Russian bouncers knock people out

Last week, somebody sent me this video of a bunch of Russian bouncers knocking people out.  I had seen it before though, it’s been on the web for a few years now, I think.  Anyway, it shows CCTV footage of a group of bouncers in Russia doing their thing. Which seems to boil down to knocking people out left and right.

I’ll cover some more here below but first, take a look at the video:


 Some thoughts about this video:

  • I wasn’t all that surprised. Russia is not a soft and fluffy country. Ethics and rules you find in many Western countries aren’t necessarily applicable there. It’s not black and white, reality is more nuanced than that but if I have a choice between facing a Russian bouncer or one from a fancy club in an American college town, I’m choosing the latter. No disrespect meant to my American friends. 
  • They act like thugs, not like bouncers. You see this in their tactics, which are meant to take out the patrons as opposed to take them outside with minimum force:
    • They close the distance and strike first
    • They work in teams with a talker who distracts the mark and a hitter who takes him out. And I do mean “take him out”; they’re not interested in trying to calmly subdue anybody.
    • Once the patron is down, he receives additional damage. Depending on the sub-culture, this may be a normal course of action or it may be overkill. Hard to say from this video. But in most Western countries, bouncers don’t take it there anymore, unless they absolutely have to (which is a discussion for another time.)
  • Notice how the bouncers are of either sleight or average built. There was only one big guy. That should tell you something…
  • They didn’t go for control-holds, MMA takedowns, ground work or any of that stuff. They went for knock out strikes and penetrating impact strikes. That should also tell you something…

For the older guys: you remember the days when this was how bouncing use to be, right?

For the younger guys: next time you get upset because a bouncer makes you leave by slapping you in a control hold, be happy you’re not in Russia.

For the Russian citizens: I’m not going out in your clubs any time soon…



  1. Makes you wonder how long it will be before those guys knockout a mobster and he returns with an AK47.

    • That’s part and parcel of being the kind of bouncer they are. There are complex dynamics at play here. Some of them are exactly why they take it to that extreme. A topic for another time but you can be sure they know full well what they'”re doing and risking.

  2. Clint Overland says

    Yes that looks somewhat familar to when I started in the Biz. It was SOP to knock them out and them drag them to the door , unless they were really stupid and then they got a tune up in the alley and left to lie in their own fitlth. I miss those days sometimes.It was simplier back then.

    • It used to be like that over here too Clint. Hell, it was like that everywhere as far as I can tell. But it all changed in the last 10-15 years. Though there are still places where this is the norm. I had friends who didn’t make it out of the biz. They’re either dead or well and truly eaten up by the “night life”.
      Simpler, yes. But then again, the stakes were higher too.

  3. What the Hell??!!!! How can they be bouncers and get away with this??!!! Everytime there is physical brutality, the bouncers are the ones to start it, and the people they attack don’t lift a finger against them and are talking most of the time. I don’t get what they are trying to accomplish here by beating people senselessly, it only ruins their club’s reputation, and more violence is probably coming back to them on the way, from the people that want revenge.

    • Denis, the short answer: Those are not the kind of bouncers you find in some yuppie club in L.A. and there are reasons for that. If you want to find out why, visit a club in Russia… :-)

  4. It’s never the patron’s turn.

    With special thanks to my Bro, The Amazing Eaglemon for articulating this concept so well.

    Once that first power-shot lands, it does damage right away and the patron doesn’t get time to get back into the fight; the bouncer doesn’t allow that. Instead, he fires one power-shot after the other, making sure it lands as well and the damage starts to accumulate until the patron is out. Again, he never gets a turn.

    Viciousness, dirty fighting and plain old cruelty.

    This is usually the norm in the rough bars where most ordinary folks never go but it is a factor you have to take into account regardless, as you never know what kind of bouncer you’re facing. What it boils down to is that the bouncer will use every dirty trick he knows to get the job done. Why? Because he’s expecting for you to do the same thing?

    In his line of work, he gets exposed to the ugliest forms of violence, the ones that go way beyond sadistic and psychopathic behavior and into the realm of pure evil. Get enough exposure to that stuff and you either leave the game or you prepare to survive it. That means you expect to get that kind of violence from everybody, regardless of how mellow they may look or what they say to your face. The bouncer can’t take the chance of believing your good intentions and give you an opportunity to get the first shot in and then cripple him for life or kill him. Listen to the podcast with Clint again for some examples of this.

    Here’s the thing: it takes a special mindset to bite somebody’s finger off and then swallow it. Or to gouge out an eye and then squish it flat under your boot. Most people cannot and will not take it to that level. Bouncers in watering holes can go there in a heartbeat. In fact, they might even start the dance with a move that scars or cripples you for life. They won’t hesitate, not one bit if it comes to that and you should expect them to have plenty of experience in that area of fighting.

    Unless you’ve lived an “interesting life”, you, on the other hand, don’t have that mindset, nor the experience in doing such things. So guess who has the best odds of coming out on top in a fight?

    I am a bouncer, no big deal . Sean asked the difference , I am sober and not impeded by a lot of morals . I kick to the shins, ankles and backs of the knee. I headbutt, knee to the groin, stomp your foot and trap it then try to push and rotate you either right or left to tear up you ACL or whatever else will pop loose.
    I throw elbows to the temple and punch/ slap to the throat or brachial area. I will slip and fall on our way down to try and crush your testicles or destroy your knee. I bring friends to the fight and while your fighting me they will hit you from behind. I will employ ever dirty trick you can think of and never blink an eye. I want to go home to my family
    Now all that chest pounding dick swinging is over I will tell you a truth . I would rather talk or trick you into leaving a bar than anything else. I want to repect who you are and treat you like a fellow human being and I dont want you to get hurt.
    Alcohol and drugs bring out your inner primate , your thinking and ability to rationalize what is going to happen is gone. You have become your own worst enemy not me. 90% of what I do is talk , 5% is intimidation , its that other 5% that make my life hard and it is also the thing I hate most of the job . Doesnt mean I wont do it .
    Think of it this way in the past 6 months I have been in over 50 fights , and this isnt the worst bar I have worked in . There were times I fought other people 10 or more altercations a night and was still standing.

    I don,t undestand that in your earlier articles u say that this is bussines as usual.
    And that the sucker punching and cruelty is how bouncers work. Since they can,t take chance the other person will atack first.
    However in this article you call these Russians, thugs and noth bouncers. Can u explain this please????

    • Alexander,

      I think you misinterpreted what I wrote. This issue is complex and it would take a whole book to cover it correctly; I’m not going to do that. Here are some thoughts for you:
      – An average bouncer in an American city today will not act like the Russian bouncers. His first priority will be to make you leave without harming you because it’s better for business and he avoids lawsuits that way.
      – However, in some places in the Western world, bouncers will act more like those Russians, for a variety of reasons I won’t go into here (too long.)
      – The post you copied the above text from lists a lot more factors that are equally important than the sucker punching and cruelty you mention. If you take something out of context, it stops making sense.
      – For the record, I did not say it was “business as usual.” Those are your words, not mine. Again, you focus on one aspect of the whole issue; that’s not enough. Look at the whole, look at what is different between the bouncers I mentioned in that older post and what the Russians are doing. It is not the same thing, even though there are similarities. Remember what I always say about similarities and differences…
      – For the record: I did not say the Russians were thugs instead of bouncers. Those are your words. What I said is that they act like thugs, which was the whole point of the post. Yes, they are bouncers. But no, they don’t act like the kind of bouncers we are now accustomed to in the West; they use methods that are less and less common these days.
      – Look at the videos in that older post: you don’t see bouncers stomping or kicking people on the ground. Or hitting them more than what is needed to control them. The Russians take it there right of the bat. Also, you don’t see any de-escalation from the Russians. They always go into a Jack Benny stance or something similar as soon as they make contact with the patron. And not once did they go for a control hold. They just kept striking until they knocked the patron out.

      All these things are how they act like thugs instead of bouncers. Do you see the difference now?

      • Clint Overland says

        I said it was SOP for the bad old days. Now its a lot different . You also have to remember that I am not a cop , No badge no gun no power outside the bar. I have to make sure that a extreme problem is taken care of quikly and effeciently to insure the safety of those I am responcible for protecting.

        • Totally agreed Clint. I was hinting at that in the blog post but apparently it wasn’t clear enough for some people. That’s what I get for trying to be subtle… :-)

          • Clint Overland says

            Subtle in this crowd is a handgrenade and bacon flavored lube. badadum Thank you Il be here all week try the veal

          • Thank u for information. For me the article gave the impression using damaging moves on person was a common way of threating people who act agressive. It looked to me like seriously injuring drunk visitors seems noth uncommon. Like Clint says extreme situations might demand extreme responses. I don,t think that is wrong or something. However in the earlier articles of bouncers. u also showed videos of bouncers punching people repeatingly who wobble back. Who showed no signs of physichal agression on bouncer. Or even intent to defend the bouncer,s atack. Of Course i can,t see what might have happened before, buth bouncer takes risk of permanently injuring the person. That aspect seems similair to the Russian bouncers acting like thugs. They also start with ferocious looking agression on a passive looking person. Is it legal to punch person before grabbing him to restrain (people could geth injured/die easilly from the punches in the videos) Or should they restrain and can they use violence when person starts to fight? Is there a pyramid of force or something like that? I don,t geth this can u explain this please??

          • Oke, thank you for the answers.

  5. Hi Wim… O! The joy :) just about to go back on the doors again… hard times. Can’t wait.. Not. Thanks for your post.


Speak Your Mind