Adventurer for Hire: No I Will Not Fight You

Image by Neil Krug.

When I stayed in Saint Paul I put up a Craigslist ad offering my skills as a professional adventurer.

I didn’t do this for money, just to get answers. The word “adventurer” is really tilted by games, movies and… well, mostly games.

What would real people ask a real adventurer to do?

At first the results were underwhelming: crickets, then spam.

But eventually I did get one (apparently serious) response. It went like this:

If you are truly looking for an adventure and if you claim to teach people “martial arts,” then come meet me in a park west of downtown Minneapolis and fight me. If you win, I will let you stay with me and feed you for a week. If I win I just get the pleasure of beating up a “martial arts instructor.” I’m a big guy and a veteran Marine so you probably won’t do this. No rules, just wear pants and MMA gloves if you want, I won’t need them. Anything goes, we fight until someone taps out or gets knocked out.


TM was referring to a line in my original ad. Mostly I left the meaning of adventurer ambiguous, but I added: “I’m also happy to tutor individuals or groups in skills such as outdoor survival, martial arts, and travel.” I thought that was a pretty uncontroversial line.

The Response

Unfortunately, I had also specified in my ad that the offer was for “one week only.” By the time TM decided to send me this challenge, I was already back on the road and moving south. As much as I love angry Marines, I don’t bike 100+ miles to see them.

But I didn’t leave him hanging.

What’s the right response to a challenge like this? Any decent martial artist would politely turn it down, and not out of fear: the whole idea is just creepy. Two men fighting (with no rules!) in a public park where children play is neither legal nor advisable.

For a priest, the challenge is an eminently human moment of contact with a man in great pain. I responded honestly:

Hi TM,

I have to admit the offer intrigues me. Unfortunately, as stated in the ad, I was only in the Cities one week…

If I wasn’t moving on, I would make you a counter proposal. The counter proposal would be that we should first spend a night talking over food and drinks and then, if you still want to fight, we could fight the next day. I would be interested to see how a veteran Marine fights. And I’d be even more interested in just talking with the guy who has the guts to make an offer like this.

Maybe we’ll get a chance some day.

Best wishes,

I believe this honors the spirit of adventure: a sincere interest in his challenge, and a deeper interest in getting to know him and making friends with the bold-hearted.

TM has not replied further.

Was this a good response? Was it the right response for a professional adventurer?


14 thoughts on “Adventurer for Hire: No I Will Not Fight You

  1. Sean says:

    I think it was an excellent response although the only thing I would have changed is that I would have required that the fight be conducted in a place better suited for it. Such as a dojo or a gym.

    I’ve known a few Veteran Marines fight (don’t use ex-marine, once a Marine, always a Marine). Their form of hand-to-hand is an awesome to watch and one I would love to learn myself.

    • I’ve known a few Veteran Marines fight (don’t use ex-marine, once a Marine, always a Marine).

      Good point. Edited.

      Their form of hand-to-hand is an awesome to watch and one I would love to learn myself.

      Do you know at all what it’s based on?

  2. Arden says:

    I think this highlights that social adroitness is part of an adventurer’s skillset. :) (And that pants are apparently *not* necessary to win a scrimage. True story.)

  3. Beatriz says:

    Funny you say ‘professional’ adventure… what takes someone to be professional at something? Do it a lot? Do it in a amazing way? To me there something very umprofessional in the context of adventuring. It’s the whole charm of it. Because it’s weird do say your career is to be an adventurer, or your job. Adventurers are such… because they are.
    Still, interesting experience you did, and even more interesting outcome.

    • Thanks Beatriz. I do consider myself a professional adventurer. I adventure every day and part of my income comes from recording and sharing my adventures. I put adventure before almost everything else, and invest money in proper equipment.

      I think anyone can be an adventurer. For some it is a hobby and for others it’s a way of life. I’d love it if more people called themselves professional adventurers, especially if they’re out there living it.

      It says adventurer on my business card :)

  4. Drew, Beng a mother of sons myself, I find this ad and the whole idea of even thinking of accepting a “duel” with a total stranger unsafe and un- wise. Sorry, dear, I know you are trying to lead the most adventurous life you can, but you need to be a little more careful. At least if you are going to consider meeting with total strangers from running an ad in Craig’s list give a thought to the possibilty that the person could be a psychopath. Arrange any meetings in very public well populated places, like reatuarants and gyms, and only in a park where there are LOTS of people around the area. You have a long way to go ,and owe it to yourself to keep yourself safe enough to be able to continue your adventures. It seems like the only persons who would answer an ad like you posted would be at least odd, if not down right dangerous.

    • You need to be a little more careful. At least if you are going to consider meeting with total strangers from running an ad in Craig’s list…

      I think the key word here is “consider.” I could have gotten many responses, even much worse than this one (I was wondering if people would propose illegal activity?) and I would simply not have responded.

      If I had been available to meet this guy, and if he accepted my counter offer, I would have wanted some rules and witnesses for any fight. But honestly I don’t think we would have ended up fighting. I suspect it was a knee jerk reaction on his part and had we met and talked he would have seen me as a real person and not just a “martial artist” who needed knocking down.

      I do appreciate your concern. I need replies like yours, because sometimes I embrace risk too easily.

      Thank you.

  5. I find it interesting that TM sent you a response after your offer had expired, you clearly stated that the offer was only for a week, he must have know you were moving on. I wonder how motivated he would be to drive to you and meet you in person at your location. It’s too bad that T.M. has such low self-worth.

  6. Pingback: Experiment: Adventurer for Hire |   Rogue Priest

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