What do you think this is, the Mos Eisley Cantina?

So this is a very awkward post.

Tonight I got in a bar fight. It was the first bar fight I’ve ever been in.  In fact, I’ve never really been in any kind of real “fight”.

But tonight, in a bar, someone took a shot at me. It was… unexpected. I hadn’t even been talking to the guy, I hadn’t jostled him, I wasn’t macking on his woman. He took a shot, and connected with my face.

And this is where it gets awkward, because we’re all pretty well indoctrinated with the idea that a real man doesn’t rise to the bait. He turns the other cheek, or he drops some throwaway line about “the first one being free” or “always bet on black” or “surf’s up” or whatever.

What would you do in that situation?

What I did was rise to the bait. The guy hit me, so I hit him back.

The difference between his hit and mine is that, whatever I may look like, I still have years of martial arts training under my belt. And while I haven’t trained actively in several years, it turns out that doesn’t matter.  All of those hundreds of hours of drills came back in a flash — so when I hit this guy, I think he very nearly ceased to exist.

I didn’t knock him out, but I knocked him down – he was done. His friends dragged him away, bleeding from the mouth. And that was that.

(Shortly thereafter, he was thrown out of the bar by the bouncers for being a damn idiot. So please do understand this: I did not start the fight.)

But here’s the thing that’s a bit awkward: I really feel bad that I got dragged into this, I wasn’t planning on ever having a bar fight (or any fight) in my life, and I was quite shaken up afterwards. But that I did, and that I won? It feels good. Really good.

Though of course that doesn’t mean I want to do it again.

Another thing that’s awkward: one of the several reasons that I stopped training was that I was super confident in my skills, was completely ready to throw down all the time. It turns out that confidence was pretty well justified. (But not aggression and over-competitiveness that went along with that confidence. Nothing could entirely justify that.)

Christ, saying all of this.  Sounds so… arrogant? But I’m really just trying to be straight about how I feel about the whole thing – this complex mixture of emotions – this isn’t a situation that comes up often, so forgive me if I want to get it down while it’s raw.

So here I am, in three or four minds about the whole thing. Regretting that it happened, but still somehow excited — possibly even a little proud, and I know that doesn’t sound like a good thing.

But I’m proud – proud because I won a fight I didn’t start, against someone bigger than me. Perhaps he was used to being able to use his height to bully people around? (I have no idea, I don’t know the guy from Job.)

What’s the moral? I don’t know.  Don’t start fights.  Never, ever start fights.

Another moral: It’s really fun to win a fight against an aggressor.

Oh, and if you do have a stink experience in a bar, there are lots of others, so leave and go to Whammy Bar for the Blondie contest, and then head next door to the Wine Cellar, you’ll have a fucking awesome night filled with lovely girls, old friends, great conversation, friggin’ delicious tapas, and tasty hooch. And there aren’t any fuckwits. (Well, not violent ones, anyway.)

5 thoughts on “What do you think this is, the Mos Eisley Cantina?”

  1. I am pretty good at picking up new things, so I probably could take up thuggery as a hobby. I’m probably too smart to pull it off entirely convincingly, though.

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