ROK Special Forces in Bar Brawl, Lose to Dragon Tattoo Owner

Image from Kukinews

From Yonhap:

Special Forces Soldiers Start a Bar Fight, Lose Badly

It took place during the peak of the holiday season, the 15th of December, 4:00 a.m. The setting was a bar in a restaurant district of Hwayang, in Seoul.

In the early morning hours, four male non-commissioned officers and two female soldiers from the Songpa Special Forces Base were drinking, dancing, and enjoying their freedom off-base.

It was at that moment that three junior officers from the same base, who were seated at the neighboring table, caught their attention. The younger officers seemed to be neglecting to pay the proper respect to their senior officers.

“What do you young guys think you’re doing, turning your backs on us and being so rude?”

The bar, filled with customers, suddenly grew tense as the physically imposing soldiers started to argue. The owner of the bar, worried about losing business during the busy holiday season, came out and tried to calm the rising tempers, but it was no use.

It was at that moment that the furious owner stripped off his shirt, exposing a tattoo on his chest of a coiled dragon.

Image from Seoul Sinmun

“Right now is my busiest time and you guys think you have a reason to disrupt my business? Keep on going and you’ll all be thrown into the stockade,” said the owner, threatening the soldiers.

Behind the owner stood nine other employees of the bar, spread out on both sides of him in a row. Among the employees were a professional boxer and several college athletes.

It was impossible to tell who swung first, but within seconds the bar turned into a chaotic brawl. Approximately thirty to forty patrons screamed and scrambled out the exits. The female soldiers and younger military officers attempted to stop the fight but ended up tangled in the middle of the struggle.

Despite having gone through rigorous training for counter-terrorism operations, the soldiers were very drunk and thus unable to land many blows. It seemed as if they came off worse as the fight ended.

Two soldiers called 119 emergency services after twenty-two-year-old Mr. Hong, an employee of the bar, got a serious head injury.

Twenty-two-year-old Sergeant Han and four of the NCOs were arrested for assaulting the bar employees and causing injury. On December 28th, the Seoul Police announced that the soldiers had been turned over to the military police.

The bar owner was also held on charges of attacking a Sergeant Kim as well as two other soldiers. Two other bar employees were charged for assault and released on bail.

A police spokesperson said, “Given the fact that the Special Forces troops were well trained in hand to hand combat, one might have expected that they would cause severe injury to the civilians. However, it seems that their impairment due to drinking meant they actually lost the fight.”

It has since been reported that the bar owner paid a settlement to the affected soldiers.

Comments from Daum:


What did the bar owner and his employees do wrong? It’s the drunken and disorderly grunts who were the problem.


The reporter wrote a very detailed account ㅋㅋㅋㅋ it felt like I was really there ㅋㅋㅋㅋ


Get out of the military, you bunch of special forces idiots. Four of you starting a fight against nine… Did you think you received special training to beat up on civilians? You have no right to call yourselves special forces soldiers, take off your uniforms.


The reporter did a damn good job with this article!


Tension coursed through the assembled bar workers, the bar owner, his body full of dragon spirit, and the Special Forces soldiers, expertly trained in the art of death. A scared patron drops his chopstick. Bang, it clatters to the floor. Swift as lightning, the owner lets loose with strike at a soldier with the appearance of a general. Who is this man? Their training taking over, the soldiers instantly take their positions and make their counterattack.


What a humiliation for the Special Forces, getting disciplined by some thug bar owner


Available on the new menu: seven soldiers, Special Forces in name only


No matter how drunk they might have been… it’s enough to make any Special Forces embarrassed. With those kind of skills, how are they expected to go after terrorists?


A Special Forces soldier has to be capable of fighting whether or not he’s drunk… it doesn’t help if you’re idiots to start with.


Is the reporter writing a mystery serial novel? Describing the barman’s tattoos and the row of nine employees? ㅋㅋㅋㅋ I can just imagine the sceneㅋㅋㅋㅋ


What do you expect when these soldiers spend all of their time out on exercises and turning themselves into human weapons? They don’t know how to control themselves and start fights as soon as they get loose and start drinking.


I don’t understand why the bar owner was sent to prison;; Doesn’t a hospital stay of four weeks or longer for a victim mean that the attacker has to go to prison? A soldier who assaults a civilian should get more than fifteen days in the stockade


What kind of Special Forces start a disturbance inside of a city? You’re an embarrassment, prepare to get kicked out of the military


The winner of the fight were the thirty to forty customers who ran off. Some free drinks, see a good fight, then on to the next bar, eh? ㅋㅋㅋㅋ


Shouldn’t something be said here about the marines? Who can match ROK Marines when it comes to getting drunk and starting a ruckus?


Do NCOs no longer get told how they should act when they are off base?


Seeing as how the bar owner ended up paying a settlement to the soldiers, the bar employees must have really beat the heck out of them


A place where there are nine strong bar workers, where you can drink and dance, where the owner has tattoos… I don’t think that’s a normal bar.


Why did they have to bother people who just wanted to live in peace ㅋㅋㅋㅋHow out of control must the soldiers have been for the barman to bare his tattoosㅋㅋㅋㅋwhat counterterrorism operations are going on now? With all the snow lately they should have been busy shoveling


the bar owner did nothing wrong. There are too many soldiers who think they can get away with everything just because they are in the military, drinking until they are crazy, those saekki. These soldiers should all be discharged at the rank of private. Tried to play at something in front of the female soldiers and ended up getting humiliated. What kind of special forces nom are they ㅉㅉㅉ

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  • YourSupremeCommander

    Without actual combat experiences, these Special OPS jocks only know how to operate in controlled environments, aka training exercises. Take them into the real world they are as dead as a sitting duck.

    • dk2020

      oh yeah .. it’ll be the same thing in the battlefield .. smfh ..

    • Cali

      Did you forget about the Samho Jewelry incident already?

      • chucky3176

        Good point. Korean special forces killed the several Somalian pirates, captured two of the pirates who took a big South Korean tanker hostage, but still managed to free the hostages without losing any lives. It’s more much more than about punching people out in hand to hand brawl. It’s also about keeping cool, accurate marksmanship, survival, and making quick decisions.

        • Except of course the Korean sailor who had a gunshot wound was shot by a Korean soldier (accidentally, but still).

  • x1sfg

    As a retired FOG in US special operations and dealing with the Pacific AOR, I have worked with these ROK SOF on multiple occasions.

    YourSupremeCommander’s statement in knowing how they operate in controlled environments is incorrect. ROK SOF has seen action in the last decade. As for training exercises, SOF trains harder than actual combat. They aren’t combat proven in comparison to the US, the UK and the other Commonwealth nations if that’s your point, but are far from being an unproven force. Before GWOT, most US/UK SOF weren’t combat vets but we made the transition from controlled training environments to combat pretty easily, so your point is moot.

    Second, hand-to-hand is a very small portion of what SOF does. Yes, the US Army has a combatives program, The ROKs spend a bit more emphasis than the US does on combatives, but it is still a very small portion of training. If you have to use H2H, you’re already in trouble. You get better returns working on your marksmanship. SOF aren’t going to win any international MMA competitions. We are not supermen nor do we have the time to train in all the different skill sets we already have trouble in maintaining, not to mention the BS AKO and Big Army courses like the Suicide Prevention Powerpoint and safety standown briefings that take hours of our time that we can’t get back. SOF may be in better physical shape and mentally tougher than your average person, yes, with some H2H training, but many don’t train in martial arts extensively unless they do it on their own off-time, like Strikeforce competitor Tim Kennedy. Although many of us did have competitive wrestling, boxing, judo, MMA, and traditional MA backgrounds, it’s something we don’t have the need or time to train for extensively.

    Yes, US SOF also gets into bar brawls, and sometimes, they lose. Fayetteville, Virginia Beach, Camp Lejeune, there really isn’t that much to do besides drink. Being SOF doesn’t give you an excuse to act a fool when drunk and start fights, nor does SOF status make you impervious to getting beat down.

    BTW, the netizens’ complaints are NO different from bar owners and civilians in towns with a heavy military presence. When you get a bunch of aggressive Type A personalities drunk, this is going to happen. Unprofessional, yet inevitable.

    • So many acronyms…

      • lonetrey / Dan

        I lost track of quite a few… I just replaced them all with “Big Scary Military Men” in my head.

  • Kate

    No sexy pics of ROK SOF in uniform? I’m so disappointed…buff asian men in uniform are sexy!

    • Elf Queen

      That is why I came here.

  • chucky3176

    Four special forces, against nine bar bouncers, is being out gunned two to one. And two of them were female soldiers who tried to stop the fight. I bet that bar owner belongs to the mafia, and his men probably are very experienced, and enjoy their line of work, beating on people. I don’t care if you’re superman, it’s going to be pretty hard outgunned two to one and taking on bad ass men who are probably 200+ pounds men.

    • Anonymal

      “a professional boxer and several college athletes.” most likely taekwondo athletes rather than 200+ pound men. They lost because they were drunk. Lower hand-eye coordination, inaccurate judgment of space, less balance etc. If they werent drunk the result will be different. They lost before the fight start.

      • dk2020

        I agree, drunk idiots are easy to KTFO ..

  • elizabeth

    Crouching tigers and hidden dragon 1
    Drunken swordsmen 0

    • dk2020

      womp womp womp .. corny joke ..

      • elizabeth

        I promise I’ll laugh if you come up with a not-so-corny one.

  • agentX

    I’m getting in my licks now before the thread gets locked.
    Joke 1) I guess that’s why they’re called “special” forces. You’d have to be pretty “special” to want to fight while drunk against an entire bar staff.
    Joke 2) Maybe the military should put the tattoo guy in charge! He seems to know a lot about firepower!

    • Hongwu Emperor

      joke 1 and 2 approved man!

  • Pingback: ROK Special Forces Soldiers Reportedly Get Beat Up By Thugs at a Bar | ROK Drop()

  • kpopwillneverstop

    Ridiculous. And it all started because they wanted a bunch of lower level dongsaengs to greet them. So stupid. Regardless of whether they were drunk or not, Korea places so much emphasis on respecting your elders that I wouldn’t be surprised if this happened if the soldiers were sober.

  • Gomer Pile

    When we got into bar brawls no one was keeping score… so excuse me for not stiffling a mild yawn. It’s a bar brawl. Shit happens. Especially in room full of angry drunks. Gimme a break. The whole story sounds scripted anyhow.

    And depending on context… where the bar was and who the owner is… if it’s some mob guy and he’s hooked up he probably gets into scraps for laughs. Most soldiers are prancing show ponies until they’ve been in the shit. So it just doesn’t mean much. Anyone drawing conclusions or making inferences is a maroon. I just can’t believe how incredibly infantile and poorly disciplined these guys are to get suckered into this shit over some drunken seniority bs.

  • Madesu

    They should have fought outside the bar to their heart’s content and saved some pity for the bar owner’s business.

  • mistertee

    Come-on………just kids having fun.

  • dim mak

    Sounds like some gangster boss

    What do you call the korean mafia?

    • There’s no overarching term equivalent to “yakuza” or “mafia” or “triad”. Common terms are 초폭 사람 (“chopok saram” – “organised-violence person”) and 범제 (“beomje” – “criminal”).

      • Sillian

        I thought you would speak Korean well but I was wrong. It’s 조폭 and nobody puts 사람 behind 조폭. It’s 범죄 and it means crime. 범죄자 or 범인 means criminal. For the question, 조폭 or 깡패 will do.

  • redgirls

    lolz, sandbags!

  • Billy

    There is a difference between being trained for a war and fighting a barroom brawl. I was in the British army and squaddies were always getting the shit kicked out of them by civvies. Of course civvies would get the crap kicked out of them too but because someone is a solider doesn’t mean he is going to take a civillian in a fight. These marines were daft enough to fight outnumbered and got a predicatable beating. A non-story.

  • vt.

    The problem doesn’t derive from the fight. But from the Junior and Senior soldiers. Korean society is so fucked up with the honorific system. Ease off a bit, just because your older doesn’t mean you can boss and bully people around. It just means you’re knowledgeable and wiser. But obviously not in this case. Stupid “senior” officers decided to start a fight for no reason disgracing the Korean Special Forces. what a disgrace.

  • lonetrey / Dan

    Why did the bar owner have to pay the fine? He was dealing with drunken people on his establishment… seems like they should’ve just called it even…

  • chocoboban

    Im european ex military and specialist and i can tell you one thing. DRUNK PEOPLE DO NOT WIN FIGHTS. Except if they are Russian. Im not Russian therefore i avoid conflicts when inebriated. Also I do not fight that good but i shoot flies on 200meters with any rifle. Just a quick reminder- in wars we tend to shoot, no need to put on gloves and break noses.

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