When We Were Bouncers: Shayna Baszler

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Actor/stuntman/fighter Paul “The Mauler” Lazenby has an awesome new Facebook page – When We Were Bouncers. Every Monday he presents a crazy new story from former security personnel who went on to become became actors, fighters, comedians, pro wrestlers, stuntmen and other standouts in their chosen fields.

He recently sat down with The Queen of Spades, Shayna Baszler – yah, the lady is a bouncer.

Baszler is a Kru in Muay Thai, a brown belt in BJJ, and studies Catch Wrestling practitioner under Billy Robinson and Josh Barnett. Plus the WMMA pioneer, has over a decade of experience as a professional fighter.

Oh, and she is a sometime bouncer.

I OCCASIONALLY HELP OUT THE bouncing crew at a club in South Dakota called The Vault. They call me in for special events, to help with females and keep legal stuff off their back. A lot of the females [who come in] know that the male bouncers aren’t going to go into the women’s restroom, so if they start having a beef with each other, they’ll go there to fight, which means that’s where a lot of my work is.

In my experience, women are a lot more ruthless than men in their altercations. There’s certain social rules that the guys usually follow, like they’re not gonna kick each other in the nuts, or they’re not gonna pull each other’s hair – but with girls, all bets are off. They’re gonna hit with their purse, pull hair, whatever they can do. There’s no rules.

So anyway, about a year ago I was working with The Vault’s crew at an outdoor festival at the fairgrounds in Sioux Falls, and I ended up learning a little lesson in humility when it comes to doubting traditional martial arts. You see, I used to take hapkido-type classes where they taught weapon disarms, and at those classes they taught us this move against somebody who is trying to downward-stab you in the top of the skull. You know, like they do in a scary slasher movie. I remember learning this disarm and being like, “This move is worthless! Realistically, who’s ever gonna chase you with a knife stabbing the air like this? This is a worthless move!” My friend and I used roll our eyes every time we had to drill it, and we’d always joke about how it was the lamest move in martial arts.

So now I’m at the festival and a fight breaks out, and they radio me to come and escort this, um, larger black woman out. When I got there she was pretty fired up, and had one of her high-heeled shoes in her hand. Then, as I tried to control her, she held up that shoe and GAVE ME THE SLASHER MOVE WITH IT! I couldn’t believe it — she was bringing that heel down on my head in EXACTLY the way that we’d always practiced!

I guess that even when you’re making fun of something, if you drill it often enough it gets into your muscle memory, because without even thinking I used the hapkido disarm and it worked like a charm. Pulled that shoe right out of her hand and hustled her off the property.

When I got off work that night, I had to shamefully call my friend and take back what I said about it being the most worthless move ever. It almost made me mad — “Dammit, it’s real, we can’t make fun of it anymore!” (laughs)

Check out www.facebook.com/FamousBouncers for more stories and Renzo Gracie (bouncing in a brothel at 15), Pat Miletich (crazier still – this one involves a pitchfork), and many more.