Sunday, November 15, 2009

rules of engagement

Any time two or more boys of somewhat similar ages gather, some form of wrestling will surely ensue. It's one of those universal truths.

At first, the wrestling takes place under the rule of might. The bigger, stronger, or quicker boy tends to experience the more enjoyable side of the physical exchange. As this goes on, however, in order to entice the younger wrestler into continuing such physical contests, a system of governance must be established.

Such systems arise out of consensual understanding of fairness. Allowances are made for the weaker wrestler to obtain some measure of advantage through a meaningful handicap of the stronger boy or by disallowing conduct considered to unfairly amplify an existing physical advantage.

At advanced levels, these rules become codified, I can only assume in order to allow for more consistent interpretation and a more exact understanding of the rules on behalf of all parties.

I recently discovered such a manual.


The authorship of this manual appears to be a joint effort. Keep in mind, no one ever told Aidan and Luke to "come up with some rules so that people stop getting hurt", much less to write anything down. This was a truly enlightening discovery.

Page 1-2.

I'm not certain, but I believe this is saying that if somebody tries to grab you, then you should duck. And if you weren't sure what direction you were supposed to duck, there is an arrow pointing to the floor.

Rules must be specific. Although this appears to more fall under the category of general combat tactics than rules.

Page 3-4.

The construction of this section leads me to believe that The Wrestling Book is a living document. I would surmise that bans on punching, kicking and pinching were established at the formation of the document. They may have even provided the impetus for its creation.

I believe that "No surprise attacks" has to be considered an amendment.

It may even be classified as a unilateral amendment.

Page 5-6

Perhaps as compensation for disallowing surprise attacks, "tabletops" have apparently been given permanent legal status in wrestling.

If you are unfamiliar with this tactic, I think the illustration makes it quite clear.

There are several blank pages left in this book. I do not know if this is simply the first volume of what will grow into an immense codex of legislation or if those governed by its principles will prefer a more laissez-faire approach to combat regulation.

Although for all the joy this book has brought me, I'm kinda hopping for the former.


Al said...

i've heard that this is how hammurabi's code got its start...

Cutzi said...

This. Is. Hilarious.

(That's the first time I've ever used periods like that - I felt it was necessary in this circumstance)

So I want to know more - where did you find it? Do the boys know you found it? SO. FUNNY.

I love that you have boys so my boy has someone to wrestle with.

Anonymous said...

this is hilarious.

And for what it is worth, girls in that age bracket sort of make the same stuff, only with elaborate illustrated stories, usually about how they are orphans and MUST learn to survive with a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter. I hope Ava evens out the boy/girl scales for you one day and bestows upon you a myriad of original short stories suitable for blogging.

Cherie said...

That is truly amazing! :-) How creative they are.

Teresa said...

That was so great, it reminds me of something that Sydney would do. :)

Anonymous said...


this document needs to be copied for future reference and for the boys to look upon later on in life when they're teaching their sons the rules of engagement.


Anonymous said...


this document needs to be copied for future reference and for the boys to look upon later on in life when they're teaching their sons the rules of engagement.


Jeff Timberwolf said...

This is great. I've found it doubles as an employee ethics handbook for work as well.