What the bouncer knows, Part 2

In Part 1 of “What the Bouncer knows“, Clint gave you some thoughts on how to behave yourself so you don’t get tossed out of a bar (either in one piece or broken into little bits). Here’s a follow-up to that post.

Clint did an excellent interview with Kris Wilder on Martial Secrets. He’ll give you some excellent insights on what it’s like to be a bouncer and how people get themselves into trouble. I highly recommend you listen to this podcast.

Clint (on the left) and me this Summer.

Some thoughts/my opinion on this:

  • Listen to some of the gruesome details of what happens in the fights he’s seen and been in: people’s faces gets ripped off, glass fragments get tossed in the eyes, intestines get drawn out, the works. If you still have doubts that the differences are just as important as the similarities, let me ask you this: when was the last time you saw any of that in the ring or Octagon? Yeah, I thought as much…
  • The longest fight he ever had was 2 minutes. That should give you pause if you train in a sports system that uses rounds…
  • A crucial tidbit of information on how to avoid getting tossed out of a bar (bleeding or otherwise): Have a good time but don’t draw attention to yourself. If you do, the bouncers keep an eye on you and are just waiting for you to get out of line.
  • It’s a team effort. It’s not just the bouncer. The waitresses, the barmen, everybody is part of a crew that works together towards one goal: getting home safe while earning a living. So if you mess with a waitress, you can rest assured that she’ll tell the bouncers. And right then and there, you’ve drawn attention to yourself. Keep it up, and there’s only one way this story can end.
  • Get rid of your ego when you go out. The bouncer has nothing to prove, so don’t try to get a rise out of him. Because he won’t fight to prove a point, he’ll just break you if you push him.
  • If the previous point didn’t make sense to you, think of it this way:
    • How many times have you seen a bouncer getting his ass kicked by a guy like you?
    • Versus, how many times have you seen guys like you get their asses kicked by a bouncer?
    • Compile those stats and put them against the number of times you went up against a bouncer, beat the crap out of him and left without so much as a scratch.
    • When you look at those numbers, how much of a chance do you think you have against a bouncer?
    • Which begs the questions: do you really want to draw the attention of the bouncer? Do you really want to push it with him, just to see if you can get away with it or worse, “take him on”? Remember, he’s not going to just give you a slap on the wrist; you should expect it to go to the level of violence explained in the first bullet here…

I’ve seen too many young guys get into stupid and useless fights with bouncers. It never went well for them, ever. Now I’m sure some bouncers do end up on the losing end of a fight but for every one of those, there are tons who don’t. Simply because it’s their job, they do it every single day. Where as the average young guy might have a fight once a year or less. So who’s most likely to come out on top? Exactly.

Also, bouncers in the rough bars always watch their backs and don’t take chances. Because the bouncers who don’t go to the hospital or get dead. So they fight differently than street thugs, criminals and especially martial artists. The life they lead gives them no other choice.

If you think I’m exaggerating, read “Watch my Back” by Geoff Thompson. It’s an excellent biography which will give you many insights into what a bouncer’s life is like and how violence in clubs goes down.

I guess I’m getting older because as I re-read the above, it feels like I’m an old fart preaching to a bunch of youngsters (Good going Demeere, now you sound just like your own dad…)  However, that isn’t my intent. It’s not about me being older and wiser than those kids, just older. I don’t particularly claim having any wisdom. But I probably have seen a bit more violence than the average young guy who’s about to head out to the club for the first time. So I guess my post here is aimed at him and is an effort to help him both have a great time and get back home in one piece.

It’s not much and probably won’t change anything, but it’s all I’ve got to offer. Hope it helps…



  1. Was wondering if Geoff ever bounced with my dad in NYC his name was Art (artie) miller. He was a black belt for Richie Barathy..


    • Could be but I doubt it. IIRC, he worked mainly in the UK.

    • Hey Art,

      So funny finding your post on here. I was just researching your dad and Richie Barathy a little bit because I recently found out that an acquaintance of mine from Caesar’s was also a good friend of Richie B. Wondering if he might have known your father as well…

      Hope all is well, Cuz. Lets talk soon!

      – Timbo

  2. fascinating stuff wim,

    I was wondering – you touched upon how bouncers fight a lot differently than thugs, criminals and especially martial artists. Can you elaborate a little more? you have probably answered this question at length before, in previous blogs, so apologies in advance. sean.

  3. Thanks Wim – and thank you Clint, always interesting to hear about your experiences. I saved the podcast for later.

Speak Your Mind