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Two Notable Fighters
Crackpot Mailbox: An Aspiring Combatant Needs to Know Who Those Badasses Were
Wed, Nov 6, 12:05 PM (2 days ago)
to me
I have two figures to ask about, before getting to the rousing meat of this message.
1) Back during [redacted meeting of evil minds], you mentioned a man who fought a polar bear. My written note disappeared, but since I wrote it, I remember the name being something like "Penhar." I couldn't find anything about him, even while I had the note. Where's a place to find his account?
2) The other name is something like "Rico Aris," "Ariz," or "Arez." I assume he's a Filipino, and probably not well-documented. You mentioned him in the "Stick Fighting Basics #3 Stroke Catalog," as a particularly dangerous model opponent. Any account of him?
-Can't Stop the Robot
*
Okay, Chuck Wepner, who fought a polar bear and also fought Andre the Giant and knocked down Mohamed Ali, all three of whom messed him up is the subject of the excellent movie Chuck. he was also used as the basis for the Rocky character. Last I heard he was still a liquor salesman in New Jersey.
The most frightening stick-fighter I ever matched up against was Rico Arus, who knocked me the fuck out with a short stroke that bent the stick into a U and hit my spine and short circuited my nervous system at the Maryland Open at the Duburns Arena in 2006.
I lucked out and did not draw Rico in the next stick tourney that year.
In 2007 he broke my hand in an FMA stick fight and won on points, politely stopping while I got off the floor, asking if I was fit to continue before completing the administration of my beating. Then, later that day, when we went stick and shield, I stabbed him in the neck and he knocked me out with another shoulder stroke. Photos from these events can be seen in Winter of a Fighting Life and Modern Agonistics. Rico is not Filipino. As my Chicorican coach Gabriel said when he "poopooed" my assertion that I could not possibly beat Rico in stick & shield before the above-mentioned slaughter, he said, "It's just a Puerto Rican with a trashcan lid!"
Rico was like fighting a gargoyle, the baddest dude I ever faced off with in any capacity. During the 2006 tourney his cousin, an actor, standing at ringside, reminisced about the event being like when black guys used to come into their neighborhood in Spanish Harlem in the late 1980s and someone would go get Rico and they would all watch him drive off the racial enemies single-handed. I often wondered if he used a trashcan lid...
The last I heard, Rico was giving salsa dancing instruction in a Baltimore night club called The Latin Palace. He would be in his mid forties, I think. He is a classy dude who went and got my second place trophy for me after he squashed me like a bug in front of 1200 spectators in the most notable moment of my combat arts journey.
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