Pop Culture

The Paradox of Amateur Fight Videos

Disclaimer: At no point in my life have I or will I ever be a fighter. It is most definitely not my thing and I have no experience in it. That being said: due to an unhealthy addiction to social media I have made a few observations.

Fight videos on Facebook fascinate me. As far as clickbate goes, two girls fighting in an urban apartment complex will get me to click every time. The whole sequence is so paradoxical in nature. Chaotic but somehow organized at the same time.

On one hand, fist fights are barbaric in nature. It is just two people settling their differences the most natural way they know how. But the interesting thing I have learned is that there are actually universal rules to these fights. Now these rules have never been officially written down but everyone knows them.

  1. If someone ends up on the ground, it is proper etiquette to let them get back up before resuming the fight.

This happens all the time in the videos I watch. The inferior opponent will actually use this as a tactic to avoid their imminent pummeling. Fall to the ground and momentarily it will force them to stop hitting you.

2. Once someone has clearly won, friends of both parties will mutually agree to stop a fight.

Your friends essentially act as referees. Much like an official in a hockey fight, they will circle the wagons until they feel it is an appropriate time to intervene.  Even in a street fight, nobody needs to get seriously hurt.

And finally:

3. These same friends rarely will step in and join the fight.

Everyone involved respects that this only involves the two people fighting. If your friend is losing, they are going to lose on their own. That’s just how the game goes.

There is a whole culture to this fighting business. Unwritten guidelines and procedures that as a middle-class kid from the suburbs , I have never experienced and undoubtedly will never understand. I will however always appreciate the paradox here. To me it is just fighting. To those involved, it is a choreographed effort in resolving conflict.

I’m not an expert on if violence promotes more violence or anything like that. But if done the right way, are fist fights really that bad? If we can both go our separate ways after, variably unharmed, with the situation diffused, is that a bad thing? I’m not sure.

What I am sure of is the next video that comes across my timeline, I will be clicking. IT may be right, may be wrong but street fights are epic.




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