May 30, 2006

Tech-Geeks Brawl In Real-Life "Fight Club"
— Ace

This sounds like a hoax...

MENLO PARK, California (AP) -- They may sport love handles and Ivy League degrees, but every two weeks, some Silicon Valley techies turn into vicious street brawlers in a real-life, underground fight club.

Kicking, punching and swinging every household object imaginable -- from frying pans and tennis rackets to pillowcases stuffed with soda cans -- they beat each other mercilessly in a garage in this bedroom community south of San Francisco.

Then, bloodied and bruised, they limp back to their desks in the morning.


Inspired by the 1999 film "Fight Club," starring Brad Pitt and Ed Norton, underground bare-knuckle brawling clubs have sprung up across the country as a way for desk jockeys and disgruntled youths to vent their frustrations and prove themselves.

"This is as close as you can get to a real fight, even though I've never been in one," the soft-spoken Siou said.


Menlo Park police hadn't heard about the local club and said they wouldn't be likely to take action because the fights are on private property between consenting adults. That could change if someone complains or is sent to a hospital, police said.

Gints Klimanis, a 37-year-old software engineer and martial arts instructor, started the invitation-only "Gentlemen's Fight Club" in Menlo Park in 2000 after his no-holds-barred sessions with a training partner grew to more than a dozen people. Most participants are men working in the high-tech industry.


Fencing and hockey masks are the only protective equipment used. Several fighters have suffered broken noses, ribs and fingers.


"Boys have these warrior fantasies picked up from popular culture, and schools sort of force that out of them," he said. In these fantasies, "The good guys always resort to violence, and they always get the glory and the women."

There is also a sadomasochistic thread running through underground fight clubs, said Michael Kimmel, a sociology professor at Stony Brook University in New York.

"Real-life fight clubs are the male version of the girls who cut themselves," he said. "All day long these guys think they're the captains of the universe, technical wizards. They're brilliant but empty.

"They want to feel differently. They want to get hit, they want to feel something real."

Thanks to Riehl World View.

Posted by: Ace at 06:08 AM | Comments (40)
Post contains 391 words, total size 3 kb.

1 Instead of fighting maybe these nerdballs should try to hack each other computers with axes.

Posted by: at May 30, 2006 06:17 AM (hpy8G)

2 "Real-life fight clubs are the male version of the girls who cut themselves,"

Typical pc castrato bullshit.

Whether the story is true or not, this academic's reaction to it only shows that you have to add 'men being men' (albeit somewhat stupidly) to the list of thngs the left despises.

Posted by: max at May 30, 2006 06:21 AM (jpzkl)

3 Meh,
The SCA has been doing this sort of thing for 40 years. And we have beer and wenches.

Posted by: Scott Free at May 30, 2006 06:23 AM (WOHGE)

4 Won't somebody please remember the first rule of fight club?

Posted by: slatz at May 30, 2006 06:24 AM (xG58s)

5 His name is Robert Paulson.
His name is Robert Paulson.
His name is Robert Paulson.
His name is Robert Paulson.
His name is Robert Paulson.

Posted by: wiserbud at May 30, 2006 06:27 AM (AQGeh)

6 I put this one way up there on the unintentional comedy meter. A "fight" between a couple of these nerds would less like the Octagon and more like a really vicious game of patty cake.

Posted by: JackStraw at May 30, 2006 06:28 AM (J8+2b)

7 "Okay, I want to hit me as hard as you can...OWWWWWWWW, not so hard, Melvin, you dork!"

Posted by: Norman, Fight Club Wanna-be at May 30, 2006 06:33 AM (AQGeh)

8 Wasn't this the plot to 40-Year-Old Virgin?

Posted by: Against Smelly Nerds at May 30, 2006 06:38 AM (Gi7oA)

9 I know a guy, he's a sys admin, he had a lot of money and a lot of time, and he was a fat pig, so he decided that he would find some fun way of losing weight. He joined a jiu-jitsu class, he started to attend almost constantly. During his training sessions, his instructor and sparing partners started puting more and more into the training session. Eventually, less than a year later, this guy, now much more slim, though still kinda fat, started going to small mixed martial arts competitions.

No different I think than this story. If you note it isn't the lost souls of the movie, but rather a martial arts instructor who found people he had been training working to see how affective their skills were in fact.

I think the fryingpan and lamps is a bit exaggerated, I bump my head on a street sign and I'm nearly in tears.

Posted by: Wickepdinto at May 30, 2006 06:39 AM (QTv8u)

10 Unfortunately it is real. I saw these guys on TV. They wear fencing masks and hit each oither with cookie sheets and toilet seats. It's pretty stupid but in a hard-core way.

Posted by: darwin at May 30, 2006 06:39 AM (vLNLO)

11 A fight club was busted up in Arlington Texas a few weeks ago, or a fight something. They added a rule that seemingly conflicted with the first rule of fight club, which was to make money marketing DVDs.

Oh well. Boys will be entrepreneurs boys.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at May 30, 2006 06:47 AM (97u40)

Posted by: geoff at May 30, 2006 06:47 AM (nH1Ad)

13 Must be a fad. There was a front-page article on Sunday in the local fishwrap about "mixed martial arts" fight clubs in our area, accompanied by the usual boo-hooing about how they weren't "regulated."

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 30, 2006 06:53 AM (iPbcj)

14 If a bunch of rednecks got together and started pounding on each other like this, people would say, "Well, that figures." On the other hand, it's good to see the collective nutsack of San Francisco hasn't been completely drained of testosterone.

Posted by: Mark V. at May 30, 2006 06:55 AM (2ipxY)

15 When we're talking about "Warrior Fantasies" are we talking about the hot sweaty muscle-bound Conan type or more the dark brooding Strider/Aragorn/Ellesar type?

I'm just curious, just for research purposes you understand.

Posted by: darwin at May 30, 2006 06:59 AM (vLNLO)

16 Rather than beat up each other, why don't these guys just beat up hobos, like the rest of us.

Posted by: adolfo velasquez at May 30, 2006 07:04 AM (PPrUW)

17 You are not your Linux server.

Posted by: Evil Chihuahua at May 30, 2006 07:07 AM (mAhn3)

18 Ahem.

If this is real, I would wonder about this "martial artist's" credentials. That, or these guys are weaker than even a desk jockey has any being.

I'm a little woman, and my training is not huge, or formal, but I can tell you that in a no-holds-barred fight, it doesn't take that much strength to do real damage.

So, it feels like a hoax to me.

Posted by: Dianna at May 30, 2006 07:08 AM (qrFCz)

19 Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, is an exotic beetle that was discovered in southeastern Michigan near Detroit in the summer of 2002

Posted by: at May 30, 2006 07:27 AM (LdD6+)

Instead of fighting maybe these nerdballs should try to hack each other computers with axes.

You said it!

Posted by: Tushar D at May 30, 2006 07:29 AM (tyRhL)

21 Gints has bitch tits.

Posted by: AxL at May 30, 2006 07:30 AM (DC1Zk)

22 Seems kinda a pathetic sort of way.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at May 30, 2006 07:38 AM (gf5iT)

23 Sandy Berger, tell us it isn't so!!!!

Posted by: shawn at May 30, 2006 07:43 AM (lw1AE)

24 Plenty of opportunity for these dorks to fight for real if they want to in a more controlled environment. Mixed-martial arts clubs are sprouting up all over the country and I imagine they can afford the training. Drop the goofy gear and weapons and learn from people who actually know what they're doing. At the least, drop the gear and leave the frying pan in the kitchen. There are 12-yr old boys on the playground that are probably tougher than these guys.

In related news, ultimate fighting legend Royce Gracie got whipped by current UFC welterweight champ Matt Hughes last Saturday night. Kinda disappointing as I like Matt Hughes less and less everytime I see him and Royce was the man who put UFC on the map.

Posted by: Zuke at May 30, 2006 07:53 AM (nFSnk)

25 dark brooding Strider/Aragorn/Ellesar type?

That's right. Don't make a big fuss, just kick some ass and get on with yourself.

Posted by: kevlarchick at May 30, 2006 07:55 AM (bWRxm)

26 Yeah, you need killer instincts to survive the mean streets of Silicon Valley. Bill Gates cannot protect you here. The trick is to avoid making eye contact; for computer geeks, that's a sign of aggression.

I've been in the South Bay for nine years. I've seen it all, man. What hasn't killed me has only made me geekier.

Posted by: sandy burger at May 30, 2006 08:40 AM (ePQxy)

27 Wow i thought these geeks settled their differences peacefuly instead of going to fisticuffs POW,BAM,BIFF,ZOK,SOCK,,ZLONK,SPLAT

Posted by: spurwing plover at May 30, 2006 08:40 AM (EPfmS)

28 Not a one of them would last 30 seconds in the Thunderdome.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at May 30, 2006 12:17 PM (gf5iT)

29 Well, since no one else has said it: Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt!

Posted by: Don Carne at May 30, 2006 01:01 PM (RJDcF)

30 Sandy Burger, are you saying that this is true? That you know of co-workers who have participated in these events? That you yourself have whacked the hell out of some fellow geek with a rolled up newspaper?

Posted by: shawn at May 30, 2006 01:15 PM (lw1AE)

31 Well, no... not exactly. But do I know someone who's taking an aerobic kick-boxing class, so that counts for something, right?

Posted by: sandy burger at May 30, 2006 01:20 PM (Uuy++)

32 Well, no... not exactly. But do I know someone who's taking an aerobic kick-boxing class, so that counts for something, right?

Yes, it does.

Posted by: shawn at May 30, 2006 01:21 PM (lw1AE)

33 "In related news, ultimate fighting legend Royce Gracie got whipped by current UFC welterweight champ Matt Hughes last Saturday night. Kinda disappointing as I like Matt Hughes less and less everytime I see him and Royce was the man who put UFC on the map."

Gracie got his ass handed to him and it was great. Great because I have wanted to see gracie get smashed since he choked out Severn, great because that means that american mma is the best in the world and great because Hughes is an exiting fighter who smashes fuckers. Seriously Zuke, did you forget about those twenty minute matches were Gracie laid on his back waiting for the other guy to make a mistake? I would much rather watch Hughes slam some poor fucker on the ground and beat him to a pulp.

Posted by: Mike S. at May 30, 2006 02:20 PM (hI/OI)

34 No doubt, I like Hughes style, I'd say his is the blueprint for success nowadays, I just don't like him as much now as when he was an up- and- comer. And yeah, some of those old-school UFC matches were boring, I can remember when they went so long the PPV cut off in the middle of the match. But still, there was something amazing about seeing a 170 lb guy beat multiple guys in one night ranging up to 80 lbs more than him. The sport has changed, and that was made clear Sat. night, but I would've liked to have seen Gracie take one more before hanging it up. He left the door open to fight again, but unless he makes some changes, he doesn't stand a chance. I hope Ortiz hands it to Shamrock next...

Posted by: Zuke at May 31, 2006 01:43 AM (07tH/)

35 I don't think I have ever seen Ken Shamrock win a fight. I even watched one of his fights from japan and he quit in the middle of it. He is totally fucked in june.

Do you watch the crappy UFC reality show? Is the deaf wrestler the real deal or annoying promo for the dissapointing show?

Posted by: Mike S. at May 31, 2006 01:14 PM (hI/OI)

36 Yeah, I watch it. This season, the fights have been crap. The deaf wrestler, Matt Hamill, probably has the most potential of anybody on the show. His wrestling is outstanding and he has the work ethic of a world class athlete. Still has a lot to learn though. I think his early career (provided he doesn't get knocked out in his first fight, tonight) will follow the Diego Sanchez route. They'll ease him into tougher competition, but he could be real good in the long run. He took a kick to the jaw a couple weeks ago in practice, and his reaction made him seem a little soft, but I don't think thats enought to count him out yet.

Posted by: Zuke at June 01, 2006 01:04 AM (07tH/)

37 My pick for this season is Bisping. Dude is ruthless like Lidell. You can watch his european fights on youtube. In one of them the ref was apparently distracted by something because he hit the guy about 10 times after he knocked him out. He could lose to one of the wrestlers, it's just a guess, but they have edited the show to make it look like Bisping hates the Deaf guy and the young idiot guy who are both wrestlers. Gonna find out tonight if Hamill is the real deal (or more likely, it will be another shitty fight and I will wonder why I keep watching a show that I hate.)

Posted by: Mike S. at June 01, 2006 01:28 PM (hI/OI)

38 Ehhh, well, Hamill won. His punches looked pretty slow but he landed damn near every one of them. Probably had more to do with the other guy than him. I still think he has the stuff though. I'm pulling for him because my background is wrestling and he's a generally likeable guy. I agree, Bisping is the other powerhouse at that weight. I think it'll be Bisping and Hamill in the finals. The other light heavy has already lost and got brought back when another guy quit, and Josh, the kid with blue hair, was pretty unimpressive too. I'll check out those youtube fights. If you're into wrestling, there's a video on there of Cary Kolat annihilating a kid in the PA state championship back in the day.

Ha, and I watch lots of shows I hate. Guilty pleasures. I like this one though. Glad I can watch UFC fights now without always having to pay for them.

Posted by: Zuke at June 01, 2006 05:21 PM (07tH/)

39 Zuke, the fight sucked. I see better fights on the weekend between drunks (somebody always drops). I hate the show, but I am going to watch next thrusday. Semi-finals will be better...right...

Someone (somewhere else) said that they have run out of fighters for the show. "mike" the tattoo guy from colorado didn't look like a UFC fighter and matt didn't either. I think this will be the last season of UFC reality T.V. Which is a shame because I look forward to it when I am putting hours on the clock.

Posted by: Mike S. at June 01, 2006 05:53 PM (hI/OI)

Posted by: Jane at July 14, 2006 10:10 PM (KPuI1)

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