MENLO PARK, California (AP) -- They may sport love handles and Ivy League degrees, but every two weeks, some Silicon Valley techies turn into vicious street brawlers in a real-life, underground fight club.
Kicking, punching and swinging every household object imaginable -- from frying pans and tennis rackets to pillowcases stuffed with soda cans -- they beat each other mercilessly in a garage in this bedroom community south of San Francisco.
Then, bloodied and bruised, they limp back to their desks in the morning.
"When you get beat down enough, it becomes a very un-macho thing," said Shiyin Siou, 34, a Santa Clara software engineer and three-year veteran of the clandestine fights. "But I don't need this to prove I'm macho -- I'm macho enough as it is."
Inspired by the 1999 film "Fight Club," starring Brad Pitt and Ed Norton, underground bare-knuckle brawling clubs have sprung up across the country as a way for desk jockeys and disgruntled youths to vent their frustrations and prove themselves.
"This is as close as you can get to a real fight, even though I've never been in one," the soft-spoken Siou said.
Despite his reserved demeanor, he daydreams about inflicting pain on an attacker. "I have fantasies about it," he said.