahoo no matter how much people that work for Yahoo would like to believe that they do.
posted by vapidave at 4:05 PM on February 10, 2011


You can just hug. Hugs club just doesn't have the same ring, though, eh?


NAKED Hug Clubs on the other hand ...well.
posted by The Whelk at 4:11 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Was one guy beating up another guy with gigantic 7-11 coffee mugs?

The scars looked real, but the coffee mug battle was... are they joking?
posted by GuyZero at 4:13 PM on February 10, 2011


I didn't think they were mugs; I thought they were dust busters. Really.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 4:26 PM on February 10, 2011


My sad brain read "...nerf bats and paintguns..." as "nerd bats and plantains".
posted by sutt at 4:36 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


that's even better.
posted by The Whelk at 4:36 PM on February 10, 2011


What a bunch of idiots.
posted by mrnutty at 4:53 PM on February 10, 2011


I think it came off as a pretty honest look at the people who do this, and for that, I enjoyed the mini-doc. And I won't lie, my muscles were twitching the whole time. I'm not tough or anything, but this kind of thing appeals to me in a way that other sports doesn't.

When the one guy said that he does it for the hugs after, I feel like I understand, if only because of the earned trust. I don't want to glorify this from the civility of my home office, but I get it.
posted by hanoixan at 4:55 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Arrrgh! You got plantain in my eye! That's the eye I'm not supposed to get plantain in!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:56 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I got into a fight once, or, to be more accurate, some guy in the street tried to grab my bag, and instead of doing the smart thing and letting him have it, I put up a fight. It didn't last very long, I managed to avoid getting punched in the face for a while, and I managed to hit him a couple of times, but eventually I got stuck in a head lock, and this guy I didn't know was punching me in the face over and over again, and all I could think was that people get killed by guys they don't know, and how many times would he have to hit me before my nose broke.

So I finally started screaming, and he finally took off, and watching this? It looks like a really fun hobby and all? But hearing that one guy go on about people who say they've never been in a fight not being willing to risk themselves and how they need to build courage or whatever?

Man, fuck that guy. Maybe someone'll come in down the thread with accounts of fights that haven't been scary painful shit they didn't want to be happening to them, and that's just fine and dandy, but I've been in one fight and if it had never happened, nothing of value would have been lost.

Seriously, fuck that guy.
posted by emperor.seamus at 5:35 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


As an ex-bouncer I've been in a few fights. Getting hit is not fun. Hitting is not fun. If you thinks it's some kind of sport (this includes boxing et.al.) you're a moron. I have permanent damage to my cervical vertebrae due to a major fight. This includes crackling when I turn my head and shooting pains in my shoulders.

Gentlemen my ass. Idiots more like it.
posted by Splunge at 6:01 PM on February 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


I get frustrated with my job and traffic and all the other crap that everyone puts up with on a daily basis. But I'm pretty sure physical violence isn't the way to deal with it. I can't decide if Splunge is right and they're idiots or if they are sociopaths.

One other thought...

MetaFilter: Jessamyn will fuck you up.

What? You knew someone was gonna do it...
posted by ElDiabloConQueso at 6:09 PM on February 10, 2011


A sociopath wouldn't allow himself to be in this situation. So go with idiot.
posted by Splunge at 6:39 PM on February 10, 2011


Idiots. Splunge is bang-on. Fighting is only to ever to be resorted to out of self-defense, or in aiding someone in danger. Martial arts and boxing have their place, and the training and structure involved in those disciplines creates an appropriate environment where the risk involved can be reasonably militated. What those dipsticks are up to is just ignorant.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 6:57 PM on February 10, 2011


Although like mentioned in previous threads, this does bare an awful resemblance to the game me and brother would play, which was I'm So Fucking Bored Lets Hit Each other With Brooms And Run Around Until Someone Cries.
posted by The Whelk at 6:57 PM on February 10, 2011


I got into a fight once, or, to be more accurate, some guy in the street tried to grab my bag, and instead of doing the smart thing and letting him have it, I put up a fight. It didn't last very long, I managed to avoid getting punched in the face for a while, and I managed to hit him a couple of times but eventually I got stuck in a head lock […]

Maybe if you knew what you were doing that wouldn't have happened? If you do end up in a head lock, punch/twist the guy's balls. Alternatively, push your thumbs into the back of his knee and walk forward. I dislike fighting but one should be able to defends oneself.
posted by anigbrowl at 7:03 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I remember the first actual for real fight I got into (Budapest, there was drink involved) and being really, really disturbed by how much damage I could cause without expending too much effort. It still makes me sick to think I could seriously hurt someone without really trying.
posted by The Whelk at 7:09 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Did not one of you grow up with brothers or close cousins? Fights have their place in life.
posted by Dr. Curare at 7:26 PM on February 10, 2011


Actually a headlock, done correctly, ends most fights. I love it. As well the drop down and hook the leg behind the knee, with one hand, while pushing on the chest with the other hand will drop anyone. The only problem with the second move ends up with the other person hitting the ground with the back of their head hard enough to make a sound like a bowling ball striking concrete.

The second move could kill someone.

Fighting of any kind could kill someone. Don't fight. Hands in a correct fist can put bones into soft tissue like a brain and kill someone.

Is anyone so big and macho that they think that accidentally killing someone is a fun thing? Consider yourself as a drunk tough guy. Consider that you get "a good shot" at someone. Now consider yourself in prison, for many years.

I do not believe that, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to do that." is a defense. When in doubt, run away.
posted by Splunge at 7:32 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Consider yourself as a drunk tough guy. Consider that you get "a good shot" at someone. Now consider yourself in prison, for many years.

I do not believe that, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to do that." is a defense. When in doubt, run away.


Yeah this was my discomfort. The sudden 'Oh shit I could have seriously hurt someone by accident' shitchills.
posted by The Whelk at 7:35 PM on February 10, 2011


These guys really, really, really need to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Really.
posted by LordSludge at 8:05 PM on February 10, 2011


Or your basic front kick.
posted by P.o.B. at 8:27 PM on February 10, 2011


anigbrowl: "I got into a fight once, or, to be more accurate, some guy in the street tried to grab my bag, and instead of doing the smart thing and letting him have it, I put up a fight. It didn't last very long, I managed to avoid getting punched in the face for a while, and I managed to hit him a couple of times but eventually I got stuck in a head lock […]

Maybe if you knew what you were doing that wouldn't have happened? If you do end up in a head lock, punch/twist the guy's balls. Alternatively, push your thumbs into the back of his knee and walk forward. I dislike fighting but one should be able to defends oneself
"

It's this kind of advise that gets people hurt. There is one simple solution to a things like this. Situational awareness. Be aware of everything that's happening around you. Do not walk around with headphones on texting as you go. Situational awareness. Be aware.

Know where you are. Know who is near you. Be aware of possible dangers. Be ready to move quickly if a car is out of control or if a crazy dude has a machete.

I talk to the wife about this all the time. Yeah, I'm annoying. But if you are aware of what is happening around you at all times, you might just avoid a situation where you have to twist some guy's balls.
posted by Splunge at 8:35 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


These guys (SLYT) have arguably made an art out of this.
posted by edguardo at 8:49 PM on February 10, 2011


The doc almost feels parodic. They hit each other with dust busters and computer keyboards? And the tone: it's so manly in its pensive seriousness. It comes off as a "cooled-up" promotional video that was executive produced by the subjects—guys who hit each other for fun.

I did like some of the shots, though.
posted by defenestration at 8:50 PM on February 10, 2011


Maybe if you knew what you were doing that wouldn't have happened? If you do end up in a head lock, punch/twist the guy's balls. Alternatively, push your thumbs into the back of his knee and walk forward. I dislike fighting but one should be able to defends oneself.

I dislike your solution because it isn't manly enough.

Do this instead.
posted by edguardo at 9:17 PM on February 10, 2011


And of course they're still in the rat race. We're all in the rat race.

Please, kindly speak for your own self.
posted by alex_skazat at 10:55 PM on February 10, 2011


Everybody should get hit in the face. It teaches you that you're not made out of glass. If your existence somehow prevents you from ever getting hit in the face with a fist/pole/mast/truncheon/tear gas canister, you need to take more risks.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:10 PM on February 10, 2011


It's this kind of advise that gets people hurt. There is one simple solution to a things like this. Situational awareness. Be aware of everything that's happening around you. Do not walk around with headphones on texting as you go. Situational awareness. Be aware.

Yep, and then you'll be magic safe forever.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:16 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have to say, there's something in probably most men that's excited by stuff like this. And that something begins to stir when said man is an office drone. Solution as I see it: boxing classes, not being an office drone.

Does anyone think there's such a thing as a women's fight club out there?
posted by tempythethird at 3:33 AM on February 11, 2011


Does anyone think there's such a thing as a women's fight club out there?

"Smackgirl was a Japanese mixed martial arts promotion focused solely on female fighters."

Here's a highlight video of some of the matches. (Video and soundtrack NSFW)

They're some of the most technical and entertaining matches I've ever seen. Don't blink at 1:35. One of the fighters knocks out her opponent by Judo throwing her onto her face. Then proceeds to armlock her anyway for good measure.

I'd hazard a guess that these Japanese girls would wipe the floor with these American 'gentlemen'.

I've also heard about a few all-women boxing gyms, like this one for example:

"Striking Beauties, New England's first all women's boxing gym, is thriving"

Women do get excited by this stuff. Some make careers out of it.
posted by edguardo at 5:33 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Although like mentioned in previous threads, this does bare an awful resemblance to the game me and brother would play, which was I'm So Fucking Bored Lets Hit Each other With Brooms And Run Around Until Someone Cries.

Yeah we had a game that we called "Kill" that involved was pretty much just fighting on the trampoline. Last person on the trampoline wins. It was a lot of fun, but it usually just involved me and my siblings going head first into the ground.


Also, there's nothing manly or macho about fighting. Hitting someone/getting hit outside of a controlled environment can get really ugly really fast. Boxing and martial arts are a ton of fun, but an actual fistfight...eh...not as much.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 7:27 AM on February 11, 2011


Man, with the name 'Gentlemen's Fight Club', I was totally expecting some sort of moustached Victorian fisticuffs with bartitsu and fighting trousers.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:17 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


I guess what I don't quite get is that there are good, actual MMA gyms and BJJ gyms in the area, if these guys genuinely want to learn to fight. I suspect that it's a lot easier and more ego-gratifying to just wail on each other in the garage and think you're bad-asses than to go through all the hard work it takes to get good at this stuff. Anybody with a couple years of MMA training would make very short work of these guys.

And this stuff is so much fun to learn! There's always more to learn, new techniques to experiment with, new challenges, etc. Coming from a geek/gamer background, it's like playing a video game where your body is the controller. (I realize that's ass-backwards, but there you go.)
posted by LordSludge at 9:44 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I suspect that it's a lot easier and more ego-gratifying to just wail on each other in the garage and think you're bad-asses than to go through all the hard work it takes to get good at this stuff.

I have been thinking about this since I discovered this post. I started doing BJJ five years ago, and I wonder what keeps people like this from actually learning how to fight.

I think that in a situation like this fight club, you can make a lot of excuses for yourself. It isn't serious. You aren't invested in it. You did not train for it. You are not someone's student, someone who also invested in you and has expectations of you.

In grappling or fighting sports, it ultimately rests on you. If you fail, you could have trained harder. You could have trained smarter. You could have done more. You could have sacrificed more.

Failure is either a product of something you can change or of something you can't, and one thing that you might not be able to change is that you might not be cut out to be good. When you fall in love with a sport, that can be an unsettling thought. The only way to find out why you failed, though, is to decide that you failed for reasons within your control and train harder.

Otherwise you quit. You settle into a rut, you accept a lower level of performance. You might settle for not performing at all. One way or another, you quit: on the mat or off. And then every time you look in the mirror you see weakness.

That is what these guys can brush off. They can say they weren't really trying. They can say they don't have the time. They can tell themselves they're tough just for doing it. But they aren't up at 6 AM hitting the road.

By never aspiring, they never face the shame of settling for less.

These guys put their bodies on the line, but not their hearts and souls. They are told never to bring anyone to tears.

The risk of pursuing real excellence is experiencing crushing defeat.

There is no real risk here.
posted by edguardo at 10:21 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


"And then every time you look in the mirror you see weakness. "

I think of that every time I sit down at the piano.

Or, they find something else to wander off and do that interests them more.

(quitters == shameful weak losers, c'mon..)
posted by k5.user at 10:55 AM on February 11, 2011


"For, as our physical path on earth is always a line and not a surface, we must in life, if we wish to grasp and possess one thing, renounce and leave aside innumerable others that lie to the right and to the left.

If we cannot decide to do this, but, like children at a fair, snatch at everything that fascinates us in passing, this is the perverted attempt to change the line of our path into a surface. We then run a zigzag path, wander like a will-o'-the-wisp, and arrive at nothing."

Arthur Schopenhauer
posted by edguardo at 11:33 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


I guess what I don't quite get is that there are good, actual MMA gyms and BJJ gyms in the area, if these guys genuinely want to learn to fight. I suspect that it's a lot easier and more ego-gratifying to just wail on each other in the garage and think you're bad-asses than to go through all the hard work it takes to get good at this stuff.

I think it's that and a "culture block" these guys have. They are more comfortable around their "own kind." I think it explains the geek attraction to "ninjutsu" and aikido as well. Why go to some gym where some muscle-bound "jocks" are jocking it up when you have an alternative where there's other people that love anime as well as the idea that you can win physical fights without developing your physical self?

In actuality, there are plenty of geeks at those gyms, and for the most part, people are very respectful and kind, even if they may demand a lot of work of you. They are usually careful about stamping out bully culture is snuffed as soon as any signs of it appear.
posted by ignignokt at 12:30 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't want to play the armchair martial artists again but I can't help but say something here. Go and talk to a real streetfighter. Not someone who's been in one or two fights but someone, who for some ungodly reason, has been in a crapton of streetfights. First of all, If they don't right of way cop to the idea of how stupid fighting is you can usually spot some sociopathic tendencies. Secondly, you'll find out you can't really go to a gym to learn how to fight. Sure, you'll learn how to throw a punch or choke someone out, but most likely you're just getting in a good workout. If you somehow believe you're becoming some kind of badass by training then go on and test yourself in the street and maybe you'll be unlucky enough to run into the guy who likes to punch people in the throat, rip ears off, and stomp on heads.
Alot of times fights end up being a matter of luck whether who comes out on top and in the end someone's going to get hurt and possibly go to jail. Fighting is the most puerile and trifling thing anyone can do. If you really want to make short work of people, get a taser or something.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:32 PM on February 11, 2011


P.o.B., I think you're the guy that says this about fighting being a near-total crapshoot. So, I don't think I'm going to change your mind.

But re: trained martial artists fighting vicious people that eye gouge and rip off ears - yeah, the trained martial artists can do that, too. So, who has the edge? The early UFCs were there to answer that question, and if you want a more recent example, there was a no-rules thing (ear-ripping allowed) called Felony Fights where ex-cons and real streetfighters fought, and a few trained martial artists fought, too. What happened?
When Mike closes the distance, Smith tackles and quickly straddles him, pinning Mike’s hips down with the weight of his body. M.M.A. fighters call this position the “full mount,” and Mike is helpless, able only to flail his arms wildly as Smith rains down punches and slams his head into the concrete. Mike’s mouth is bloody now, and the encouragement of the spectators grows louder and more profane.
Training helps even when you're fighting vicious ex-con streetfighters.

But yeah, it is stupid to go out looking to hurt random strangers. If you were a sociopath like that, you'd be a more effective one by just getting a gun or knife.
posted by ignignokt at 2:32 PM on February 11, 2011


Change my mind about what? Grappling has existed for thousands of years. It's fantastic sometimes, but one of the best fighters in the world got taken out with a front kick to the face the other night and now here we go with Joe Rogan's mind being utterly blown because it's already been *ahem* "proven" long ago that front kicks are useless. UFC is still a sport, and sportsmanship still exists there. Nutshots were rare in the early UFCs and you think people went in there to eye gouge? Come on.

You know, it's just the same stupid arguments over and over. "My _____- Fu can beat your _____- Do!".
Honestly you can think believe what you want to believe, and good luck with it.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:17 PM on February 11, 2011


Let's not get hung up on a false dichotomy here, guys.
posted by LordSludge at 3:28 PM on February 11, 2011


You know, it's just the same stupid arguments over and over. "My _____- Fu can beat your _____- Do!".

No, that's not at all what I was saying. I'll leave it at that.
posted by ignignokt at 4:00 PM on February 11, 2011


lumpenprole: "It's this kind of advise that gets people hurt. There is one simple solution to a things like this. Situational awareness. Be aware of everything that's happening around you. Do not walk around with headphones on texting as you go. Situational awareness. Be aware.

Yep, and then you'll be magic safe forever
"

I said nothing of the kind. I said that awareness of surroundings will lessen the chance of ending up in a situation that you are not prepared for.

Are you saying that it is a bad concept? Or are you just a troll?
posted by Splunge at 9:28 PM on February 12, 2011


Guys, this thread is getting kind of fighty and disharmonious. We should wail on each other with dustbusters.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:07 AM on February 13, 2011


I said that awareness of surroundings will lessen the chance of ending up in a situation that you are not prepared for.

You also said my advice would get people hurt, as if I had suggested there was no need for situational awareness or fight avoidance with the aid of my Super Fighting Techniques. I didn't; I said one should be able to defend oneself, the implication being that you might not always have the option of avoiding a dangerous situation. I have been in a bunch of street fights, but not one of those times did the attack come as a surprise because I wasn't paying attention or engaging in obviously risky behavior.

It's better not to get into a conflict, and if you get into a conflict it's better not to fight. If you have to fight, it's better not to lose, and if you're losing, it's better not to give up. That's all.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:37 PM on February 13, 2011


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