‘Right you, let’s sort this outside.’
It’s not the coolest way to settle an argument; it’s also a bit old fashioned and personally, I’d run.
The modern day duel is usually a battle of words; rap battles, comedy roasts, Twitter spats.
Not really guns at dawn.
The history of the duel goes back well before the image of two toffs taking three paces; in fact it dates back to thousands of years ago, when battling armies would send their ‘Champion’ to fight one-on-one with their enemy’s top brawler.
Think David and Goliath as the most famous duel of this kind.
Duelling really took off in France during the reign of Henry IV. Unfortunately, it was so popular that approximately 10,000 Frenchmen are thought to have died during this time. Eventually, Henry put a stop to it as he was losing too many potential soldiers.
If you were challenged to a duel, you were expected to accept. It was your honour at stake. Duels were fought over everything, from land disputes to accidentally spilling wine.
The upside of the duel culture was that in order to avoid being in such a scenario, men became much more well-mannered and this civility grew throughout society.
For many years duels were fought with swords, the winner being the one to draw blood first – a nick would do it. Hands would then be shaken and it would be off to the pub.
Then came guns. Duelling pistols. They were designed to make sure nobody had an unfair advantage. Fine arms makers throughout Europe created identical pistols and tested them to ensure that they were equal in performance and appearance.
Duels didn’t happen immediately after the challenge. Often they took weeks or even months to plan – frequently with many letters sent back and forth with increasing levels of insult. It would be like two prize boxers at a press conference throwing verbal blows weeks before a big fight.
Choose your weapon.
I choose words.
You could stop reading here, or…
If you live anywhere within a 150 mile radius of Newcastle upon Tyne you should read the next bit…
I’ve been challenged to a duel. It happened just last week and I have literally chosen my weapon as words, thoughts and actions.
Will Polston is the challenger. He threw down the gauntlet and challenged me to a Personal Development Duel.
It’s taking place at The Hilton Hotel Gateshead on Thursday 26th March at 6.30pm. You can watch my video reaction to Will’s challenge here (link to LinkedIn)
It’s being billed as North vs South. Dumbledore vs Draco! Handsome vs Handsomer 😉
And here’s the best bit. As a reader of my newsletter you can attend and watch the Will vs Michael Duel firsthand live and for free. Book your place here
PS As always we love any comments. Please leave yours below.