Bar Fights: Theory and Practice

BrawlingLadiesShirtBurt Likko has a fascinating post up at Ordinary Times on bar fights he analyzed when he worked for an insurer:

The phrase bar “fight” is something of a misnomer. “Assault and battery” are closer to the mark. Sometimes it’s a pretty one-sided affair — a drunk gets out of control and four bouncers eject her. Or one dude wants to fight and another doesn’t so the first dude just whales on the second dude. Because once someone has the upper hand, they use it. Whatever back and forth exchanges of punches mimics a 1970′s Clint Eastwood street fighting movie happens early and briefly. One person is usually better than the other at violence, and the winning tactic seems to be somehow immobilizing the opponent at an early point in the melee.

There are a number of interesting observations about demographics, perception and memory, and dispute resolution.