Moves That Don’t Work In A Fight

Moves That Don’t Work In A Fight

You may have read the story about my school fight with Tompy – in this, I tell of a move I’d learned and perfected that would pretty much end any fight in a shower of blood and snot.

In this fight, I had my first opportunity to use it.  I grabbed a handful of his hair, so I could pull back his head and deliver a hammer fist/forearm strike downwards on his face with all my body weight.  Except I couldn’t pull his head back!

That was probably my first experience that almost every martial artist will have at some point:

Most of what they teach you does not work in a real fight.

Having a fully compliant training partner is a lot different from facing down some adrenaline jacked psychopath.

Most martial arts will teach you to throw a punch, then as you for some weird reason leave your arm out there, fully extended, your partner will smoothly dodge around your extended arm and trip you to the mat.

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What actually happens in your average pub brawl, is this:

You either turn around just as a punch connects with your face, or your opponent talks some shit to scare you, and smacks you in the face while you’re suffering from adrenaline dump.

That’s a real opening.  You’re stood there with a silly look on your face as they hoof you into unconsciousness.

In the extremely unlikely even that you’re switched on enough to actually dodge their first haymaker, you’ll notice that they pull their arm back in almost instantly.  

As a slight aside, this is even more true of someone with a knife – so don’t even start to think about being the hero with that one!

The ONLY chance you have to use that arm is to dodge in such a way that you can hook your arm around theirs as they throw the strike, intercept their strike, or move inside it with a block.

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The first one I have tested successfully.  Basically, as they punch you move to their outside, sliding your hand over the top of their arm and the up under their armpit.  From there, and all in one fluid move, you can push the side of your hand into their shoulder-blade before they recover their balance, and take them face first into the floor or a wall, or apply a suppression hold as needed.  Even with this, I found I had to wait for them to throw a straightish punch – and most untrained people simply won’t do this.  And also remember to think ‘Trap And Snap’, rather then wrestling on the floor where their 4 mates can stamp on your head.

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Intercepting their strike I’ve already covered as being the best move you can ever learn, which will enable you to beat any opponent.  That is simply to get your elbow up exactly how your body wants to react.  They punch the point of your elbow, they shatter their hand, and the fight goes right out of them.  Job jobbed, and so easy I can train a 5 year old to do it.

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Moving inside with a block is one we all like to think we can do, but in reality I doubt it.  You can combine it with the elbow interception, but the idea of actually stepping TOWARDS someone who is punching you isn’t natural, and you can ony overcome your instincts with A LOT of pressure training or real fight experience.

People will tell you to “never kick above the waist in a streetfight”.  I would disagree with that.  Booting someone in the head is something they won’t be expecting, and even if they do grab your leg you can close in and reign elbows down on them before they can do much of use with it.  The main reason I think this would fail is because most people can’t kick to head hight from cold.  If you can’t – don’t.

And do you know what other moves aren’t a good idea to try in a fight?

Anything that doesn’t assume the opponents first strike will be a punch to your head or a headbutt.  Or anything that assumes an attacker will throw one attack at a time, rather than launch an assault like a frenzied windmill, or an Ameri-Do-Te Hurticane.

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If you survive their first assault, THEN you might get a chance to take control and show off your martial arts moves for your mates.

Just don’t expect them to let you do it to them!

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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 Best Martial Arts Films Of All Time!

The Best Martial Arts Films Of All Time!

I’ve been doing various martial arts since I was 8 years old. It’s more than just a part of my life – martial arts principles and philosophies actually form a huge base of my every waking moment.

But what are my all-time favourite films?

I’m glad you asked, because here they are:

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Roadhouse – Ok, so this isn’t a pure martial arts film, as such, but I feel it needs to be included. The main reason for this is Sawyze’s ‘Throat Ripping’ move. Legend has it, that if anyone pushes him too far, he’ll rip their throat out and watch them die. How fucking cool is that? Near the end he does it, and leaves the Bad Guy’s corpse face down in the river. Have at you! For years after, if anyone would have got me REALLY angry, I’m sure I’d have ripped their throats out! Rarr!!! And there’s another thing – however ‘hard’ you think Swayze is through the film (or any of his ‘hard’ films) there is the inevitable moment where he does a flying kick that looks so blatantly Ballet-Gay, you just want to bitchslap the Mo Fo and break his legs for being such a damn fairy!

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Rocky – All of these films are entertaining to watch, although again, the actual boxing moves are rarely a large part. The down-an-out Bum triumphs over the unstoppable bad guys! Yay!!!

“I will break you.”

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ANY Steven Segal Film – they’re all pretty damn shit, as far as storyline and stuff goes – especially after he turned all hippie. But the guy really is a true Master of Aikido. One thing he stands firm on in his films is that the techniques are shown in full detail. He’s also so fast that he has to slow down the moves or the camera would miss them, much like Bruce Lee had to. There are clips around of Segal teaching and giving Aikido demonstrations for real – check that shit out and tell me he isn’t one bad little screw-head? His role in all his films is someone who’s got so much skill he’s untouchable and unbeatable – which is cool as hell, but gets a bit tired… Any of his films are choc-full of Trap-‘N’Snap moves. Mmm.

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The Karate Kid 1 & 2 – These are pretty much one film. I love them! I’ll watch them whenever they’re on even now! They have it all, especially when you’re a young teen. Little weakling Danny La Rousso gets bullied by nasty Karate gang, he trains with wise old Mr Miyagi and then whupps all their asses in a tournament, despite their dirty tactics. Oh, and the music is so cheesy it’s cool. I have it all on my hard drive… But what a -ing ponce little Daniel-San is when he fights?! My God, even though I’m routing for the runt, even I want to see him get battered. STOP BEING SUCH A PANSY AND HIT HIM!!!! Crane kick? GAYYYYYYY!

To be fair his snap punches were lovely, and when I fought in Karate competitions back in the day – I wore a head band, too… Oh the shame… (I still have my headband)

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The Drunken Master – Actually I’d recommend just about all of Jackie Chans films. This is one of the early dubbed ones, set in Ancient China. It’s funny as hell, mixed with tragedy. All of Chan’s films are highly entertaining and the guy amazes me how he moves. The highlight of this film, after being pretty light and jokey all the way through, is when The Master demonstrates the true Drunken Master technique. Suddenly it all goes dark and serious, as he displays the truly awesome power of this deadly style. “Snake In Eagles Shadow” is probably my next favourite.

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The Last Samurai – Oh my God – it’s a Tom Cruise film! That major flaw aside, I love this. It has real atmosphere, and is a great insight into the Samurai way of life in feudal Japan. Although I could tell you things about Samurai that would make you hate them, in this instance they are the Good Guys, trying to cling to and defend their honourable way of life against the Age Of The Gun and industrialisation and all that nasty modern stuff. Tom was training the Gun People when he was captured by the Samurai, and he lives in their village, learning their ways and eventually fighting for them against the people he was training. An excellent lesson in how modern times have fucked up everyones sense of honour and peaceful living. The bastards. The scenes where a young Samurai boy is play-fighting with Tom with bokken (heavy oak training swords) is brilliant, as is his training against the other samurai as he gets better.

Man, I can’t say enough about this film – it gets me all emotional just thinking about it! It teaches a lot of the principles from ‘The Hagakure’ – which should be the bible for living your life. I shall watch it tonight!

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American Samurai – This is one of the cheesiest films ever made – but also the best for weapons fighting! Little white boy is orphaned or rescued by a Japanese family, where he grows up and trains alongside the Japs own son, Kenjiro. They both get good, but as they get older Kenjiro turns Bad, and eventually goes all Yakuza and disowns the family, after calling the American ‘brother’ a “Geijin!”. The Yank goes to live in America, then years later (can’t remember if he’s kidnapped or goes poking about) he finds himself fighting in an underground tournament, where people enter with their choice of weapons.

There’s some excellent Wu Shu type fighting, and some cool as fuck bloke who fights with two swords and has a blade in his long ponytail, that he whips out. And his trick is to run up the wall, flip over, and land behind the opponent.

There’s some serious slicing and dicing. Of course, there’s a huge redneck bloke who enters with a fucking hunting knife. Err… WTF??? Of course, the tournament champion is none other than Kenjiro, who’s practising his vastly superior chopping skills and winning everything. He lops the big redneck clean in twain, as he’s shouting and trying to act all scary. Serves him right.

The two ‘brothers’ match up at the end, and it’s a damn good fight – Samurai to Samurai. I need to get this on DVD!

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The Fighter – This is the only modern martial arts film worth watching.  This is the story of boxer ‘Irish’ Mickey Ward and his rise from being completely overshadowed by his local hero brother through to becoming a contender for the Welterweight championship.

Unlike Rocky, this IS a proper boxing film without huge Russians and melodrama.  There is plenty of real-life drama, though!  Mickeys big brother has fallen from his days of boxing fame and into the use of crack cocain, and their family is so dysfunctional, unfair, and just plain nasty that you’ll find yourself shouting at the screen.  All the acting is top notch (especially from the lovely Amy Adams playing Mickeys girlfriend) and it will entertain even those with no interest at all in boxing.

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Kickboxer – Tong Po is a fucking God! Every single scene and line in this film is a classic! Big hard Yank Kickboxing champ goes to Thailand to face their Muay Thai Champion – Tong Po. Despite warnings from the yanks little brother (Van Damme, who’s just witnessed Tong Po warming up: “Legs? This guy was kicking one of these (a wall post) with his fucking legs – BAM! BAM! – until plaster was falling down!!!”), they fight and Tong Po splatters him, breaking his back up good and proper and leaving him in a wheelchair. Van Damme gets mad, and swears revenge, eventually training with an old Master until he’s good enough to stick it to the big bald bloke.

Awesome training montage’s, and it has a real feel about it that makes you want to go to Thailand to take in the beauty – not the drugs and hookers – of this ancient civilisation.  And again I love the soundtrack!

A great demonstration of how beautiful and brutal Muay Thai Kickboxing is, and a cheesy but engaging plot!

So my all-time favourite is….

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Bloodsport – Yes, another Van Damme film (one of his first ever). The Young Van Damme is saved from a path of naughtiness when he gets caught burgling a Japanese man’s house, who then offers to train him up with his own son. The japs son dies in the war, then he gets ill, and Van Damme vows to enter the secret Kumite tournament to prove his style of Ninjitsu is the best in the world. To enter, he goes AWOL from the Army (who then chase him throughout the film) and enters the tournament. The customary big redneck Yank (Jackson) is entered and they become friends, until the big bad guy – Bolo Yeung – stamps on his head and puts him in a coma – so more incentive for Van Damme to kick ass. Bolo Yeung is a truly evil Bad Guy, who inflicts pain and death on his opponents, and is just plain scary.

The range of fight styles shown is amazing – from Kung Fu to Karate to Muay Thai to Monkey Style! It’s all here, and the fight scenes are a joy to watch!

Of course, Van Damme meets Yeung in the finals, and Yeung blinds Van Damme with some powder… Luckily, Van Damme, in an earlier excellent training/torture montage, has trained to fight blindfolded, so concentrates and gets in the zone, then kicks Yeung’s ass – eventually getting him to submit and admit defeat. By the final, the MP’s that were chasing Van Damme are cheering him on, and he goes back peacefully after he wins.

This film has possibly The Worst Sex Scene EVER! All you see is sweaty backs and cheesy music.

It’s also allegedly based on the true story of Frank Dux, Ninjitsu ‘Master’ and holder of untold tournament ‘records’. But, I’m sorry to say that Mr Dux was a big fat liar who made much of this up. Still an awesome film, though! And again – so is the cheesy music!

………… so where the hell are all the Bruce Lee films, you ask??? Well they’re not here. Because I don’t particularly like them. I never have been a big fan of Bruce Lee’s films, and to me even when I was young they looked dated and over the top. As a martial artist, I think very highly of Bruce Lee – but his films don’t turn me on as much as the above. So there.

Any I’ve missed out that you feel should be here?

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School Fights Part 2

School Fights Part 2

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

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

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

Neither of us was seemingly going to ‘come on’. Frankly, everyone else seemed to be getting a bit bored.

Some helpful soul in the crowd 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 years 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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How To Tear Out A Mans Throat

How To Tear Out A Mans Throat

Back when I was a young whipper-snapper at the early stages of my journey into the Martial Arts, one of the first ‘essential’ moves I felt I needed in my arsenal was to be able to rip the throat out of my victim.

This probably had as much to do with watching Patrick Swayze in the film ‘Road House’ than it did with the teachings and philosophies of Shotokan Karate.

It did switch me on to the fact that there are certain moves you can do which will end a fight very quickly.  Luckily I never had the opportunity to tear anyone’s throat out – which may have been hard to explain away as ‘reasonable force’.

The next move I practiced lots, as I got into what I call Destruction Techniques, was to grab the opponents hair, yanking their head back, and then slamming your fist down like a hammer onto their upturned face.  A proper power technique – which unfortunately means it will fail most of the time unless you’re fighting a smaller and weaker opponent.  I had one opportunity to try it in a real fight, and it failed as I couldn’t pull their head back enough ready for the smash.

I think it was probably this ‘real world’ experience that took me to the next level.  I wanted stuff that worked.

Not only that, I wanted stuff that worked against stronger people.  Stuff that worked when I was injured or losing, or just had one chance and one single shot.

Unsurprisingly, here started the time when I drifted into Muay Thai kickboxing and Ninjitsu (and later still, Russian Systema).  Both arts have techniques tried and tested to work, and don’t shroud it all in useless bullshit that you need to spend sixteen years in a horse-riding stance to learn.

Muay Thai taught me how utterly devastating a strike from an elbow can be.  I learnt how to use my knees to full power to cripple someone in a single and often invisible strike.

Ninjutsu opened my mind to body mechanics and how you can use the movements of an opponents own body against him.

My go-to move became the now well-known strike with the heel of your palm to the nose of your opponent.  Except I knew that you don’t do that – you strike the pressure point just below the nose upwards at 45 degrees.  Either that or the Tiger Claw strike using your foreknuckles to the throat, knee, nose etc…

Then I learnt the joys of incapacitating someone by using strikes that were unexpected and not to the obvious places – the sword kick (sweeping motion utilising the edge of modern footwear to their inner shin), stupidly easy joint manipulations to escape any hold, using misdirection so they don’t even know how they got hit or what by.  Kino Mutai – the art of biting.  How to make someone injure themselves when they try to strike you.  The list is endless and I’m still learning.

The really surprising thing is how easy all this stuff is.  To do and to learn.  And that’s what also makes it so scary – to think someone half your size may also know this stuff does a great job of persuading you not to go around starting fights!

In short, I know a lot of nasty ways to take someone out or even kill them, and whilst I’ll still always prefer to lose face and walk away from a fight (unless I genuinely can’t avoid it), there will always be a little part of me wondering… what if…

That’s the part of me that will end up in jail forever, though.