during which the fighters adhere to either written or unwritten rules
. I always questioned this term, because if you have a bunch of rules, how much of a fight is it anyway? It's really just a sport, perhaps made more brutal. If I was really in a fight, say, with someone breaking into my home, the only fair fight is one I win.
Still, most struggles are not life and death struggles, and it would be nice if people wouldn't cross certain lines and could keep things civil, but I think we have crossed the event horizon and it's too late to turn back now. So, the next time you get into a fight, be sure to set ground rules (Marquis of Queensbury, anyone?).