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Stepping Out
A Test Bout for The Beast O’Neal: 3/21/24, Portland, Oregon
© 2024 James LaFond
MAR/21/24
The man I named the Beast, feels unworthy and ashamed at that moniker. Also, being new to boxing, beginning with me in 2020 and not having a bout yet, sparring only when I am in town and healthy, which is unusual he did not realize that he got the best of me last time we sparred. I had a black eye, under the patch, and was sick to death from nausea for the next few weeks. Last week we just din line drills, because I thought taking a punch would kill writing for a whole week.
I named this man, who has never been ina fight and is a reclusive fellow who works with computers, The Beast O’Neal, because he is Gaelic and Neal is in his name. But mostly, because when we sparred last year for the last time and he knew I was just tapping him with jabs, he began head butting my fist.
He confided in me that he really wants to feel what it is like to be in a fight. He takes mass transit in Portland, which has been abandoned by most commuters because of the homeless tweaker and homey groe infestation. Portland Joe is not here to box his ears off. James Anderson is not here to crack a rib and knock him around. There is just this worn out old crumb.
So, I promised him a fight along the lines that we used for test bouts in stick and knife fighting from 1998 thru 2006. I did 20 bout sets with over a hundred fighters, measuring their skill in defense and offense against a common value, me. These are fights—so let me explain.
There is no time limit.
We are alone, with no morale support, just like at the bus stop.
Minimal gear is used: mouthpiece and 6 ounce gloves
There is no ring or cage: you have to stay in through willpower.
We can hit as fast as we want.
We can hit as hard as we want.
We can call for a break four times only. [1]
When we step out of the space, we have called for a break.
We can quit at any time.
When we hurt the other man, we give him a beat to realize it and a chance to call for a break, step out or quit. Since we do this on asphalt and concrete, we don’t want to KO a stunned man as his head my spatter on impact.
Defense is more important than offense in survival situations. In the ring and cage, offense rules. But against a pack of armed tweakers, trading blows, unless you are a Mike Tyson, is not a good idea. So, although I have not done this with boxing, I think using weapon fighting logic for purposes of a survival oriented, rather than prizefighting bout, makes sense.
We fight in the tip off circle on the basketball court, keeping us within two steps or less. One foot must remain in or the other man simply need point at your feet and you have taken a break or submitted. Ancient pankration was often decided in this way.
In ancient boxing and in London Prize Ring Rules, breaks were permitted. In LPR, one could simply take a knee and get a 30 second break. This just increases damage. Klietomackus and Aristonikus took a break circa 216 B.C.
O’Neal and I will have 30 seconds, timed by the man who stayed in or did not call for the break. The standing man counts this off.
The man who stepped out or broke, steps back in by the 30 count or has submitted.
I developed the 5 point system for weapon fighting because no one in real combat situations, that took 5 or more strokes from a weapon prevailed. With weapons a point was awarded for an effective stroke, awarded by the man you hit, from among his five points.
When Aaron hit my hand, I stepped back, raised it, and said, “One,”. I was down to 4 defense points and he had taken that point and put that in his offense total.
When Aaron did a spiderman leap, broke my stick, bent my face cage and then put me in the mount with his stick across my throat, I submitted, losing the other 4 points and ending the bout: 5/5 to 0/0.
On the only one of 20 bouts I beat Aaron in, because a hot chick walked by, I finished with 5 offense and 4 defense and him with 4 offense and 0 defense: 5/1 to 4/0.
Adding up 20 such bouts gave percentages: overall, offense and defense. The longest one was a double stick bout with wax wood against Chuck Goetz, which I lost after 10 minutes by KO.
Doing this with boxing could be very nasty as we can hit each other for every if no one steps out or calls brake.
I break is called by stepping back and putting both hands before or above your face.
This man surrenders one of his 5 points. The other takes it and fro there we work our plus and minus columns.
So, Tomorrow, Friday, March 22nd, we will see how this goes.
This is essentially a test on enduring a fist fight for as long as possible, against a guy who is used to getting punched, with the option of 4 retries. This will be a test mostly of composure.
On Tuesday 26th, I will post the results along with a fitness report for both of us. Beast O’Neal, told me after we decided to do this, “You might feel faded, but I am certain you have numerous dirty tricks up your sleeve and that for me it will be a rough day.”
I did assure him, “I promise to be as dastard a coward as ever put on gloves!”
We will see, how two old potato crackers, one now a crumb, do in our rustic recreation of who must carry Young Master Richard Barrett’s luggage down to the Steamer.
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