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An amazing yet little known pastime of Bear Boxing is a sport enjoyed by dozens of courageous and brave people. The sport involves a one-on-one battle between man versus the toughest of upright fighters - the black bear. (Mind you, this sport is not to be confused with Bare Boxing, the art of fighting someone without clothing on. Bare Boxing, in turn, is not to be confused with fighting a man in a kilt.)

The sport is borne from bullfighting, a girly and meek sport by comparison. In bullfighting, the "fighter" supposedly is in mortal danger, yet in reality the bull spends the majority of the time getting slashed at by a man in tight pants, wondering what in the world they did to deserve such a rude death as having this man in his extremely tight pants slash at them while trying to simply find a bit of shade under the cool red cloth. Whenever they do manage to hustle under it, they're stabbed, the cloth is withdrawn, and it begins again. Boooring!

In Bear Boxing however, there are no weapons except your bare (excuse the pun) fists, and the only dress code is clean underwear. Both parties are prepped, the human through rigorous training (which includes a good amount of him being liquored up by his friends, and 911 being called in advance) and the bear through his ten-someodd years of living in the harsh wilderness. Right off let me dispel the obvious rumor that the man is much better suited to this test of wills - that is frequently not the case. Under many circumstances, the bear is almost as proficient a fighter and can take as many blows as the human can. Do not be persuaded by the animal rights activists!

Both parties are then drawn to the designated arena, frequently on the bear's home turf, (although some battles have been held in the human's home, however impromptu they may be). The human, in his liquored state, is pushed towards the bear, already been angered by BB-shots. The human then engages the beast, and attempts to box him with his gloveless fists.

A variety of maneuvers and specialty attacks can be utilized to this end, on both sides. The bear has access to claws and anger, adrenaline and sheer strength and size. He can also do the (aptly-coined) "bear-hug", or simply squash or crush his opponent. Teeth are also an important factor. The human, on the other hand, has a more diverse yet less effective set of options. He can take a severe beating, become knocked unconscious, wet him/herself, cry for his/her mother, listen to his bones crack with a sickening snap, or simply assume that he's winning. The majority of the time, the battle starts with the latter, and ends with several (if not all) of the former.

Few rules are set in the Bear Boxing guidebook, but almost all rulebooks ban help from outside parties except when A) The bear is clearly beaten to an extent beyond being able to fight, or B) Their friend no longer seems to be breathing. In the case of the latter, EMS has usually arrived by this time. The case of the former has yet to occur, although enthusiasts do not consider it a setback.

Few humans consider themselves experts, but this commonly unexplored yet inexpensive sport has endless possibilities for the new and untrained. It is generally recommended that a newbie begins on the smaller end of the spectrum, attacking raccoons or skiers before moving onto black bears.

Scoring depends on one of two factors: Time in battle, and decibels of screaming. Time is more important as far as points goes, but lack of cries of mercy also can win a player a better rank.

Bears are graded on form and finesse.

As a final word: scores in Bear Boxing are almost always directly related to your blood alcohol content, so drink up before every exciting round!

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