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21st Century Man on…Fist Fighting

Amateur fist fighting is typically not recommendable.1 Let’s start with that. For one thing, you can be killed or maimed, though it frequently doesn’t occur to you at the time someone grabs your sister’s ass. You could lose all your front teeth or get your jaw broken and spend the next two months drinking from a straw. So you need to ask yourself an honest question: how hot is your sister’s ass?

When contemplating a fist fight, people tend to worry less about possible quadriplegia and disproportionately more about getting arrested and other legal reprisals. Potential paralysis turns out, in practice, to be much less de-motivating than the threat of, say, a $200 fine. So here’s the first tip: In order to be a sharper, more clearheaded fighter, you must enter a fight assuming that you will be arrested and you will face years of criminal and civil litigation. And if you’re cool with that, you’re ready to learn how to strike and defend from a right arm wizzer.

Whew!!!  I was ONLY arrested!!

So, enough with the blah blah blah, right? You didn’t come here to read a bunch of pseudo-moral, quasi-legal mumbo jumbo. You came here to learn how to beat the fucking fuck out of someone. Right? Beat his deserving ass down.

We’ll get to that. Don’t worry. Before we do, you need to commit to yourself and to the whole 21st Century Manual dojo that you’ll work tirelessly to become a skilled fighter, and if it turns out that you aren’t, you will give it up immediately. Instantaneously. In practice, the data show us that people demonstrate an aptitude for fighting in the first ten seconds of their very first fight…or they don’t. And those who are ineffective from the opening bell never develop much of an aptitude for the sweet sciences. So if it turns out that you’re a human punching bag, give that shit right up. The thirty-seven seconds of your first official beating should be enough, no? From that moment forward, you are a diplomacy specialist. But don’t worry…the 21st Century Manual can help with that, too.

Effective (Pro) Fighting Styles
New fighting styles and techniques are created every day, while others have been around for 5,000 years. Which ones work and which ones are just for looking cool in the movies? Fortunately we have professional mixed martial arts (MMA) to answer at least part of that question.

MMA teaches us, for example, that Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is currently the world’s single most effective fighting style. Jiu-jitsu is particularly effective because it allows you to obliterate your opponents’ arms and legs from the most vulnerable defensive positions. Once you’ve punched or kicked or wrestled or whatevered your way to the floor and found yourself flat on your back with some human bear trying to maul your ass, most styles offer little advice other than to turtle up and wait for the ref to call it. By contrast, you’ll leave your first day of Jiu-jitsu class knowing how to wait for the attack, work for hand control as you snake your legs up meathead’s arm, clamp off a leg lock between his shoulder and head, trap the elbow and then suddenly tear his arm …off. You won’t be able to do these things yet, but you’ll understand how, conceptually.

While Jiu-jitsu is great, to be an elite pro fighter, you’ll need to know and apply the most effective moves and techniques from other disciplines, too. Muy Thai, Krav Maga, wrestling and other styles have demonstrated effectiveness at the professional level. Once you become elite in your primary discipline, you have to broaden your training and incorporate aspects of each of these into your personal style. Or just get the shit stomped out of you by the guys who do.

Effective Street Fighting Styles
Amateur fighting is a little different. If you have the courage for the fighting itself, you can become an excellent street fighter with any number of techniques. You can even learn to beat guys up with some nutty homemade style, provided you train with a purpose. Try to pick a style that is well suited to your body type and natural abilities. If your fat ass isn’t flexible enough to touch your toes or lift a foot above, say, your waist, it’s probably better to avoid flying face kicky styles like Tae Kwon Do.

Wrestling hasn’t been around for 5,000 years for no reason. Many fights are contested in close quarters, either immediately or eventually, so you really need to have some effective grappling techniques in your arsenal. Maybe you can compensate for your lack of flexibility by learning to trip and smother people.

Jiu-jitsu is great and all, but personal experience shows that even Jiu-jitsu is no match for the world’s all time most effective street fighting style—-the PFF technique, or, as its more formally known, the Psycho Fucking Flipout. If you want to learn just one self defense technique, learn how to flip the fuck totally fucking out. To rage attack. To charge your opponent with both arms punching incessantly. Screaming, perhaps. Launching an occasional flying knee. Swinging bombs until your arms fall off. Then kicking and biting, as applicable. Grappling and whatnot. Not resting until you or your opponent is dead. Only the rarest of natural-born fighters and a few meth heads ever perfect the PFF technique, but when they do, it is an unstoppable force. If you can withstand even two minutes against a good PFF fighter, you’re a fucking beast.

Elbow > Fist
You can forget everything you just read, so long as you take away the 21st Century Manual’s exclusive secret to highly effective street fighting: The elbow is greater than the fist.

It’s true.

99.9% of the time guys get into street fights, they stand toe to toe and throw haymakers. This technique is extremely popular because it’s effective at busting shit up. Unfortunately, by ‘shit’ we mean your fists. Dude, you’re not a prizefighter in big poofy gloves. You’re fighting on the sidewalk outside a dive bar. It’s great that you’ve landed two dozen shots on ol boy’s skull, there, but it’s turned the 124 bones in your hands into 248. Sure, he was being an absolute fucknose, but dude…you’re gonna want to hold a pen again someday.

What if…instead of the fragile bag of bones and nerves you call your hand, what if you had another object you could smash with great force into dickface’s eye socket? Maybe something long and solid, with, oh what the hell, a point on the end. Something close at hand. Oh, hello, elbow!

The fist has a slightly longer effective range, but the elbow is otherwise universally preferable. Knockout punches aren’t thrown from the shoulder; they’re thrown from the ground up. You need your feet set properly, with your core coming forward. You may need to step into it. Only then can the fist deliver effectively to the ex-bridge of the nose. That first 80% is the same with the elbow, but then the elbow gets there faster and harder, with a shorter fulcrum and the full weight of your shoulder directly behind it. And because it arrives with the blunt traumatizing impact of a single sharp, pointy, unforgivingly hard bone, the elbow handily slices up a dude’s face. Which reminds me—-you may need to throw your bloody shirt in a bush during your escape, so hopefully you don’t have any overly distinctive tattoos. Speaking of which…

Effective Exit Strategies
The last coherent thought you have before you ever throw a punch should pertain to your exit strategy. Something like…after I rage stomp this motherfucker, I’m snatching that broom handle there, snapping it into a sharp point and exploding down the back steps with my new spear. If you can’t visualize your escape route, you’re likely to be caught flatfooted when the cops or somebody’s big brother show up.

Pre-fighting Etiquette
If your friends are cool, it’s nice to warn them before you go Tasmanian. Otherwise, keep this to yourself. Better to leave everyone’s plausible deniability intact. Besides, we live in the 21st Century, so you can always text everyone when you get to a safe place and establish a rally point. Provided your arms and legs still work.

As far as strategy goes, you don’t want to be one of those guys that just pushes and pushes and pushes the other guy, but won’t ever throw a punch. The guy yelling “come on, buddy! Take a swing! Take a swing! Come on, pussy, come and hit me!” Either get in a fight or don’t, but be decisive about it already. Getting shoved is a clear indication in some cultures that it’s game fucking on, so if you’re going to get up in someone’s face and start putting your hands on them, you’d better be prepared to defend a right cross to the jaw. In fact, we all wanna fuck you up just thinking about it.

Game On
Oh, fuck. You’re actually fighting. Stay calm. Or rage murder, one or the other.

Fight Strategy
Don’t waste time in a fight. Every second you spend fist fighting increases your risk of getting arrested or a chair to the back of the head. Bam bam bam bam. Bam bam bam. Get in, get out.

Post-fight Etiquette
Ugh. Alright. Well…that’s over with. Eesh. Blech. Better just keep spitting for a while.

If you agree as gentlemen to step outside and settle a disagreement with some good old-fashioned fisticuffs, then you should shake hands after the beating and the victor should be considered the winner of the argument for the rest of the evening. If there was no such gentlemanly pre-fight conduct, you should absolutely not stick around for one instant after a fight is over. Your concussed brain needs to get you on your feet and start executing your exit strategy. At full speed. This is true whether you got the best of the other guy or he pounded your fucking face into hamburger. GO!

Some of you may live your whole lives and never get into a fight with more than one person at a time, and if so, you have found favor with the Gods. For the rest of you, there comes a time when a quick succession of bad decisions will leave you standing back to back with your associate, Manuel, trading punches with some international crime syndicate’s most lethal assassins. Some advice for these situations: Never leave Manuel’s side. Not until one or both of you is dead or turned into a zombie vampire. However, the instant he dies, you must leave him. Because look at you. You can’t carry a grown-ass man more than a couple hundred yards. You’re not starring in a motion picture, dude.

Wrapping Up
When it’s all over and the dust settles, you wrap up. As in…with an ice pack, an ace bandage and your swollen, discolored face. You thank the Gods for the fact that you can still walk. And maybe no one is suing you for their permanent disabilities.


Better start working up a few good explanations for your eye and lip, there, champ.

See you at the gym.

* * *

1Professional fighting is also not recommendable, in case you were wondering why there appears to be a distinction. Yeah, no. It’s great you can beat the fuck out of people and have a high pain tolerance and all, but fuck, dude. What’s the game plan for after your brain inevitably stops working properly?

I walked into a door.

Posted in Safety, Self-help.

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21st Century Man on…Chicken Wings

Some things in life are difficult as shit. Way harder even than that shit looks in the videos. Cooking can be like that. Some recipes exist just to fuck with you and turn to shitty dog food the instant you make the slightest mistake. Fortunately, not all dishes are like this. Some are designed to be executed flawlessly by chefs of varying talent levels and possibly even under the increasing influence of alcohol. Foods like Buffalo wings.

Preparing chicken wings is a little like giving a blowjob in the sense that it should be incredibly simple and virtually impossible to get wrong, and yet, time and again, people manage to fuck them all up. One way or another. They glop them up with nasty-ass (un)hot sauce. (The wings, that is.) Maybe they don’t cook the birds so much as cremate them. Even worse, perhaps they leave the skin flabby and rubbery.

Chewy wings with mild year-old store brand barbefuckingcue sauce?? Bah!!!

Seriously. Don’t make it harder than it is. Just throw the fucking things on the grill or in the fryer there. Fry em up crispy. Toss em in a big-ass bowl with some fresh, flavorful hot sauce and serve em up with celery and ranch/blue cheese dressing. Done and done. The world’s most delicious/unhealthy meal ever. And then you skip the celery.


Sadly, there are countless victims out there who think they don’t like Buffalo wings, because they’re picky eaters or they live in a socially retarded area or whatever and have literally never eaten a decent one. This happens all over the world!

Listen. If this is you, I have an important message you need to understand:

You would like chicken wings if they were prepared properly.

Trust me. Trust me. Even strict vegetarians would fucking…l    o    v    e…chicken wings if they ever tried a good one. We understand that they can’t, and that’s fine, but fuck…they would have a fuckin mouth orgasm.

Just like you.

Posted in Self-help.

21st Century Man on…Neck Ties

21st Century Man on…Neck Ties

The necktie is one of those seemingly inconsequential accessories that can actually make or break your entire outfit. It can make a hundred dollar suit pop or a thousand dollar suit look cartoonishly stupid. It can make all the difference, yay or nay, in a job interview or a press conference or a plea agreement and therefore, by extension, your whole life. For these reasons, it is disproportionately important for you to select one wisely. As you would expect, the 21st Century Manual is here to lend a guiding hand.

How to wear a tie properly.

First of all, if you’re wavering even the slightest bit about wearing the tie, jettison the whole notion altogether. It’s not worth it. Not wearing a tie when you should can make you appear a little socially awkward. Wearing one when you really shouldn’t, by contrast, puts you at risk of coming off as a total dooosh. It can get you punched in the throat, as we’ll see. If you’re not absolutely sure, make someone order you to wear one before you volunteer to put on any tie. Under normal circumstances, you’ll know when it’s appropriate. When your buddy’s mom dies, you wear a tie. But dinner with your girlfriend’s parents? Dude, you’re meeting them at the fuckin Olive Garden, for fuck’s sake!

Alright, fuck it. You need a tie. But which one? It’s important to select wisely among the various offerings in the tie and neck accessories section. Here are some helpful hints:

The Bow Tie
The bow tie is the only acceptable tie to wear with the most formal of outfits, the tuxedo. Sometimes guys try to get cute and wear other kinds of ties with a tux, but this invariably looks breathtakingly stupid. Incidentally, the bow tie is also the only acceptable clip-on tie for grown ups.


If you’re wearing anything other than a tux, the bow tie is a guaranteed terrible option. It is the choice of someone trying way too fucking hard. Look, if you want to wear an outfit that makes a statement and shows your creativity, ditch the tie altogether. The bow tie just tells the world that you’re the wildest accountant in your wing of the office. That you’re a crazy risk taker, but only inside the box. And only between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm EST.

The Bolo Tie
The bolo tie is another “creative” alternative to the standard tie that is popular in certain circles among the southern United States. This tie tells the world that you make amazing fried chicken. It is an appropriate choice if you’re a boy scout or an auctioneer or otherwise work in the proximity of livestock. Otherwise, this sort of tie should be avoided like the plague.


A tie is supposed to lend a certain dignity and formality to an outfit, but in a bolo tie, you just look like a fucking redneck. You make the people around you thirsty for fresh-squeezed lemonade. Leave your bolo ties at home. In the trash.

The Ascot or Cravat
The ascot is an accessory that has largely fallen out of fashion due to it’s brazen Frenchyness. Also, we spend less time sword fighting than our ancestors. Ascots make for good costumewear, but you can’t really make them work as real clothing unless you’re the most fabulous man alive. Seriously. Unless your name is Wolfgang Mozart or Nathan Lane, you cannot pull off the ascot, so don’t even bother trying.

The Asscot.

The Scarf
Pulling off the scarf is tricky, but it can be done. On a cold day it’s something you can wrap around your neck to dress up an outfit. The problem is, you have to take it off the instant you step indoors. Otherwise, you’ll be presumed a pussy by most observers. Suddenly you have to worry about being the only buttnut in the room not wearing a tie. For this and other reasons, it’s generally better to avoid scarves on days you don’t spend at Green Bay Packers games.

The scarf.

Having said this, there are times when you’ll be compelled to wear a scarf. At some point or other, you have to wear the clothes you receive as gifts, for example. In these situations, always allow a woman or a gay man to pick out a scarf to match your outfit. And all your other accessories, plz. And the outfit itself.

The Standard Tie
When it’s all said and done, 97% of the time you’re expected to don neckwear, you’ll need what is officially known, for straightforward reasons, as a ‘standard’ tie. But the fundamental question remains…which one?

First of all, it should be yours, not a loaner. If at all possible. Somehow the loaners always give you away. You don’t need to have a closet full of the world’s finest silks, but as a man, you’ve got to have A tie in life or the lonesome loaner will eventually fuck you. Make sure it’s a relatively neutral color and pattern and can be tied into a serviceable knot. Some ties look sharp as hell right up until you tie a crumpled knot in their cardboardy fabric. Bah! Spend $25 on one that’s been marked down from $50 and be done with it. Or drop $5 on the most serviceable, least jizz-stained one at the Goodwill. You don’t need anything fancier than that. You didn’t go to Princeton, for fuckin out loud.

There are a dozen floofy ways to tie a tie. Bored Harvard frat guys are inventing new ways as you read this. Knowing variations of a Windsor knot can get you into the world’s most exclusive clubs, but this can also get your elitist ass kicked in some of the world’s finest biker bars. For you, the basic four-in-hand knot is fine, which you make like so: Hang the tie over your shoulders with the skinny point about waist high. Throw the chubby flap over the skinny side a couple times. Pull chubby up, over, down and through the knot. Pull it snug at your collar, but not too tight. The size of the knot itself should be checked in a mirror, if possible. If it’s too big, you’ll look like a hayseed. If it’s too little, you’ll look like Pee Wee Herman. Make sure that chubby’s point rests directly in front of your belt buckle when you stand up straight. If it’s off by even a fraction of an inch, start over.

Try again, plz.

Then, as a bonus, pinch a little dimple in chubby, just below the knot. This lets the tie lay flat and centered against your sharp new shirt.1

A well tied knot.

Alright, now let’s have a look at you.





Marginally presentable.

At best.

Hope you’ve got a strong handshake.

* * *

1 – Yeah, come to think of it, you’re gonna need a new shirt, too. That one is yellowing at the collar and isn’t gonna fit over your meaty neck anyway, unless you go run a marathon or two. $17.99. End of season sale. Go. Now.

Posted in Culture, Self-help, Work.