November 07, 2003
Ghetto Games: Slapboxing
Slapboxing is the most fundamental of all skills of a kid from around the way. It is part of the traditional greeting of tougher kids. Like the other aggression games, it rewards quickness and bravery.
What is slapboxing? It is just what its name implies. You box with your opponent except you use open hands. A good slapboxing match is always spontaneous, ends in one good hit and never lasts more than a couple minutes. It's a one on one sport done among acquaintances.
Almost every time I watch nature shows and see cubs or pups wrestling and nipping at each other's faces until one rolls belly up, I am reminded of slapboxing. It establishes dominance and lets people know where you are in the chain. People who slapbox on the regular don't have to fight. You know who has the quickness. But you also know who's not afraid to get tagged. It separates those who will squab[ble] from those who won't and it shows who's likely to get whooped in a serious throw down.
Slapboxing is the only type of horseplay in which you are allowed to hit someone in the face. In fact, it is the only objective. It is not so easy as it appears to slap someone in the face who is expecting it and trying to do the same to you. So much of slapboxing resembles much bobbing, weaving, dodging and whiffing. There's also a good deal of playful trash talking involved.
Somebody who gets tagged and then truly knuckles up cannot be trusted. He crumbles under pressure. He's not in control of his temper. Somebody who slapboxes the same person he can beat all the time is a coward. The kid who is always trying to get a hit in is trying to prove something. Anyone who doesn't talk shit while slapboxing is scared. You need to be smilling while you slapbox, and you need to be stylish. The master of style was Bruce Lee. If you can do a little Jeet Kun Do move in there, or just thumb your nose or spit cooly, then you've got the rudiments of style.
Either boxer can quit at anytime with honor, but somebody ought to get tagged at least once. No biggie. Try not to scratch.
It should be noted, and I'll put it here with slapboxing, that one of the most humiliating things that can happen to any tough kid is to get slapped on the back of the head. It's rather a breach of etiquette to be able to have that happen. If you've got that much skills on your opponent, you shouldn't be seriously slapboxing with him.
Serious thugs don't slapbox, because slapboxing is play. Men over 25 don't unless its with their old homies, and then only at clownlike slow speed.
Posted by mbowen at November 7, 2003 08:26 PM
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Posted by: baticraker at April 19, 2004 07:17 AM
i will own you~!
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