Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bar Fights and the Doorman, Bouncer







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     Which leads me to think and pontificate about the infamous "bar fight" and the salivating worship of the popular hero - the bouncer.

     Ever notice just how many fighting systems and instructors innocently base their programs on how they perceive a bar fight to be? They even build replica bars. They make training films in bars. Never two E.R. doctors fighting over a hospital policy. Never two neighbors arguing about the dog poop. Never the angry husband showing up at the factory to beat up the boss. Mostly young men in bars. Even verbal de-escalation seems to be mostly about the hands-up, verbal, and physical dodge of an obnoxious bar fighter.

     "Oh, I don't want any trouble now, sir!"

     And then, how about this utter worship of ... the bouncer! It seems in numerous quarters that bouncers are some sort of revered fighters and doctors of psychology, just from (gasp) "working the door." That magic spot where you learn to fight better than Caine in Kung Fu and fight better than a UFC camp, as well as glean all the wit and complete wisdom of Oxford or Harvard doctorates in psychology and medicine.

     I recall one bouncer who started a fighting system years ago. He worked in (you guessed it) a biker bar! Oh, so tough a place it seems. Bloodbaths every night it seemed if you totaled up his stories; it must have been the bar in the first Star Wars movie? Or maybe Road House?

     The next most dangerous place on the planet? Not in Iraq or northern Pakistan. It's the men's room at the bar. Where all the real, final dueling takes place.

     One night I was at an after-seminar dinner. One chap asked me -

     "Did you ever work the door?" 

     "A bit. In Texas while I was going to college," I answered.

     "I'll bet you have some great stories." And everyone leaned anxiously in.

     Hmmm, I thought. All the stuff and crap I've done and been involved with, and this group knows about this? And they want to hear ... what now? Doorman stories! Really?

     Perhaps the movie Road House added fuel to this fire? But such is the mystique of the doorman. Such is the mystique of the bar fight.