Physical contact is a necessary ingredient for the mosh pit. Therefore the best approach is to remember to stay relaxed. Ideally, the point of impact is supposed to be gentle and friendly but at the same time adrenaline is adrenaline and a groove is a groove, so either catch the flow or...consider other options. If you don't like physical contact, stand on the edge of the pit and help keep out of control moshers from flying out of the circle. It is understood that when people fall down, you must try to pick them up. Fallen moshers might get trampled and cause others to trip and fall. It benefits the general well-being of everyone to rush to the aid of people who have fallen and can't get up.
The techniques of slamdancing vary depending upon the type of show you are at. When you see a punk band, you slam. Punks created slamdancing. What they had in mind was making sure that they could release some aggression and enjoy their music without being mistaken for the type of dorks that go to Billy Idol concerts. The verb to slamdance comes from the Latin word slamdancus, meaning fuck it, don't worry about anybody else, just dance. The objective of slamdancing is to dance, make physical contact, and bounce off of other people without hurting anyone. The objective of the mosh pit is to create an atmosphere which fosters unrestricted self-expression and interaction with live music.
At skaterock shows, you thrash. Skaters and snowboarders have always pushed the artistic limits of moshing. Skaterock encompasses everything from hardcore punk and ska to funk and hip-hop, so the rhythm and the tempo constantly change. Compared to the average person in the pit (with the exception of bike messengers) skaters and snowboarders flexibility, coordination, and conditioning on their side. Their inclination towards acrobatics and being airborne on the street, on vert, or on snow-covered slopes carries over to the pit. Thrashing is a faster more aggressive version of slamdancing which emphasizes creative airborne techniques. In order to witness true thrashing, check out Fishbone or The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. If you think you might be afraid, check out some old Flipside videos that have clips of Minor Threat, Black Flag, Suicidal Tendencies, and the old Red Hot Chili Peppers in concert.
At a ska show you skank. The Ska/Rock Steady beat is the predecessor to the Reggae one-drop. Although the modern ska beat moves faster than the reggae, the Oi/one-drop melody magically consumes people and makes them skank. Skanking is like jogging in place with a few adjustments. In order to skank, bend low to the ground. One arm comes up across the chest in an exaggerated jogging motion and the opposite knee comes up and hits the elbow. Skanking is not really a jog but more of a skip in time with the beat. If you have trouble learning how to skank, go find some skinheads and take them bowling. Oi, Oi, Oi!
Motorhead, Megadeth, Slayer, and Metallica during the Ride The Lightning/ Kill em' All days are the bands responsible for initiating the short-lived speed-metal era of the late 80's. Back then, metal was all about adrenaline, so it was played fast. But no music in the world could be played fast enough to keep the headbangers from nodding their heads and throwing their hair to the beat while they slammed. This version of slamming was called moshing. The reason that moshing has become the pseudonym for slamdancing is that Metallica was the only good band to survive the transitional period which replaced authentic forms of punk, thrash, and speedmetal with alternative buzzkill music.
Although a stagedive should take no longer than 5 seconds on the average, executing a stagedive is much more difficult than you think. Dealing with the crowd to get to the stage is a pain in the ass. Evading bouncers once you get on stage is an even bigger pain in the ass. And if you do make it to the stage, there's always that fifty percent chance that the crowd may not see you when you dive.
When you do get on stage, don't interrupt the band. Without music, the mosh pit cannot exist. Clumsy fools knock over mic stands, bump into guitars, and step on the monitors. Don't be a clumsy fool. Stupid fools hurl themselves off the stage and throw all their weight into the crowd. Don't be a stupid fool. As you land in the crowd, tense up momentarily in order to make yourself lighter. You'll be easier to catch. Dumb motherfuckers don't look before they dive and they break unsuspecting necks, land on crowd surfers, or bust their own heads open. Don't be a dumb-motherfucker. Look before you dive! I don't think I can handle another episode of C.HI.P.S or Quincy.
If you don't like to stagedive, crowd surfing without stagediving is easy if you use the "cop-ditch" method. Find two people who are taller than you, put a hand on each of their shoulders, then hoist yourself up just like you would to clear a tall fence when the cops are on your ass. This method ensures that two people, instead of one, can help you up. It also gives people around you the chance to react. Don't use the Granny-shot method. The Granny-shot method is when one person cups their hands to make a stool for someone who wants to go up. Usually, the fool that goes up, blindly falls backwards into the crowd. This could break somebody's neck or cause you to break your own. Once on top, relax and let the crowd carry you. It sucks to hold someone up while they flail their arms and kick their feet.
It's unfortunate. But we must consider it a fact of life that there are a lot of perverted-ass non-sex-havin'- punk-motherfuckers out there. They love going to shows because it gives them an opportunity to pinch a tit, grab an ass, or rub a crotch. The mosh pit is a chance for these bastards to interact with the opposite sex in ways that one-handed day dreaming and self-inflicted spankings cannot provide. With holes in their pockets and dicks in hand, they set upon the mosh pit foaming at the mouth with one goal in mind: coping a quick feel so that they may be satisfied until the next show. The bottom line is that females must always be respected in the pit. Most women are already intimidated, so why make it more difficult. But ladies, you have to help out! If some punk-motherfucker named Chester disrespects you, let somebody know right away and don't feel guilty. He's the asshole that accosted you! Let's see how much Chester likes to get touched with a fist or a boot or a bat. Since Chester likes to get his rocks off, I'll hold him down after the gig and we can try a game of testicular soccer. It's only a little different than pocket-pool.
But at the same time, there are plenty of bouncers that take their job too seriously. When this happens they obstruct freeflowing movement in the pit. If you, a friend, or someone you know has been the victim of unfair bouncing, there is no time to seek legal counsel. Take matters in to your own hands! If you think you're down, you owe it to yourself, the band, and the basic principle of the mosh pit to make sure that no one gets booted from a show because she dared to take slamdancing to another level. Violence is always a last resort unless it's that one fool out of every hundred. Just remember, STAFF members are human too and there are enough cans of ass-whoop to go around.
The other prime candidates for mosh-pit ass whippings are "No-Means-No" guys. Basically these are Sensitive-Pony-Tail-Men who don't fear the pit as much as their similarly coifed brothers. A pony-tail is a signal to remotely interested females, that they understand that, "No means no," if given a chance. If No-Means-No isn't wearing a Dead Kennedy's T-shirt, he's proudly sporting the T-shirt of the band that's playing. Although he usually wears black jeans all year around, he may be wearing some short shorts and long tube socks pulled all the way up to his knees. Since most No-Means-No guys go to gigs knowing that there is a can of ass-whoop with a pony-tail on it, the knee-high tube socks are a security measure. It's difficult for people to beat up on somebody who wears knee-high socks and keep a straight face. At any rate, the only reason why No-Means-No gets beat down in the pit is because he whines too goddamn much and gets on everybody's nerves. The crowd could be asleep and No-Means-No would start whining and asking people to quit slamming so hard. If he's not whining about the crowd, he's whining about the band playing too loud. If he's not whining about the band playing too loud, he's whining about them drinking too much beer. If he's not whining about the band drinking too much beer, he's whining about them using the word "FUCK" between songs. His famous last words are,"don't say fuck, say making love." In this day and age, the Sensitive-Pony-Tail/ No-Means-No act is old. After a few songs, people get fed up with his bullshit and No-Means-No gets pimp-slapped.