It’s fun reading. I’ve always found that responding to imminent violence with confidence works wonders.
I used to fight a lot in school. Always hauled up for it. In primary school there were two guys, Martin and Colin, who I fought with a lot. Just stupid kids stuff. I remember feeling horriby guilty when standing over one of them after bloodying his nose and stuttering “Well, you shouldn’t have pushed me….” In later years in primary school we played “Bulldog” which was just organised brutality. We played fighting like a sport.
In grammar school, things were different. I fought a lot with a guy (Philip) over a girl (Bronagh). And neither of us got the girl anyway. He found out that I was, frankly, besotted and spent 4 years teasing and generally being an obnoxious ****. And it was all because he liked her too. And I lost a lot of fights. A lot. It was never too bad because I don’t bruise easily but it was damaging to the ego. The fights stopped in Lower VIth because he lost once and spent the day with a bruise on his cheek. And mostly because I stopped fighting like a 4 year old and actually made a fist.
I immediately enrolled in my first martial arts class and since then I have never needed to fight. Fighting just never finds me. I’m not that good at fighting because, well, my heart was never in tournaments (fighting for the sake of fighting) but there is an impression others have that I’m a big guy who can do “high kicks to the head”.
Confidence in the face of greater numbers also saved my brother from a beating when, growing up, he was chased home by a dozen kids from the local council estate. We, being Catholics, were the odd ones out in that town in the late 80s and it was Northern Ireland with all that implies. One of his friends had reached the house before him and told me about the impending mob and I went calmly downstairs and out into the street with my nunchaku and every single one of the thugs turned round and walked away. The confidence and implied threat of violence from an older brother was much greater than their intended beating of a small, thin boy.
My attitude to fighting is summed up by a quote at the end of The Mexican. Jerry is captured by Margolese and extolls about how if they take him down “someone is going to lose an eye or not be able to fuck or something”.
It’s that confidence and philosophy which has kept me (physically) fight free for 15 years….