ANTIFA fight club

Antifascist martial arts clubs and tournaments









The anti-fascist martial arts movement

In the early 2000s, the economic crisis and social instability of Vladimir Putin’s Russia gave rise to an epidemic of violence against people of colour perpetrated by fascist/neo-Nazi groups and their supporters. Parallel developments have occurred across Eastern Europe. According to Russian human rights organizations, from 2004 to 2015 approximately 527 people have been murdered in “racist and neo-Nazi violence” in Russia, in addition to well over 3000 beatings that have often left their victims maimed and crippled. In actuality, everyday violence against foreigners and gay people is so common it is impossible to accurately measure. Like fascists everywhere, Russian fascists are cowards: most attacks are committed by gangs and mobs against lone victims, including the elderly and children. Russian fascists are fond of video-recording their attacks and posting them on the internet, to encourage others and “send a message.” A spokesperson for a major fascist organization interviewed for Australian television defended the attacks on children: “This is how we do things…In the future he’ll either become a terrorist, or an enemy. If it is a girl, she will give birth to some more enemies.”

But this is only half the story. The other half is that of the brave Russian youth, disgusted by what they saw going on around them, who began to fight back. “Antifa” (anti-fascist) as it became known, was never an organization or a conspiracy. Many of those involved were angry, idealistic kids from sub-cultural circles: punk rock, hardcore, skinhead, graffiti, hip-hop. Some were anarchists, some were communists, some didn’t care about politics. It was essentially a spontaneous movement of young people forced to take the path of street-level, militant anti-fascism by the hard realities of the society they were living in.

The need to fight created the need to train. As more and more anti-fascist youth got into training seriously in the martial arts, a movement was born. Anti-fascists training together informally turned into legitimate clubs, clubs turned into leagues, leagues turned into national tournaments and finally into international tournaments. Today such events have taken place not only in Russia but also Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, the Czech Republic, Greece, Spain, Italy and Denmark. The movement has also spread to Latin America, where tournaments have been organized in Chile and Colombia in recent years. The movement has developed beyond the amateur level: there are a number of professional fighters in various disciplines – boxing, K-1, Muay Thai, MMA – who have emerged from the anti-fascist scene.

The anti-fascist martial arts movement is something fundamentally different in the world of organized, competitive fighting. Many of the people involved are arguably not the typical kind of people who become fighters. Most never took up their respective disciplines to become famous or out of the drive to compete, but rather because they are part of a very real political struggle in which physical combat is required. Victory in the ring: this doesn’t matter. What matters is victory on the street, as an essential component of the larger political victory against fascism, injustice and oppression. Anti-fascism in Russia today is a dangerous business: security demands that fighters train and compete anonymously in clandestine conditions – there is no fame or glory here. While the tournaments are full-contact with all fighters bringing their absolute best, the spirit of solidarity and fraternity prevails over the spirit of competition. Iron sharpens iron.

The anti-fascist martial arts movement in Eastern Europe is perhaps the most exciting and promising development in Western radical Left politics of recent decades. Curiously, interest in the phenomenon is practically non-existent within North American leftist circles. This can partially be blamed on barriers of language and geographical distance, and because fascist activity in Canada and the United States has in large part been at a low ebb since the end of the 1990s. Nevertheless, those of us in North America who realize the significance of the anti-fascist movement in Eastern Europe need to have a discussion as to its relevance to us over here, and what we should be doing to support our comrades over there.

This post is a gold mine and very much appreciated, thank you!

I'd like to hear more about physical culture too starting from a basis of health and fitness and wellness. From there people who are up for intensive fight training can pursue it. The new Contrapoints is funny check it out:

"Curiously, interest in the phenomenon is practically non-existent within North American leftist circles. This can partially be blamed on barriers of language and geographical distance, and because fascist activity in Canada and the United States has in large part been at a low ebb since the end of the 1990s."

You forgot the part about ID pols and the regressive Left controlling most of antifascist activity, thus making it one-dimensional, weak, binary and mostly spectacular.

Beyond that, the context in Europe, especially East Europe, and Chile simply can't be put on the same level as North America. Especially not for its anarchist networks that are sharply differing in terms of insurrectionary intensity, credibility and pragmatism, where the only armed struggle you'll get is mostly occasional window-smashing/painting and a few sucker punches. In comparison in Moscow there used to be a time, not long ago, that antifascist struggle involved having to overthrow the domination by Neonazis of all alternative milieus and going down to deadly streetfights where you had casualties often. These days that appears to be the dangerous situation they got in Poland and Bulgaria.

I don't see most of my local antifa crowd being able to survive for long under similar intense struggle. Especially not in the context where they let themselves being fronted and even organized by Red fascists like Maoists and Palestinian nationalists, and the only tactics they know how to best use is slander politics. Especially not when they expose themselves upfront all over social media.

I mean gtfo of this flimsy petty-bourgie shit... if you're quite sure that neofascism is a real problem in your area, just think of other ways to fight it than siding with managers of dissent. They'll be bring you nowhere good.

Yeah good point about the Idpols and regressive left controlling most antifa, but I wouldn't deduct that this made it weak binary one dimensional and spectacular. The Idpol in Europe has already peaked, its evolution in NA was retarded by about 10 yrs, for regional and cultural reasons. Its the new democratic policy defining benchmark where corporatism sees its future planning and management heading. Its not about morals for them, and the methodology is of the subtlest totalitarian techniques involving propaganda and indoctrination.

You forgot to mention our (North American anti-fascists) excellent internet trolling skills!

self defence is a good way of warming up for whatever yu call antifa,get profit by looking on cctv like u are being attacked and your fascist slipped and fell trying to hit u and hit the deck headfirst.OR wave your arms about spitting and shouting for metube,jailtime joint enter etc etc.your hardest fighter is on ketamine and will piss themselves if you punch them in the stomach.nazi in a coma

Punching the city
Documentary film on left-wing, people's, antifascist gyms and martial art clubs from over Europe


A low intense war is being fought on the streets of Europe and the aim is on fascism. This critically acclaimed documentary takes us behind the masks of the militants called antifascists.
In 2013 a group of armed nazis attacks a peaceful demonstration in Stockholm where several people are injured. In Greece the neo-nazi party Golden Dawn becomes the third largest in the election and in Malmö the activist Showan Shattak and his friends are attacked by a group of nazis with knives and he ends up in a coma.
In this portrait of the antifascists in Greece and Sweden we get to meet key figures that explain their view on their radical politics but also to question the level their own violence and militancy.

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