A LOT of people have given Straightedgers crap about their fighting tactics. My own fiancé, on one of our first dates told me a joke: “How many straightedgers does it take to screw in a light bulb?… Just one, and twenty of his buddies to back him up.” She’s a clever girl, obviously, so I kept her. The fact is, she had a good point. Luckily, I have an explanation.
Winning a fight — a spontaneous street fight, in particular — has more to do with psychology and emotions than physical prowess. Of course a person can gain many advantages for their self by staying in shape, training, or simply being bigger and stronger than their opponent. But the person who wins, nine times out of ten, is the person who knows — not thinks, or hopes, but knows — two things: 1) I’m not going to die from taking a few good hits. And 2) I’m OK with killing this person.
That’s it. If you can be the first person to reach those places in your mind, body and soul, you’re chances of kicking the other guy’s ass go through the roof. The problem is: most people have a hell of a time truly surrendering to those states of being. People will say “Only a monster or a total psycho can think like that.” Maybe they’re right. I don’t really care. Plus, this reaction is usually reserved for the second item — the one about giving yourself the “go-ahead” to kill another person. So we’ll approach that hurdle a bit later.
For now, I want to focus on the first thing you need to know: I’m not going to die from taking a few good hits. This knowledge alone, can win or lose a fight for you. You may hate someone so badly that killing them would be a pleasant experience for you. But if you can’t get over the fear of physical pain, you’re likely to hesitate your ass right into a beating.
Most straightedgers will enter a fight with a firm belief in, and first-hand knowledge of this first precept. It’s like Elijah Wood’s character says in Green Street Hooligans– “Once you’ve taken a few punches and realize you’re not made of glass, you don’t feel alive unless you’re pushing yourself as far as you can go.” If you’ve ever seen a hardcore straightedge pit, you know that those boys have all taken a few punches. However, it’s not only a familiarity with pain that makes these pits a fine training ground, it’s also the openness, the inability to foresee the next threat, the utter chaos. And you have to remember, these are not the mosh pits you’ll find at Warped Tour or Ozzfest or whatever other bands and gatherings generally elicit a pit. No. I’m talking about a Salt Lake City, hardcore Straight Edge pit. These pits are famous. Seriously. But I’ll get into that in another article.
I’ll continue to break this down for you next time. Thanks for reading.