One too many brews and a derogatory remark, and you find yourself in the middle of the barroom surround by unsavory patrons in a wild frenzy zeroing in on your face. Call forth your inner boxer so you don’t end up a laughingstock of some funny videos on the Internet courtesy of the giggling cellphone cameraman in the corner. Of greater importance than how to fight, is how not to fight; below are 5 tips to help you avoid fisticuffs duels.


Fight! That’s your first mistake. The first rule of fighting? Don’t fight. Disregard those “Fight Club” rules unless you’re masochistic, sadistic, stark-raving mad or any combination of the above. Use diplomacy, hold up the peace sign. “Let’s not resort to this barbaric imbecility,” you’d say. “Let’s settle this like the reasonable, enlightened men we are.” If that expression of drunken fury doesn’t melt off the aggressor’s face, lift your fists and prepare to engage in fisticuffs.

Throwing the Punches

The movies would have you believe that once your fist of steel connects with your opponent’s face, you’ll walk away unscathed while the person on the receiving end lies on the ground with birds orbiting his head and X’s over his eyes. The reality? Your five digits snap like brittle chalk and your foe ends up with a bruise at worst. That punch you foolishly threw? It’s only an incorrect alignment and a few degrees away from a fractured wrist and dislocated knuckles. Think about spending 6/8 weeks in a sweaty cast before flailing a foolhardy fist into a man’s rock-hard skull.

Show Fear

Leg-quivering, teeth-chattering fear. Let your opponent get a whiff of dread, and you’ve already lost. It can be argued that a fight is as much of a psychological battle as a physical one. Boast your tough-guy facade and machismo to gain a discernible advantage. Of course you’re scared, but eschew the thought and fake bravado. Try not to think of the plausibility that you may end up a pile of mush on the barroom floor.

Show Bravery

This is completely contradictory to the latter but, on the flip-side of fear, undeserved bravery can act more as an impediment than an advantage. This is especially true if you find yourself outmatched or facing a blood-encrusted switchblade at the hands of a disheveled man with a loony bin smile. Run. Identify the exit and retreat immediately. There’s no shame in avoiding death at the hands of drunken jocks undergoing Hulk-like rage.


Go ahead, release that all-powerful roundhouse kick you’ve seen Bruce Lee take down hordes of enemies with at least a hundred times. You will quickly realize the error of your ways when, with groin vulnerable, incapacitating pain will bring you to the floor. Yes, kicks can be quite effective if you happen to have a black belt in karate, but for most of us rookie would-be warriors, a kick is cumbersome and leaves your masculine weak spot open for punishment.

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