"I got a good fight for you!"

10:46 PM Monday, March 15, 2010

So one of my brown belts comes to class and says, “I have good fight story for you!” Randy is a plumber and on the job site tempers can flare as the days get long; and, well, they definitely did that day.

Two of Randy’s co-workers had decided to settle their differences with a little fisticuffs. The morning had started poorly and by the afternoon the little verbal barbs had escalated into full-on “F-bombs” going both ways. It had become personal and the fight was on. In one part of the client’s back yard the two squared off; on one side of the small patch of lawn there was Ed, a fifty-year-old U.S. Navy veteran, and on the other side, Don, a twenty-one-year-old buck just ready to go.

Randy said they squared off fists up like boxers and Ed threw the first blow: a steel-toed construction boot kick to Don’s right shin. Don went down as Ed just stood there and let the twenty-one-year-old get back to his feet. “That’s not fair! We’re boxing!” yelled Don. “OK,” said Ed, “We’ll just box now.” They squared up again, hands held up ready to box. Pow! Ed delivered the first strike again: another steel-toed boot to Don’s same shin. Don went down and didn’t get back up to continue the fight.

Ed, the fifty-year-old U.S. Navy man could have jumped on Don when he was on the ground, but he didn’t. There was no point in doing that; Ed had made his point and order was restored on the job site.

Ed had lied to Don, and Don foolishly believed him.



  1. Great story! You don't mess with old soldiers, the young buck sure learned that.
    And the whole idea of a fair fight? That's good for competitive events but nowhere else. Like they say, if you're playing fair, you're not fighting hard enough.

    Wim Demeere

  2. Y'know, even in "fair" competition, everyone's *trying* to cheat, somehow. Whether it's with a different conditioning regimen, a new piece of tech that'll give them more strength/support/speed, all the way up to pharmaceutical enhancements, everyone's *trying* to cheat, to get the upperhand.

    That Sailor did what any self-respecting martial artist should - heed Sun Tzu, and refuse to engage an enemy on a battlefield of his choosing, instead choosing a battlefield of your own. The kid wanted to box. Fine. The Sailor didn't. The kid lost.

    How does that adage go? "Age and treachery will always defeat youth and exuberance."


  3. My sensei once told me that " in the beginning, we train for self defence, after a while we become reasonably proficient and then we tend to train to keep in shape. As the years go by, continued training becomes a social thing, meeting people, interacting etc. In the end, we train to learn to get along with people. Have you ever noticed that the "OLD" students seem the least likely looking ones? I worked in Corrections for 27 years, and in the beginning used to mix it up every now and then, I figured this was the way to do it, establish myself, set the line so to speak. In the last 10 years of my career I found it much more productive to talk, listen, and maintain calm, expecially to keep the situations calm. My Sensei once said that we begin training to learn defence, after a time we continue to train for health and eventually it becomes a social thing... in the end we train to learn how to get along.... I have found this to be true.. and all in all... as Don found out.... even though we all grow old... we will always fall back on our training.. having confidence in our training is what makes us able to talk, relax and calm things down in the face of confrontation.

    Mike O'Leary

  4. sorry about the repitition in the last post.... got interrupted
    in the middle of typing and didn't preview my post....

    Mike O'Leary

  5. Deception is a key component to victory in any battle. So is the element of surprise, both of which were used exceptionally well in this example.

    Unless you are in a sanctioned "sporting" event like the UFC, literally anything goes in order to win. On the street the only rule is to defeat your opponent by any and all means necessary.


  6. Heh, if you ain't cheatin'- you ain't tryin'.


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