School Fights Part 3: Behind The Bike Sheds

School Fights Part 3: Behind The Bike Sheds

This was probably the biggest fight I ever had with anyone at school.

It was rather different to fighting Chompy The School Bully.

I think this one was a direct result of people knowing that I was fighting in tournaments and stuff, because the only reason he’s given to this day as to why he wanted to fight was: “I dunno, I just wanted a fight.”

Let’s call this one ‘Tompy’.  He was one of those ‘almost a friend’ type people – in the same class, we got on pretty well – but were never best friends or anything, nor had the will to be.  He was a known ruffian and fighter, and I guess considered one of The Hardest in the school.  He certainly was in his High School the year after we fought, anyway!

So I got the message sometime during the school day that “Tompy wants to fight you behind the bike sheds after school!”.

“Umm… why?”  I asked, thinking how I didn’t particularly want to have my brains bashed in.

“Dunno.”

“Err… OK then…”  Well, I could hardly find fault with his reasoning, could I?

People spent the rest of the day helpfully informing me how hard he was, and started to avoid the Dead Man Walking again.

After school I went to the bike sheds and he was there already, with an even bigger crowd than when I fought Chompy the year before.

“Are you ready?”  He asked me, as I put my bag down on the floor.

“Well… yeah…”  I told him, getting ready to get into all the “COME ON THEN!!” stuff again…

*WHACK*

What the fuck was that?

It was him, smacking me with a right hook before I’d even finished speaking!

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Ok then.  We got straight into it – both dancing about, much to the joy of the crowd.  I didn’t really want to be fighting still, but that first punch told me I either had to fight, let him kick the shit out of me, or cry like a baby and call it off and never live it down.

I was a hell of a lot better fighting by this stage, and was getting much nastier, having got into some more brutal styles of martial art.

Unfortunately, I was still shitting myself about fighting him, so I was holding back, and more fighting just to stay even and stop him killing me.  I don’t know why – guess it was just our good buddies Fear and Adrenaline Dump.  Street fighting is a whole new world away from organised competitions, and I was still pretty inexperienced about dealing with my own fear in a ‘real’ fight.

It was an impressive fight – we were using punches and kicks and everything else, and unlike Chompy, Tompy was hitting me hard and I was feeling it.

The fight is still a bit hazy to me, but I remember certain parts of it, either because I’d done something awesome, he’d hurt me, or something surreal was happening.

Now, in competitions, I was a kick specialist, and even to this day I’m an excellent kicker – even though, as back then, I prefer to use hand techniques.  He made the mistake of trying to take me on with kicks early on in the fight.  I remember after fielding a few of these (and this was probably the first time my sixth sense had kicked in during a fight), he tried a kick, but somehow I not only saw it coming, I actually jumped in the air over his leg and kicked down on top of his kick.  He never attempted another kick, and my confidence soared from that point.

A few times, we had to stop fighting because a Teacher was walking past on their way home, and we’d all wander off slowly then leg it back when they’d gone, and it was straight back to the fight.

I managed to grab his hair, intending to pull his head back and drop a hammer fist on his face (my current favourite Nasty Move), but couldn’t quite get his head back so the move failed.

He got me in a head lock, and was smacking me right in my mush with his other hand – fuck knows how he didn’t have my teeth out or break my nose!

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Then he tried to throw me on the floor, and I got a hold and took him down with me, but landed hard on my shoulder.  We both jumped up and carried on the bashings.

Then, I remember clearly that I was stepping back for a bit of a breather, and threw out two super-fast left jabs.  Both connected with his nose, which spread out all over his face and gushed blood.  A few punches that I thought were gentle taps and all that damage from them!

He was still fighting, and seeing the damage to him, I’d gained total confidence in myself.  This was MY fight.  I was in control.  The fear had gone.

I asked him if he wanted to stop, to which he quickly said (just like Chompy had) “He wanted to stop – you all heard that!”

Fine by me – but I really was going to go for it after that!

For some fucked up reason, most people said he’d won that fight, and it wasn’t until a few years later when I spoke to those same people that they admitted I absolutely battered him!  I guess they were his mates, or wanted to stay on his good side as they went to his High School, and I went to mine.

All I know is that I was the one cleaning his blood off me that night, and I’d found out this time that I really could fight – and I was good!  Although that fall totally fucked up my shoulder, so it was probably good that the fight ended there, rather than not long after when I found I couldn’t raise my arm!!!

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School Fights Part 2

School Fights Part 2

The school bell had chimed off its death toll, and am eager crowd had gathered at the foot of the steps outside the school, by the road crossing.

A few times, everyone had to very slowly walk away from the school, as a teacher left whilst looking innocent. As soon as the teacher had rounded a corner, the crowd eagerly rushed back to Ground Zero.

Finally, the Lollipop Lady also left, and it was Fight Time.

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Having never done this before, I wasn’t really sure what was supposed to happen to get things moving. We faced off against each other, and took it in turns shouting “COME ON THEN!!!!” at each other for a few minutes.

Neither of us was seemingly going to ‘come on’.  Frankly, everyone in the crowd was getting a bit bored.

Some helpful soul behind me gave me a hearty shove in the back, propelling me towards Chompy like a hang-glider heading towards a mountain.

I got my hands in the way and gave him a good old shove. He returned the favour, asking me to “COME ON THEN!!!!!!!” even louder than before.

Another few long minutes of this passed.

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It was becoming clear that this big hard bully who’d called me out for a fight, didn’t actually want to START the fight!

I decided to take the initiative. My Karate Competition Winning Move (yes, I had one, and it changed every few months – no, it was never the Crane Kick) at the time was a hefty old reverse lunge punch to the gut.

I dropped down and my lightning-fast fist went into the folds of flab on his belly, sinking deeper and deeper… and deeper… and deeper… and….

Surely I should have hit SOMETHING solid by now?

I must have been almost shoulder deep in the fuckers belly, and I still hadn’t hit anything solid! Usually people would be crumpled up and spewing on the floor, and the Judges would wave flags in my direction and yell “Point!”. All I got here was a muffled “Oomph!” from Chompy as I retrieved my hand!

He didn’t look happy about the whole affair, though.

He came at me, making little “Uss! Uss!” noises every time he threw a punch. Ah – that would be his Boxing training! Whatever it was, it was fucking irritating, and something he had the piss ripped out of him for some time afterwards… I suppose at least I hadn’t yelled out a bloodcurdling “KIAI!!!” when I punched him, or I may have got the same!

It’s funny how when you’re younger, you can smash each other in the face multiple times and cause no damage. There’s a line you cross somewhere between 16 and 21, when all of a sudden one smack in the mush is enough to end the fight in a shower of blood and snot. I guess fighting when young was more fun in that respect.

We both danced around – me doing the gay Karate freestyle bob, him wiggling his Station-from-Bill-&-Teds humungous ass and ‘Uss! Uss!’ing his little heart out.

The crowd was all excited, as we harmlessly bashed each others brains out with our fists.

I dropped down low to deliver my trademark sweep, when he gave me an opening… and promptly fell off the curb into the road.

He ‘uss’ed me with an uppercut right on my jaw just as I was struggling to get out of the path of the car that was coming down the road! The cheek!

I gave him a quick tomp on the side of the head as I got back out the road, and we reached a lull.

Big Ole Chompy was looking a bit worse for wear – not because of battle damage, but he was obviously only used to collecting other kids’ dinner money, not having to ‘uss!’ more than a few times.

“Do you want to stop?” I asked him.

“You heard him! He wants to stop!” He cried to the crowd, picking up his bag and waddling off up the street.

I blinked a few times, rubbed the tiny bruise on my jaw, accepted the pats on the back from everyone, and never got bullied again!

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School Fights Part 1

School Fights Part 1

Believe it or not, even though I first started Martial Arts when I was 8 years old, I’ve only had two ‘real’ fights at school.

You may think this is because they all knew I was winning competitions and kicking ass, so they were all too scared to give me any hassle – but in actual fact I kept it all pretty quiet. Sure, I could have been bragging about it to everyone, but if you do that eventually someone will come along and say “I’m harder than you” and proceed to tear off limbs and other appendages and beat you to death with them.

It’s always better to let the Hard Guys get on with it – deep down they know that if they get beaten by a snotty nobody then their reputation is in tatters – and if they win it’s only to be expected.

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I was always very skinny, and just above average height. I was good at sports, had a bit of a brain, liked a laugh, and so generally avoided the attention of Bullies.

Until the third year of Middle School (or Year 7 for you young whipper-snappers).

The biggest, fattest kid in the school – let’s call him Chompy, because he can’t have had time for many other activities – must have been bored with his current crop of cattle, so turned his attentions onto me.

He started pushing me around, and making threats, and generally trying to make my life as miserable as he could. It worked quite well, because behind my happy-go-lucky front, I was just another scared, insecure kid.

I told a few people he was bullying me, and had the usual advice of  ‘stand up to him’!

OK, I had the skills (probably), but this guy was about three times my size, and I was used to being the biggest in my weight category for competitions, so wasn’t too happy at the prospect of Chompy sitting on me. Plus the fact that Chompy had been taking Boxing lessons, and thought himself tastier than a lard sandwich.

I put up with it for a week or two – which seemed like an eternity at that age, before it finally came to a head in the middle of a classroom.

The teacher was out of the room, but the class was full, and Chompy said something to me to try and get the other scared kids to laugh at me, and I turned and walked away, across the middle of the classroom.

Suddenly I felt one of this big fuckers hooves whacking me in the back of the leg!

My expected thought of “Ow! Fetch Mummy!!!” didn’t come.

Rage did.

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I’d had enough of that shit, so I turned back to face his huge moon-like sneering face, and as I did, brought my fist around in a right hook.

It connected hard with his temple.  I’d hit a lot of heads by this time, but NONE like his.  I swear my fist bounced back off his protective blubber as if I’d just hit a stack of tyres with a rubber mallet!

Time stood still, as all the air was sucked from the room by everyone watching.

I thought “Uh-oh!”.

He went a bit cross-eyed and sat on a desk behind him, going bright red like some kind of big bullying angry tomato. His whole body seemed to throb like a cartoon thumb that’s been hit with a hammer.

After what seemed like time to take at least three much-needed bowel movements, he spake thus:

“You’re dead you are, Cater!”

Thunder boomed and lightning lit the side of his face in a fun-house show of Doom (well, ok – I may have made that part up, but it may as well have).

The air came back into the room, to be replaced by lots of “Oooh”s and “Ahhh”s.

And so word spread, and everyone spent the rest of the day in eager anticipation of the David & Goliath Fight which was to happen after school…

To be continued in Part 2…

The Mean Green Machine

The Mean Green Machine

Bikes are fast.

The Kawasaki GPZ500s I’ve been riding around on over the Winter wasn’t as much of a let-down as I’d expected, compared to my Kawasaki ZX9R.  It’ll still do 0-60 in about 4 seconds – which is plenty to beat most stuff on the road, and top end of around 110mph will also match your average car.

GPZ500s

This weekend I finally got around to stripping the wiring loom of my ZX9R, and with a bit of bodged soldering (some of it on wiring and not just my -ing thumb!!!), I got it all back together and pushed the started button.

…And nothing happened.

I angrily glared at all the beautifully re-wrapped wiring for a while, Stanley knife in hand, before coming to the conclusion that the battery was probably too flat to even turn the starter motor.  I plugged the charger in and left it overnight.

I actually lost sleep in anticipation of getting up early to take it out for a shakedown run (if it started), and bounded into the garage with confidence in my mechanicing, held the starter button down and revelled in the roar of the Leo Vince Moto GP exhaust!

Even climbing onto the ZX9R it feels so much more serious than the little old GPZ.  The seat is higher, bars are miles away and lower, and then you have to try three times to lift your feet up high enough to put them onto the footpegs!

ZX9R Cleehill

This was like going from my very first TZR125 onto my first ‘big bike’ (a ZXR400).  Rolling down the driveway the taught suspension was immediately apparent.

I’d done this on a rare snowless day a couple of months ago, letting the clutch out the same as I would on the GPZ and feeling the back end snaking all over like a happy dog.  That was trying to kill me.  So I let the clutch out far more carefully this time…

Wow.

I know I’ve blogged before about how great superbikes are.  About how they are so mind-bendingly fast they really – no, REALLY – shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the public roads.

God was now in my right hand, and I’d have thanked Him if I wasn’t trying my best not to giggle like a schoolgirl.

Half expecting the electrics to cut out at a critical moment, I opened the throttle and instantly saw silly speed.  Even after the GPZ this is like a whole new level of relentless, penis-shrinking power!

I didn’t even give it everything, because I didn’t want to end up on my back with the bike on top of me.

The familiar part of my brain was still there reminding me how last Summer I used to pin that throttle open and be a bit bored waiting for stuff to happen.  It’s amazing how quickly your brain adapts, and soon wants another 100hp.

Going back to a smaller bike was a lot of fun.  It was like back to the roots.

But then going from that and back to a full-on beast of a ZX9R?

It’s not just fun – it’s like tasting Heaven!

Now I just have to remember how to use it around the corners…

ZX9R Rockingham

Veho Technical Support & Upgrading To A ‘Better’ Camera

Veho Technical Support & Upgrading To A ‘Better’ Camera

As none of you will know (because I didn’t tell you), I managed to drop my Veho vcc-005 HD10+ camera onto the hardest damned stone floor in the world.

I have dropped the camera a couple of times in the two years I’ve had it, with no ill effects – but this time the glass covering the lens shattered.

Broken Veho camera

After being sick in my mouth a bit, I established that the glass was just a dust cover, and the camera seemed to work fine without it.

I got in touch with Veho Technical who very kindly sent a replacement glass cover out to me, with full instructions of how to replace it.

Excellent service!

So, as I mentioned, I’ve now been using this Veho camera for just over two years.

In that time, performance has been flawless.  The battery life has dropped to 1.5 hours (about half what it was from new), and I am considering cracking it open and replacing the battery with one from Ebay.  I’m leaving it as long as I can in case I bodge it up and kill the camera, though.

I have found on my YouTube videos there is an increasing number of people telling me that I should ‘upgrade’ my cam to a Go Pro/Drift HD/etc.

These cameras certainly all cost around 3 or 4 times more than it would cost me to buy another Veho HD10.

What nobody has actually been able to tell me is WHY do I need to pay out many times more money for something that, well, doesn’t do the job any better?

 

Let me just break things down against the Go Pro:

  • Image quality is the same.  Someone will come and argue that, but look at 2 HD vids on YouTube and there is no difference.  So you’re wrong.  Fact.
  • Battery life is less on a GoPro.  Less.  So why would I want something that records less?
  • Go Pro and most other cameras record to some weird Neanderthal-like slate.  Nobody uses Super HD flash 6″ Vinyl Micro cards.  Veho record to Micro SD.  Like just about everything else, so you probably already have lots of them lay around.  If not – they are CHEAP.
  • Reliability.  I’m sure you’ve all seen the discussions on vlogging forums about how everyone’s cam has some problem, or has just died.  You won’t find Veho mentioned.  I’ve used mine daily for 2 years – why have a super-duper expensive camera that doesn’t work?  And card failure/faults?  I’ve never had a single one!
  • Price – I can buy another 3 or 4 Veho HD cameras for the price of something like a GoPro.  Even if I did have that money to spend, why would I want to??

You can view my onboard bike and car videos using Veho cameras here: http://www.youtube.com/nastyevilninja

 The shape of all of these cams is a down-side – especially if you want to shove it on the side of your helmet.  Considering I don’t really want to vlog, and I’ve already experimented with various mounting points, again, I can’t see any of the other cameras doing a better job of things!

So, if you’re one of those who’ve told me I should ‘upgrade’, please feel free to tell me exactly WHY and what I’d actually get out of any such change?