Welcome to THUMP Guide to Clubbing, a new video series starring some of our favorite DJs and producers. Every week, our team of experts will guide you through the ins and outs of the club experience, from skipping lines to chatting up bartenders.
This week, club music warrior LSDXOXO, Fool's Gold co-founder Nick Catchdubs, Jersey club queen UNIIQU3, New York party-starter Tygapaw, rising Philadelphia DJ Gun$ Garcia, and seasoned dance music veteran Nick Hook clue you in on what to do when things get a little dicey at the club. You know the situation: maybe you accidentally trample on someone's foot or spill a drink, and a fellow club-goer is not feeling the love and wants to step to you. So whether you're a lover or a fighter, here's what to do if someone starts trouble with you.
Avoiding drama in the first place
What's the big deal about a lil' club fight, anyway? Don't a couple of shoves and some insults usually just make for a good story the next day? Nick Catchdubs isn't taking any chances. "The worst thing that could happen is a lot of things," he says. "People are nuts!"
We tend to agree—who wants to run the risk of getting thrown out? If someone is trying to start drama, Gun$ Garcia advises that you avoid phrases that escalate the situation like "let's take this outside." Turn down the indignant shouts of "excuse me?" or "what did you say?"
"You're asking for it if you're giving so much attitude," says Tygapaw. Be the bigger person, de-escalate, and walk away. "It's not worth it, usually," concedes LSDXOXO. "It's kind of tacky to throw fists in a club. It's not necessarily the best look."
When the aggressor won't back down
If your first efforts at defusing the situation aren't working, it's time to take your tactics to the next level. Remember, the goal here is still to avoid a fight, or as Nick Catchdubs says, "Disarm, don't escalate."
Gun$ Garcia likes to kill 'em with kindness, because, as she notes, "How are you going to punch someone in the face that's smiling at you?" LSDXOXO also opts for a verbal counter-attack rather than a physical one. "There are lots of ways to shade someone effectively without using your fists," he points out. If you have dirt on that person, now might be the time to bust it out.
Nick Hook knows that at this point you don't need to go it alone. "Head nod at the bouncer you've already made friends with," Hook advises. Your nod will effectively say, "'Hey, get this dude out of here.'" Or, as UNIIQU3 says, try busting out that Bon Qui Qui impression and calling for "Securityyyy!"
Fighting the good fight
Maybe your combatant just won't let it go. Or maybe you really need to defend yourself. In any case, if it's time to get physical, focus on the quick and effective intimidation moves. "Go for areas people are just not gonna want to fight you anymore," says LSDXOXO. Make sure you don't start something you can't finish—"You've gotta own up to the size you're trying to portray yourself as," notes UNIIQU3.
Garcia is not a fan of the punch, for example, because "you could miss" and that would be embarrassing and ineffective. Tygapaw implores you to "get the biggest homie around you," so that you don't have to take this joker on your own. And Nick Hook's best move? "Run." Hook also recommends working your way toward the door so the bouncers actually see what's going on. Or if you're straight up under attack with no help in sight, "Armadillo that shit," says Catchdubs. "Get down. If you're a pretty man, just protect yourself."
But for all of our club pros—even those with fighting days in their past—they've got one piece of advice that's sure to make you come out unscathed: don't fight in the club!
"Keep your cool," says Hook. "And be a motherfuckin G."