This is what a real-life machete fight club looks like…

Saturday, December 21, 2019

“Hit me. Hit me as hard as you can.” – Tyler Durden in Fight Club

It looks like Fight Club. Only instead of battling it out with bare knuckles, they battle it out with machetes. Instead of meeting in secret, they do it in the middle of the village in broad daylight. And instead of stopping when a body goes limp, death’s the limit.

Under what circumstances would guys with machetes congregate and cheer on two guys hell-bent on bloody murder? Like the YouTube description says, “Don’t know what the hell is going on here, but you won’t pay me to go there.” Is this real life?

Two men with three machetes square up. They start whacking each other as hard as they can. They hold back nothing.

On a dirt road, between run-down buildings, in some third world country, this is really happening! Two barefoot, young men, possibly teenagers, hack away at one another full force. The shirtless guy with a baseball cap has two machetes, one in each hand. His opponent in green only has one. They swing to kill. Some swings slice thin air. Most swings are blocked. The machetes clang hard.

Rowdy onlookers in flip-flops and shorts, some on the street, some on rooftops, some armed with machetes themselves, cheer on the action. Barking dogs dance around this sword fight as well.

While the included video footage looks like a homicide in progress, legitimate machete sparring and training does exist all over the world. Some martial arts that focus on stick and blade fighting incorporate machetes into their curriculums.

There is plenty of footage out there of machete fencing, “esgrima con machete” or “esgrima de machete” in Spanish-speaking countries. Footage of a little known martial art called Haitian machete fencing is also easily found, thanks to a recent award-winning documentary about it called Papa Machete.

The main difference in action between this video and the other machete sparring videos is the sense of restraint. The movements are always more technical, graceful, and at times, kata-like. That raw, unbridled aggression is absent.

It needs to be that way since machetes used as weapons are essentially big knives or short swords quite capable of wasting human flesh. That’s what makes this video so crazy.