February 15th 2013 | Comments

How To Fight Like A Gentleman

How to Fight Like A Gentleman

Here at Socked, we’re lovers, not fighters. But even the most peace-loving of gents will find themselves in a position where they have no option but to stand and fight.

In the majority of cases this descent into barbarity will be with a fellow member of the human race, the art of fighting being what separates us from the animals. Except for kangaroos, who box better than Ali; and bears who are prone to fighting dirty and therefore merit a future “How to” guide.

The British gentleman should have no truck with martial arts from foreign countries that involve wearing a dressing gown in a village hall full of other people prepared to be seen in public in their nightwear. Leave them, we say, for Ninja armies, and the kind of person who takes part in battles against very flimsy blocks of balsa wood at school fetes.

There are only two approved methods of fighting for the Englishman: Ecky Thump and Boxing, and even then the ancient art of Ecky Thump should only be practiced from those living north of a line between Merseyside and The Wash. That leaves, for the majority, the strictest interpretation of the Marquis of Queensbury Rules.

Ecky Thump

Never mind the fact that the 9th Marquis was the man who brought about the downfall of noted all-in wrestler, rally driver (Ed: Are you sure?) and wit Oscar Wilde – it was his endorsement of the rules of The Square Ring that gave us boxing as we see it today: A corrupt, money-grabbing media circus with the morals of Idi Amin. However, the noble art of pugilism remains unaltered, and the Gentleman that follows the code will best any ne’er-do-well, cur or thug that dares impugn his honour.

1. Assume the stance: Left foot in front at 45 degrees to your opponent. Raise your guard that your opponent cannot easily strike your head or body.

2. Perfect your footwork. Ali said “Float like a butterfly”, and so should you. If your opponent is right handed, keep moving to your right and away from his weaker hand. If he is left handed, then his very existence on this Earth is a blasphemy, and you may shoot him.

3. Learn to punch, and learn when to punch. The jab, the hook, the cross, the uppercut, and the Oh-god-I’m-losing haymaker all have their time and place, and all leave your guard open in some way or another. So…

4. Work on your defence. Learn how to slap your opponent’s attacks away, how to roll with the punches, and a bit of the good old ducking-and-diving. Never present a static target as your opponent will hit you often, and very hard.

Henry Cooper

Henry Cooper gentleman fighter

5. Obey the Queensbury Rules. You do not cheat. You do not put a horseshoe in your glove, and you most certainly don’t hit below the belt. Nor do you bribe your opponent’s seconds to get him roaringly drunk beforehand and fill his boxing shorts with itching powder. This is Bad Form and would not be tolerated in any boxing ring, no matter how seedy and disreputable.

Alternatively, just pay for a larger, stronger lookalike to fight in your place, while you retire to a safe distance. For instance, a nice coffee shop in Paris.