When I was younger, I was a HUGE comic book nerd. One of my regular monthly staples was Wizard magazine – a magazine dedicated solely to fandom of comics, toys and games. It was the closest thing to a “Boy’s Magazine” that wasn’t campy garbage, but it didn’t really talk much about the issues that faced most young and teenage boys. Namely, “Why is my voice cracking, why do I not find girls yucky anymore, and how can I kick that dickhead Corey Martin’s ass?”
In 1992 (ish), Marvel (and Sassy Magazine) spent a great deal of time and money promoting a new magazine they were coming out with called “Dirt” – a magazine intended to be “Sassy, but for teenage boys). For months and months, they displayed this cover shot of their magazine with a guy’s face all twisted and contorted by a fist that was striking it, with the lead story in big yellow letters:
“How to WIN a fist fight!”
God, what a bunch of bullshit.
My buddy Jay and I were SO jazzed about this magazine… Finally, someone was putting out a magazine targeted not only to our age group, but also not overtly stupid. It was the perfect concept, based solely on that one headline.
Anyway, the magazine came out on newsstands that fall, and even though Jay and I made a habit of buying different titles on our trips to the comic store (so that we could trade between one another and get double the value for our reading dollar), we both spent our money on copies of Dirt #1. We both sat on his front stoop, pulled out our copies of Dirt magazine, and turned IMMEDIATELY to that article.
The very first (and only) rule of winning a fist fight, according to Dirt?
“Don’t get into one.”
The article then proceeded to go into a fluffy, three-page write up on “verbal judo” and how to avoid getting into physical altercations through the gentle arts of negotiation and conversation. Midway through reading that crap, we both looked up at one another – nearly simultaneously – and said “Wow… This is bullshit!”
We were expecting proper techniques on making a fist, striking our opponents, foot placement, transfer of inertia at varying points throughout a punch… The cover image showed a guy getting slugged right in the jaw! It was a total bait-and-switch job!
Anyway, that memory has stuck with me my entire adult life, and it recently led me to contemplate making a simple video series directed at teenage boys telling them how to ACTUALLY win a fist fight. I dunno… Is that barbaric? I mean, as an adult, I really don’t think much about fighting people, and I rarely consider the concepts needed to win one – but this might be due to the fact that I spent a great deal of my life doing things that trained me how to manage my aggression.
I just know that, deep down (and in some cases, right on the surface), every single teenage boy wants to know how to punch another teenage boy, and I can remember actively searching out sources on how to do that very thing… I remember wishing that someone, somewhere would just flat-out tell me how to punch a dude. And now that I’m a adult boy, I kinda feel like I should go back and honor that request on behalf of all the adolescent males out there who probably want to know.
And that’s why I wrote my guide on How To Actually Win A Fist Fight. If you need it, there it is. I hope you don’t.