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Bleacher Bum

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slap fighting

As could be imagined, in our current world of a suspended NBA and NHL, postponed Major League Baseball and cancelled high school and college sports, I’ve had some time on my hands, sports-wise.

A sympathetic friend, who used to be in the field before she displayed her superior smarts by going into marketing and public relations (inferior jobs, in my opinion, but they do tend to pay better), has tried to help me out by alerting me to the existence of an odd sport which most likely will not be coming to a field, stadium arena or back yard any time soon.

Russian Slap Fighting. It’s exactly as it sounds, and its more Russian than vodka and borscht.

Two guys face off, and proceed to take turns slapping each other in the face until one can no longer proceed.

From the videos I’ve watched on YouTube, it tends to be two large, burly dudes facing off and slapping each other.

It’s fascinating in its simplicity. No equipment at all needed, unless you want to put a table between the two fighters. No gloves, no mouth guards, no eye protection, no headpieces, no pads.

Well, okay, the fighters coat the palms of their hands with gymnastics chalk between slaps. So a couple blocks of chalk will be needed.

Then, the first guy gives his opponent an open-hand slap to the cheek. Then the other fighter delivers a open-hand slap to the cheek. Repeat until one guy falls and doesn’t get up, or decides he doesn’t want to get slapped any more that day.

In one fight video I watched, a doctor determined the fighter had had enough after shining a flashlight in his eyes.

Strangely enough, I didn’t see any fighters rolling with the slap. It could be against the rules, or perhaps — more likely — it’s considered a sign of weakness or cowardice to not hold your head firm and take the full force of the slap.

Brutal and direct. Like how the Red Army took Berlin: no fancy maneuvering, just haul massive 203mm howitzers into the street and use direct fire over open sights to blast S.S. strongpoints, then send in waves of troops until there were no more Germans shooting back.

(Tip o’ the Hat to the 75th Anniversary of V.E. Day.)

Oh — and they award national championships.

Let’s put an MMA fighter in a Slap Fight against a Russian bear and see how long he lasts. Probably not as long as the Slap Fighter does in an MMA match.

A skilled boxer, I figure, would be in trouble. There’s no movement, no footwork, just trading … slaps. No fancy punch combinations, no jabs or uppercuts, no working the body … just repeatedly getting slapped in the face.

So, bored after a few months of being stuck in your home due to COVID-19? Organize a Russian Slap Fighting tournament with your family and any friends you may be sharing quarantine with.

Women also engage in Slap Fighting, but the only videos I found showed women only competing against women. But it’s your tournament! Do what you like!

Besides, I get the impression this is a sport where the rules are actually more like guidelines.

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