Gut-punching or GP

Recreational gratuitous brutality and violence


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The challenge

Two fighters square up standing face to face. One punches the other's abdominal muscles until he quits; then they swap roles. The goals are to resist and to force the other to quit.

There are two ways to stop the combat:

Quitting by verbal stop-word
Quitting because one fighter collapses or doubles up

The aggressively worked-out abdominal musculature forms what the Americans call a "six-pack". Gut-punching is an opportunity to work out one's aggression with a trusted opponent.

You feel a sensation of tightened breathing and sharp pain at the time of impact of a well delivered punch; you show pride at accepting this challenge of endurance and resistance: this provokes the challenger to punch as hard as possible.

The striker watches for the signs of weakness in the receiver when the punch connects: grimace and the movement of the body that rolls well into receiving the punch. There is an interaction between the sensations felt, the desire not to quit and the willingness to beat shit out of the target six-pack.

 The test

Only one of the partners punches. The other receives and resists for as a long time as possible. It is preferable to hit with a slow rhythm with five to ten seconds between every stroke so that the receiver has enough time to recover: his turn can last longer. After a STOP (in the conditions listed above) the partners swap roles.

According to experience or preferences, the fighter taking the punches will keep his hands behind his back in order to suppress the reflex to avoid a stroke when seeing it coming. Not reacting is a challenge to experienced fighters who instinctively put up their gloves as guard and respond to punches. Novices tend to step backwards.

As variant, a third partner can pin the fighter receiving with his arms firmly in the back, perhaps in a double-nelson hold. Held thus, the receiver can concentrate more easily on taking the punches and increasing his limits.

With or without gloves

It is possible to undertake GP with or without boxing gloves. Gloves are better to start with. The gloves and their stuffing attenuate the shocks and protect the knuckles.

Bag gloves or lifting gloves are ideal. Gut punching challenges make a good conversation in a gym and the nice thing about lifting gloves is that you can keep 'em in the back pocket without taking up much room.

Naked fists striking the six-pack flesh are drier and harder to parry. Hard core enthusiasts use 'hammer' punches that are illegal punches in a boxing ring.

GP is usually performed stripped to the waist - barechested - but usually wearing tracksuit long trousers. No rules against shorts or swimming trunks but a matter of negotiation and agreement beforehand. Some fighters shave their chest and stomach hair (if any) to show off their musculature. It also concentrates the punch and avoids distracting sensations if the punch slips across the skin.

Don't do this without abs of steel or concrete!

Training the abdominal muscles prepares them to take the punches without significant danger. The punches must be taken exclusively on the abdominal wall, never below or on the sides or off the stomach. The abdominal muscles must always be tensed at the time of the stroke, never relaxed - do not to try to surprise the receiver if his abdominal muscles are not contracted hard. Also, vary the target area for the punches, especially do not punch exclusively the centre-line of the abdominals where there is least strength. STOP if there is serious pain.


Loved your piece on this subject, but I have a few points of issue to make.

Some of us LOVE an "unfair fight"... deliberately being caught "off-guard", relaxed, untensed, and soft. Those are the best kinds of punches to receive.

Also, a hard shot in the solar-plexus is much longer lasting than a few short seconds... the 1st time I ever experienced it, I thought I was going to die. The pain was incredible, the urge to throw up was intense, and I couldn't even eat my supper that night - 4 hours later.

GP is an awesome subject... but please don't always assume that it must be an equally give and take advantage. Sometimes the real fun is when one partner is tied, held, or blindfolded and must endure beyond his original tolerence level. That's the real fun of it!!

Will: 22/12/01 17:40 GMT

Breaking the receiver: showing "no mercy"

anticipation - realisation - domination - subjugation

Continuing punching beyond a friendly challenge becomes a method of "breaking" the receiver into total submission and subjugation..

Firstly the puncher teases the receiver with his strength and masculinity so the receiver really anticipates the pain of receiving punches to his abs to the point where his strength breaks. This teasing can be verbal as well as physical.

The punching commences, the receiver now fully realises what he's volunteered for. He conquers his fear and won't back out.

As each incoming punch connects and his abs get tired the escalating pain becomes addictive.

The receiver stares into his aggressor's eyes as he becomes punch drunk on the overwhelming pain.

The puncher stops but the receiver begs for more: he's totally in the power of the puncher.


Trust between the fighters is essential. Agree a stop word and stop immediately if it is used.

The abdominal muscles form a very strong shield. Tensed, they protect the internal organs. The shock wave of the punch carries to the abdominal cavity but not the deflection.

The most sensitive place is the solar plexus. A heavy punch delivered to the solar plexus can cut the breathing by reflex effect and can provoke a sharp pain; called being "winded". The two sensations vanish in a few score of seconds. Don't panic!

The result of repetitive punches is a redness of skin and a sensation of superficial burning. According to the types of skin, the reaction is more or less accentuated. These marks can sometimes progress to bruises and last a few days. Again, don't panic.

It is preferable to find partners in the same weight class; otherwise the odds are unfair and dangerous.

Combat sports like boxing carry risks of injury which the sportsmen accept. You do this at your own risk.

If there is any unusual or long-lasting pain then seek medical attention immediately.

Pit fighters training using gut-punching to exhaustion

I've received the following mail in response to the above

Hello, mate. I'm a 19 yo lad and was sent your webpage. I found it interesting. I'm from England and a proud member of a hardcore gym where young fighters and bodybuilders train. I've been training for pit fighting and have been in 3 intro fights. The guys here train their abs very hard to take punches and I've become very hard in my midsection. One of the guys who works here in the gym has best abs I've seen and is one of the trainers. He has a video out where he lets another guy who works here punch the shit out of his abs while a guy holds him in a full nelson without his shirt. The first part of the video the guy punches with gloves but then takes them off and works Tony over really good.

Tony also invented an abs training exercise that forces a guy to learn to contract his abs for long periods of time. He gets up on the pullup bar and contracts his abs as hard as he can while a fighter stands in front of him. When Tony's abs begin to relax as he gets tired then the fighter starts throwing some hard punches to his midsection forcing Tony to contract his abs again. He then stops punching but when Tony's abs begin to relax he starts punching again. Tony did this once with his hands tied to the pullup bar so he couldn't get down and he made it through almost 20 minutes this way.

I'm still working on my ability to take hard punches for pit fighting. A guy here said that your first real pit fight the ref lets the other guy get a way with murder to toughen you up. He said that Tony's first full length pit fight that when he got to the other camp his opponents mates grabbed him by the head pulling it back while other mates grabbed his arms letting the fighter work over his abs really good before the ref FINALLY broke it up. My intro fights haven't been that bad.

Pit fighting - a style of tough unregulated combat characterised essentially by the same tactics as street fighting and inspired by the arcade and console game Pit Fighter. Pit Fighting is a sport not covered by any network, not sponsored by any groups, not sanctioned by any leagues. It is pit-fighting, played in dark basements and seedy barrooms, where bloodthirsty crowds watch and wager on total strangers in no-holds-barred combat.
Now, you stand, ready to start your career in this brutal contest; can you show your superiority in the face of overwhelming odds, or will you be crushed beneath the heels of your opponents?
Best enjoyed on the games console or movie screen: don't try this in real life.

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