Last night, my mom and I went to the local Tough Man competition, a.k.a The Milwaukee Rumble. I always love going to the Milwaukee Rumble; it’s so much fun. Where to begin?
The Milwaukee Rumble is an amateur fighting competition held over a period of two days. The first night (Friday) is meant to weed out the less skilled competitors, but Saturday night is really the main event because that is the night when the championship bouts are fought. Fighters compete in four divisions: heavy weight, light heavy weight, light weight, and women’s. There were no women fighting on Saturday. My only guess is that the women’s tournament was wrapped up on Friday or that there wasn’t enough female competitors to host a women’s division this year. There is a $1000 prize for the winner of each division and a chance to compete in the regional Tough Man competition. I believe that the prize for winner the regional is around $30K, though I’m not sure about this. Half way through the tournament this year, there was a Dwarf vs. Midget/Little People bout which was more like a circus attraction set apart from the 4 main divisions. It was pretty amusing.
The rules are roughly as follow: All punches must be above the belt. All competitors are required to attempt at least seven kicks per round. The reason for this is that if no kicks are thrown, the competition would be considered a boxing tournament, and then it would be held under the boxing federation’s regulations which are extremely strict. This would result in a much classier fight than ye ole Milwaukee Rumble ^_- Kicks are not allowed to the head or groin, but legs and torso are fine. No strikes to an opponents back, spinning backfists, spinning kicks, headbuts, elbows, knees, or grappling are allowed.
The fighters were mostly young men in their twenties although there were a few thirty-something year olds. In my opinion, some of the best fights were between the fighters in the lightweight class. They were absolutely vicious! Maybe this is because the smaller more lithe fighters tend to be faster than the heavy weights. I somewhat know one of the competitors. He attends my martial arts school, however he usually does not attend the classes that I attend, so I don’t know him that well. He took second place in the heavy weight division, which is not too shabby, if I say so myself.
The crowd was composed of about 90% men, and another 9% biker chick. The remaining 1% was “other.” The crowd got loud later in the night after they’d all filled up on beer. It was funny listening to the drunks yelling though it would have been better if they hadn’t been behind me. There were also a lot of old perverts. I’ll just make note of that now.
The ring girls this year weren’t that great. There were four of them from On the Border “Gentlemen’s” Club. First off, they were late, and they were late because they were “getting ready.” What?? What’s there to get ready for? All a ring girl does is take off her clothes, and that takes about a minute. Anyhow, when the ring girls finally came out towards the end of the first round, they had a hard time staying on cue and were frequently late getting into the ring. A couple of them really tried to play their part, but I don’t think that the other two really gave a f*; they weren’t that into it. Not that I can really blame them given the grody old grandpas who were out in the crowd.
Over all, it was a good night. The whole tournament must have lasted until midnight. At the end of the Milwaukee Rumble, before the heavy weight champion was announced, the ring master called for Jim "The Teacher" Shanklin to step up from the audience. The Teacher is a two time champion who will be returning next year to compete again. Mr. Shanklin is a black belt from my martial arts studio. He was competing in the first Milwaukee Rumble I attended, so this is very exciting news to me. I am looking forward to next year.