Wall fights. Episodes
Source: Dail Mail
Wall-on-wall ('stenka-na-stenku') battle, traditional Russian combat 'fun game' for men. In the past, these competitions were held mostly during the Spring holiday 'Pancake Week' (Maslenitsa). Recently, this game gained popularity among girls. Although named 'fun game', it is in fact, quite tough combat sport, with blood, broken ribs and knocking out teeth. Orthodox line-fight rules were based on keeping the order in line in which fighters acted together like a military unit. A tactical discontinuity could cause weakening of the will and as a result, a defeat. It was important to push the opposite team out and to have the enemy on the run. Actually, this game was a good military training for men who had to be ready for war at any time. A review of Russian hand-to-hand fests can be found HERE.
A contemporary practice of wall-to-wall fights, especially women's fights has broken from ancient tradition. Unlike the old "team fistfight", present-day "wall fighters" use techniques of MMA: punches, kicks, holds and throws. The most important goal is to knock out or disable opposite fighters until the end of the contest.
Traditionally, there was a strong motivation to fight against a rival team: a block club fought against another block club, urban village - against a village, urban dwellers - against ploughboys, etc. Nowadays, it is usually fans of different sport teams turn on each other. Another natural rivals - girls from different worker dormitories, especially in cotton mills.
Observation or modern wall-to-wall fights allows to describe "idealized rules and terms" of this of the contemporary team fighting. In fact, these terms and rules are quite optional. They can be generalized into the following simple headings:
1. The number of fighters should be the same in both teams. If not, "free fighters" have to wait until someone in the opposite command is available. (See P.3)
2. Do not strike an opponent if she is down or out if the game.
3. Two on to one is not allowed even though each fighter may engage in sequential fights with different opponents.
4. The team is considered as a winner if at least one fighter remains standing while all fighters of the opposite team are down and can't continue the battle.
In order to have more chance to win in this game, it is important to decide who should fight with whom. Usually, stronger fighters compete with stronger ones in the rival team.
In reality, a wall-to-wall girl fight runs in the following way: When two 'walls' collide they break into pairs of fighters. Punches, kicks, holds, throws and sometimes illegal hairulling are used. If a fighter has destroyed an opponent, she can replace a team mate if she is in trouble. Close to the end of the battle if one of the teams loses all but one fighter, that fighter has two options: to give in admitting her team defeat or fight consequently with all remaining opponents.
A fighter who has finished her opponent and doesn't have an available contestant to fight with, vigilantly watches 'fallen' rivals. If someone tries to stand up to return into the fight, she can be attacked by a 'free' fighter in order to crush in the bud any attempts to return. In practice, lying opponents demonsrating intention to get up are just kicked in the head as a 'confirming kill'. Not uncommon when two fighters attack one. In fact, referees are rare in such events, there might be just spectators who like heat fight.
In the old-fationed 'team fights the most important were collective strategy rather than individual skills - the team had to keep the line tough and nail. Even when the team battle broke into fightis of individual pairs, the initial moment of the clash of two teams remains very important. The team which attacks the enemy quicker and more energetic gets an advantage in the following battle.
I have accomplished a journalistic investigation of this game, I collected all available information about female team fights and mass encounters. So I can make some generalizations and conclusions about motivations and organization of girls 'wall-fights'.
Since recently, 'fight clubs' of Russian soccer funs (ultras) have been established in some Russian regions, including female 'teams'. One of the main goals of such fight clubs is training experienced hand-to-hand street fighters who will be capable to 'uphold the honor' of their country against foreign soccer fans during major soccer events. Currently, all-female gangs are training to grab their share of the 'glory' and to greet 'the foreigners' the World Cup which is going to take place in 2018 in Russia. Their male counterparts already became well known during their rampage through France at Euro 2016, so their all-girl offshoots are also determined to contribute in such honorable' activities.
Currently, all-girl Russian 'ultra' football hooligans actively practice in combat training. Many of them announce themselves as Vladimir Putin's supporters. Some of them engage in team-on-team brawling in the forests around Moscow. One female fighter boast that flooring opponents is 'as easy as making beetroot soup'. She added, 'We aren't the biggest gang in this world of groups that cling to each club, but those who know us, respect us. Many girls follow their favorite team. We plan for more action in the future, in the forest and not in the forest'. The most known female gangs are all Spartak and CSKA Moscow soccer clubs supporters. Other gangs have been given the names 'Female Mob' or 'Slavyanki Gang', 'Regional Girls' and 'Siege Girls'.
The most common political and ideological orientation of these organized fighting gangs is ultra
Nationalism, some their attributes resemble Nazi's symbols. A 20-year-old girl fighter has numerous tattoos expressing her extreme views, including one on her arm that reads 'White Power'. A former beauty queen is well-known for her racist and offensive social media posts, including one which referred to gay people as 'perverts'. Another fighter girl said, 'The male character type of love for our club and hatred for our enemies is what pushed us towards aggression. I first entered the male world when I took up martial arts. In social networks I often see rude words about us but in real life everyone keeps silent. And in future we plan to find these opponents and punish them for this dirt. Training is the key thing for our group. All our girls are from different sports, some are champions. Each girl on our team is either studying or working - but she is still training'.
In fact, such female gangs are the most consistent practitioners of the traditional 'sport' of stenka fighting. Male trainers and mentors are almost always present during all-girls team fights. They not just train girls in hand-to-hand combat techniques but also teach them to fight total war to the last. The male instructors foster a spirit of collectivism and allegiance to the gang which usually is very difficult to quit.
One of the motivation for the team fight is a collective feud which can be cause by various reasons including shortage of men in a town. Anoter motivation might be 'sport oriented', often for imitating and following guys' habits or for training in self-defense or MMA. Such fights usually are controlled by 'trainers' and can be stopped on his/her signal. However, even in such sport events, girls might have also different motivations for rivalry. Very often such battles are organized and provoked by men just wishing to watch and record a good girl mass fight. A few examples from the reality.
In a small texile mill town, girls from two worker's dormitories were visited by officers from a military base nearby. The officers' roster was quite short which awakened girls' jealousy. Eventually the girls from the two dormitories agreed to meet in the woods to sort out their relationship in front of officers. The dozen-on-dozen heat girl battle was a real success to the male spectators' entertainment and satisfaction while the chances of the girls for officers had not been substantially changed - for both winners and losers.
Another very typical story. Ten-eleven grade girls from two different classes were at permanent decide the difference in the 'wall-on-wall' fight in the schoolyard after hours. It was a fierce fascinating fight accompanied by fan cheers and participants' screaming. However, in the heat of the fight, a principal appeared in the battlefield and interrupted the battle...
Exclusive of the Female Single Combat Club
Wall fights. Episodes
Source: Dail Mail