Monday, March 5, 2007
Yes, once again the rat has surfed the fetid, brackish waters of the internet and emerged with the reek of a video that just won't wash off.
There has been quite a re-emergence of "Bareknuckle boxing", something that was quite popular in the 1800's until boxing became regulated with rules and gloves years later.
I believe much of this is due to video, and the fame of a guy named "Kimbo Slice". If you haven't heard of Kimbo, just look him up on YouTube or Google. Out of prison and unemployed, Kimbo began fighting anyone, anywhere for big cash. He has an impressive string of knockouts, some leaving permanent damage. I have only seen him get really beat bad once, by a big Boston-Irish cop named Sean Gannon. Gannon was demoted in his police job after details of the fight emerged.
The result has been this wave of bareknuckle boxing and subsequent videos.
One reason I posted this is that most martial artists have never really had a fight. I found myself in fights about four times a year through school and up 'til my early twenties, often in groups or in the defense of others. Then something interesting began to happen. The more I trained in Karate, the less I had fights on the street. I'm sure most people who practice combat sports would agree with this.
Now days, we still put the gloves on and go at it, but we realize our older bodies have limitations and heck, we gotta get up and go to work the next day.
This video (which is not Kimbo) is instructive because this is how a street brawler moves and attacks. The rules appear to be minimal, but if they are allowing kicks and knees, I don't see why they aren't used more effectively. Knee strikes to the thighs (in the clinch) and low kicks (to the shins and knees) would have brought this fight to a quicker end. In this case, endurance won out, but this was a terribly long fight.
It's useful to wargame this stuff and observe and develop strategy to defeat one of these fighters, let alone two or more on a dark night. Then, see how your strategy works as your friends pound on you at the Dojo.