mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson

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GEOFF THOMPSON:
Nice To See You, Wherever You Are!
© Marc Wickert 2002
also published in Fight Times & Britain's Martial Arts Illustrated magazines.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Mr Geoff Thompson

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mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson

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From the Source
Geoff Thompson is widely acknowledged as being the world’s #1 authority on doormanship. With over thirty books, videos, documentaries, a feature film and a decade of real-life experience as a bouncer in some of Britain’s roughest nightclubs, few can dispute the accolades. But this wasn’t always the case for Thompson who was constantly picked on as a kid. In his debut bestseller, Watch My Back, Geoff recounts how one Christmas morning his older brother discovered him alone and crying out of fear that the beatings he’d been receiving would continue when school resumed in two weeks time. This predicament continued throughout Geoff’s childhood until he was eleven-years-old and embraced aikido. "Like a lot of people, I got into the martial arts because I was bullied, and I thought the martial arts would be the answer. I thought if I learnt to fight, I wouldn’t be bullied. It was at the time of the Bruce Lee boom, and I wanted to be superhuman like thousands of other kids. That was my main reason, so I could learn to fight, because I thought that would be the answer. Of course later I realized it was less about fighting, it was more about having confidence, having more cerebral strength," says Thompson.

Discorporation
"You become invisible. What the ninjitsu refer to as ‘invisibility’, I don’t think they’re talking necessarily about actually disappearing, but if you have a huge amount of confidence, because you’ve built up your physical ability, then you become invisible to threat. You’re not seen as a victim to people who want to attack, so the martial arts are very good in that respect. You have to do the martial arts properly and train very hard and

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mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson

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go through a forge so you get a tempered blade. And if don’t go through the forge, then there tends to be a lot of insecurity. And being in the martial arts can actually perpetuate trouble, because if your confidence isn’t mature, people tend to go looking for situations to prove themselves."

The Bad News or The Bad News?
But at such a young age, Geoff was to encounter another type of predator. As he explains in Watch My Back, it was a case of ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’, with one kind of bullying being replaced by another. So his martial arts career was put on hold until he enrolled in Shotokan karate classes. Through the torment provided by his young peers and an unscrupulous adult, Geoff’s anguished mind still showed him little compassion, however, as he dreaded the intimidation of karate sparring. At purple-belt standing, Thompson put the karate classes on hold until some years later when he enrolled in Shaolin Motga gung fu, which he persevered with until earning his black belt. Geoff then returned to Shotokan, but couldn’t understand why the fear of real-life fighting remained. "I reached the black belt level and physically I got the skills, but mentally I didn’t feel confident. I still felt like a 9 stone weakling and remained frightened of fear and confrontation. And when a situation developed in my life, I didn’t feel as though I had control of it - not just the potential of a fight, but of change. I was frightened of going up the mountain, frightened of going down the mountain, and frightened of standing still."

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com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson.knucklepit.htm 2/26/2005 . and on the steps of the pyramid he wrote down all his fears. Ultimately I was frightened of physical confrontation. So I decided to go on the door and confront my fears once and for all. and systematically confronted them one by one. "The level I reached in martial arts didn’t build up the confidence I thought it would. so I became a doorman to confront that fear and get some desensitization and familiarization with that fear. I figured if I faced my fears I wouldn’t have http://www.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 4 of 34 Thanks for dropping out Pyramid Power Geoff decided to address the problem by drawing a pyramid on a piece of paper.

which was a very rough place. Mirrored Door "I did my apprenticeship at a place called Buster’s Nightclub. But I did become very familiar with the feeling. After working the door." Geoff ’s jumping in the deep end wasn’t all smooth sailing. and that’s where I learnt the trade. It’s part of who you are. I didn’t like the feeling of adrenaline or anxiety.knucklepit. fear needs to be present. He decided to give it another go and eventually a day turned into a decade. it ’s obviously part of what you do. and facing people who are trying to kill you. If the neighbour’s playing the music too loud or somebody cuts you off in the car. everyday situations don’t bother you at all. And I learnt loads and loads of stuff about myself and realized that my fear wasn’t really about confrontation – it was a fear of fear.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson." Looking Death in the Eye Geoff says that the samurai had a similar philosophy where they treated each day as though it were the last. it’s no really big shake because you’ve faced your ultimate fears. but he remembers his colleagues patting him on the back and telling him he’d done well – the reassurance was reassuring. Biologically. He believes that working the door put his http://www.htm 2/26/2005 . "And it has an overflow effect in your life. I did four years there and then I went on to work in lots of different venues. The first night he worked he thought becoming a doorman maybe wasn’t the right career move. then they were liberated from the anxiety of dealing with death. and although I didn’t ever get rid of fear.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 5 of 34 any fears. but you learn to manage it in extreme situations.

and returned to aikido. "I thought there were a lot of weaknesses in the stand-up systems. And they were weak on the psychological side of it. That ’s why everybody wanted to fight me. He deducted from the 10year experience that fear is natural. but it also showed him the futility of violence. mostly because I didn’t understand what was going on.knucklepit. I was tall and thin. Metaphorically. All the time he was eliminating the fears of the pyramid he’d previously drawn. weighed only 111/2 stone. and that it is only when you let fear overwhelm you that it becomes debilitating. that it can be controlled. The courage it must have taken Geoff Thompson to confront his deepest fears may seem remarkable. but even more staggering is that Geoff. "There were times when it was very hard." laughs Thompson. "I was 2 stone lighter than I am now. which were mainly long-range kicking systems.htm 2/26/2005 . so I started to enhance my skills by going into different systems. that were weak on close-range punching and weak on grappling and ground fighting. He continued to train in various arts including judo. whilst standing just under 6-feet tall. but it teaches you a hell of a lot about your body. it was a bit like immersing an inner tube in water and finding out where the leaks are.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 6 of 34 life into perspective in the same way." Control Your Fears Geoff says the door experience showed him what he was capable of doing. http://www.

But I don’t do them for the physique or strength. But now I don’t really practise any physical martial arts as such. "I keep to light eating and avoid the trap of over-excitement or over-stress.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson. I kind of follow a Daoist premise.knucklepit. which is about flowing with life and http://www.htm 2/26/2005 . Everything I do now is for balance. I do the weights to keep my body balanced and keep the stress hormones out. I moulded it for myself. exploring. I’m practising yoga and meditation and a bit of Qi Gong and weights. "I went into so many different systems. Geoff didn’t adhere to any one style. that it did become my own style.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 7 of 34 Fish-hooking: anything goes on the street Tailor-Made Through the ‘door days’. The weights also keep my skeletal muscles in place and keep everything solid. but adopted to his arsenal anything that he found practical and worked for him.

"I personally think we should do anything we can to avoid a physical confrontation.htm 2/26/2005 . I’m talking about when a physical situation couldn’t be avoided. the only thing I found to be consistently effective in thousands of altercations. the only thing I see that works consistently in today’s arena is the pre-emptive attack. Most people are still teaching blockcounter. It’s that paradox of intent and surrender – it’s intending to do things to improve your quality of life. or trap-counter. and watching thousands of altercations involving other people. If it’s going to be physical. but that the practitioners are not being honest with themselves. was the pre-emptive attack. he says what they are practising probably wouldn’t work unless the art was being taught in a pre-emptive manner. rather than trying to oppose any of the natural forces. or letting the opponent attack first.knucklepit. http://www. It’s about eating light and thinking positively.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson. or escape or verbal dissuasion couldn’t be used. but surrendering to this natural flow. But I don’t see many people teaching that. "As far as physical self-defence is concerned. Geoff believes that most of the arts being taught in the world are not street effective." Pre-Emptive Strike On the subject of martial arts in general. He says it’s not so much the different codes of the martial arts that are inadequate. it’s about learning to hit hard and learning to hit first.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 8 of 34 riding the waves of life. If we can’t and we have to be physical. And trying to aim for goals but not grasp them." Whilst Geoff has admired the different systems of martial arts he has observed around the world. And it’s all too late. This is the only thing that works consistently.

And ultimately we whittle that http://www. Ultimate Dan in dangerous man Too Much Artillery Selecting the right skills for yourself and not getting too obsessed with the size of your bag of tricks is something Thompson advises – particularly in an adrenaline-rushed street situation.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson. 1st Dan judo. We start collecting thousands of techniques.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 9 of 34 6th Dan black belt in Japanese karate. "Initially.knucklepit.htm 2/26/2005 . when we enter martial arts we think we need everything.

com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson. That ’s the art of invisibility. We have to go through the whole process to reach that. Ultimately you realize this is a reciprocal universe and what we give out is what comes back. I don’t want to kill people." Law of Retribution "The other side of it is. And I think they’re the ones who need to go back into the forge and once you go through the forge. they can completely re-humanize other people and look at them as fellow human beings. I don’t want to hurt people. and believes that if practitioners do the martial arts correctly.htm 2/26/2005 . He did this by pushing himself beyond his own limits. And you’re so confident that you don’t see people as worthy opponents.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 10 of 34 down. if you go into an art where you’re learning to kill – something like judo where you learn strangulation . you become ashamed of it. you come out the other side and you don’t want to hurt anybody. But those one or two techniques may be different for everybody. What suits me may not suit you. and you think. Once you’ve developed the ability to kill people. ‘Well. http://www." Geoff compares this principle to the ‘boomerang effect ’. so you become invisible to threats.your confidence normally goes to a level where you don’t want to be in fights. I don’t want to become known as someone who is good at hurting people.knucklepit. and we get one or two that are very potent.’ So you let go of that need to be able to hurt others. You just want to be gentle and give to other people. Again. and temper the blade. it ’s not easy to find. "The people who need to be able to do it are the ones who are not secure in what they’ve got. rather than undesirables or the enemy. so we sift through the sand to find the nuggets of gold. and says it was something he had to learn for himself first-hand.

but it is something he believes we should all be aiming to accomplish.htm 2/26/2005 ." http://www. Geoff also acknowledges that it ’s not an easy thing to do." Communication Skills Part of Geoff’s philosophy is that once you begin to let go of the need to be physical and start developing your communication skills. They’ve found some kind of peace within themselves. but there are not very many evil people. The martial artists I respect most are the ones who have developed their physical ability. He suggests that if you can communicate with people. and mothers and fathers – they’re human beings. That ’s a true martial artist. and have also developed a polarity to balance it – they’re very gentle but very firm. There are very few evil people out there. you can kill off all your enemies by making friends of them. They’re not shouting about how good they are or challenging people. And they’re probably just people like us on a bad day. that we can walk away from trouble. so powerful and potent. Don is someone I really admire in the martial arts.knucklepit. "Don Draeger said we should be so good at what we do.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 11 of 34 "They’re other people who have wives and children. you then realize that most things aren’t personal. There are lots of people who are displacing their aggression or are on the wrong track.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson.

the art teacher wanted to do a film and needed a script. Then once I went on the doors I started realizing that a lot of the experiences I was having were interesting.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 12 of 34 The Elephant and the Twig and the Kind Gentleman The Write Stuff "I’ve always wanted to be a writer.knucklepit. So writing has been in me for a long time. and one of the guys I worked the door with http://www. so I wrote a script without even thinking about it.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson. I would tell people stories about the door work. but I never really knew what to write about. And then when I was twelve. I was writing long stories when I was in junior school.htm 2/26/2005 .

there’s a lot of work there. At the time I ’d forgotten my love of writing.knucklepit. Then one of the guys I worked with suggested I write a book. ‘If I can write one book.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 13 of 34 said I should write them down. why can’t I write two? Why can’t I write a film? Why can’t I write a play?’ The confidence I got from writing that first book is what started me. But I got some note pads." Just Another Writer from Stratford-upon-Avon "Then I thought. and think to myself.htm 2/26/2005 ." http://www. ‘This is really good’. which received very favorable reviews. until one company said they liked the sound of it and I got my first publishing deal . A contract for Geoff to write a feature film followed and he has just completed the script." Geoff has now had his first short film made. and wrote my first book. probably because I was always told that people like us (working class people) don’t write books. So I sent it off and got some refusals. I wrote it by hand and I’ve still got the red ring around my bum to prove it.that was Watch My Back. "I put it on my shelf for a couple of years before one of my friends read it and said. and I sat in the toilet at work. and stars Ray Winston (Nil By Mouth and Sexy Beast). "This prompted me to write an article for a magazine and it got some good reviews. Sometimes I feel like I haven’t done anything. and then I look at my shelves and see thirty books.

And I unashamedly got on my knees and prayed to God for another chance. and times when Geoff didn’t think he’d make it home from work.knucklepit. Working the door is a life-and-death situation.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson. just pure providence.htm 2/26/2005 . I’ll turn this baby around.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 14 of 34 "Et tu. There were a few times when it came on top and I don’t know how I got away. There were a few times when I thought I’d killed people. Brute?" Reflections on the Mirrored Door There were regrets at work. one was clubbed to death and one was shot. We had two people killed in one night in Coventry. ‘If you give me another chance. "Three of my friends were murdered during the time I was working – one was stabbed to death. and http://www. And I said.

And what you have at the other side of it is liberation. And people like John Will in Australia. he is a very gentle and giving man.knucklepit. If you do them recreationally. you only get the recreational results.com http://www.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson. It’s ugly. boxing. People like that I really admire. thai – the really good physical arts – they will develop an artillery that will be so good they will be able to walk away from situations. If people train really hard in the martial arts and go into the arts that are not questioned. You either have to do them or you don’t.htm 2/26/2005 ." A Last Word from Geoff Thompson "You can’t play with the martial arts. If you look at the Gracies or the Machados. "That’s why the best people are the most gentle people. wrestling. If you really want to find yourself you need to delve into the arts and it needs to become a life passion. when you actually meet them – I’m not talking about their reputations – when you meet them they are the most gentle people you could encounter.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 15 of 34 I’ll tell people how it really is. and it really is worth the journey – the art of invisibility. When you’re there you don’t want to be there. Having knocked lots of people out and having hurt lots of people. it’s not something I wish to repeat. For Further Information On Geoff Thompson: www. you don’t really get the answers. like judo. who is a Machado black belt.geoffthompson. But to half do them.’" The Good Guns "My experience of violence is that there’s no romance in it.

mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 16 of 34 Geoff Thompson Nice To See You.htm 2/26/2005 . Wherever You Are! "Part Two" © Marc Wickert (previously published in Fight Times & Martial Arts Illustrated) http://www.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson.knucklepit.

With over thirty books.knucklepit.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 17 of 34 With British Judo Champion Wayne Lukin As stated in Part One of this article. few can dispute the accolades.htm 2/26/2005 . videos. documentaries. a feature film and a decade of real-life experience as a bouncer in some of Britain’s roughest nightclubs. Geoff ’s survival skills http://www. Geoff Thompson is widely acknowledged as being the world’s #1 authority on doormanship.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson. Watching Geoff Watch His Back While working as a doorman for all those years.

you can’t change that.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson. as though they are too sacred to be touched. http://www. ‘Oh. we will be focusing in more depth on Thompson’s bestselling autobiography Watch My Back. and they’ve got the latest up-to-date computers. the latest injection-fueled cars. He was working six nights a week. but …you get the most sensible people… I was just talking to someone about this yesterday…you get the most sensible people.’ And it’s really silly because it’s like saying that the horse and cart will get you there. But as soon as you start talking about martial arts they say.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 18 of 34 were continually being road tested. It’s 200 years old so it must be right. but also to make their own work. Geoff learned very quickly what was and what wasn’t effective. Leave Your Saddle at Home. and they will. The environment and the enemy have changed. "Traditional martial arts just hasn’t evolved. Geoff talks about traditional martial arts and how they haven’t been adapted to today’s world. which incidentally led to the author’s being invited to join the Royal Court Theatre writers’ group. Jock In Watch My Back. not only to stop Thompson’s techniques from working. even though today’s adversary is no longer a samurai on horseback. I know people think it’s sacrilegious. they have the cutting edge of everything in life. but it’s not going to stop that mode of transport from becoming antiquated. And this was against people who were doing everything in their power.knucklepit.htm 2/26/2005 . and they’re so pragmatic. and never experienced a night when he didn’t physically have to restrain somebody or make his own techniques work. And you’re not going to compete with the 2.5 injection engine. In Part Two of this article.

I was highly graded after twenty years of studying martial arts." http://www. Today’s enemy is completely different. and I realized straight away that what I had was not working: it wasn’t only not working. It’s all very basic. blinding and anything that will win the fight and save your life. for fighting people on horseback armed with spears and swords. they were not thought of as being credible in a real fight." Thompson observes that this approach is not what he has seen in traditional arts." World War Blues Geoff says the defence systems that work in war generally work in reality fighting: the pre-emptive and deceptive strike. ugly and very workable. Biting. most martial artists were ridiculed. very ugly. so that it can work against a contemporary enemy in an ever-changing environment. and is from a completely different environment. They’d think this was dumb. street survival. "When I went on the door. Most of the stuff that people are learning in traditional arts was designed for battlefields. it was laughable. and the killer blow. they wouldn’t be doing now what they were doing then. And I discovered that in the real world where violence is the norm. but if you’re training for violent.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson. but also very workable. and when they wake up their clothes are out of fashion. If it ’s art for art’s sake. "Things that they used in the First and Second World Wars. such as the single and double foot stomps to the head: gratuitous. butting. then what’s being taught needs adapting and shortening.htm 2/26/2005 . then he thinks it’s okay.knucklepit.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 19 of 34 "If we went back 200 years to the ancient masters in martial arts. Punching people so hard that they go back in time.

he made the necessary adjustments.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 20 of 34 What are friends for! How to Break Friends and Infuriate People After this experience. This was something he found to be extremely difficult because he’d been rared on traditional styles. Thompson returned to his class and told them their training was ineffective and had to change.knucklepit. "It was really just taking what we had and adapting it for a real situation.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson.htm 2/26/2005 . But rather than hiding his head in the sand. http://www.

These sessions were later featured on many mainstream TV shows and became legendary within the martial arts world. and your wife or children are depending on your techniques to keep them alive. "No quarter was asked and none was given. see what works and what doesn’t.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson." Geoff first altered his fighting style by visualizing that every strike he delivered in training was directed at an assailant in a real-life street confrontation. you’d better know what you are doing.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 21 of 34 That ’s what I did.htm 2/26/2005 . I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work. with requests to visit coming from every corner of the globe. "But don’t take my word for it: put it under pressure." Just Gimme Some Truth Whilst Thompson does not discourage people from training for art ’s sake.’ You can kid yourself all you want. ‘This is how it is. it won’t work in the street. And I have a duty to say to people. but when you’re outside the chip shop. he does stipulate that if practitioners are studying for defence then they need to be honest with themselves.knucklepit. This approach caused Geoff’s sparring partners to retaliate with the same ferocity and venom. no-holds-barred Animal Day sessions. or for the philosophical benefits that martial arts can bring. And as a person who’s been in hundreds of fights and experienced thousands of affrays involving everybody from the layman to the world-classed martial artist. It’s ridiculous to think that you can http://www. If it doesn’t work under those conditions. From these battles he developed the now-famous. When he trained with a partner in the gym. every blow was intended to hit the mark with full force. do an Animal Day.

com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson.htm 2/26/2005 . He states that prior to a fight people will question their own abilities." In Las Vegas with Geoff's wife Sharon and Chuck Norris Yes. They will feel like running away. Thompson is amazed that most martial artists have no knowledge of attack rituals.knucklepit. situations escalate so fast and are so violent. In the street. biting your nose off and taking away your range. In fact. those familiar with Geoff Thompson’s teachings probably wouldn’t be surprised to see George Bush at one of Geoff ’s seminars.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 22 of 34 have a long-range art. by George We often hear President Bush talking about a pre-emptive strike. and expect it to work when somebody is fully intent on taking hold of you. he seems to be mentioning it so much lately. where all the sparring you do is with other people who also use long-range systems. And even though their opponent may not show it. he will be feeling exactly the http://www.

And you’ll have the intelligence to talk them down. and really confident. You’ll have the intelligence and the courage to let people off because you’ll be so potent at what you do. you need to be first. you’ll avoid nearly all the situations. if you’re facing somebody who’s a real threat. that might travel 8 or 12 http://www. When you’re facing violent people outside.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 23 of 34 same. People underestimate how frightening a life-threatening confrontation will be. He believes they are not practical for non-sporting conflict. although he admits there are some people who have made them work. the only thing I’ve found that works consistently is the pre-emptive attack: hit first. And. The block and counter doesn’t work. you won’t want to take your feet off the ground. You just won’t be there.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson. But if it does become physical. You’re far better off using something economical like a punch. Letting people grab you and then throwing them doesn’t work: it’s all too late." In a Bombshell "And if you’re really good at what you’re doing. believe me. there’s not a part of you that wants to try a high kick because it’s just too risky. but I can give it to you in one line: Learn to hit f**king hard!" Foot & Mouth Disease Thompson does not suggest high kicks to the head. The trap and counter doesn’t work. "From that observation. and are not consistently effective. That’s it. you’ll hit them first and you’ll hit them hard.knucklepit. I mean there are thousands of books out there. because 90% of the battle is in the pre-fight. It needs to be pre-emptive. And I’m not saying they don’t work.htm 2/26/2005 . but there’s a place for them. "It’s just common sense really.

then he would back the grappler. "Kicking for the average player just doesn’t have the potency to be practical: it ’s too slow. Thompson suggests that kickers and grapplers will not last on the street if they can’t punch. because fights are very rarely one on one. he believes that a street fight is the last place to be for the grappler." Thompson says when one grapples. and even though you’ll finish him and probably tear him a new arse. and he has great admiration for grapplers. So while you’re doing that. the technique is protracted. something quick and something pre-emptive. butting.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 24 of 34 inches.knucklepit. He says that if a fight was one on one. Although Geoff acknowledges that he loves grappling. You can finish someone with one shot. his mate is kicking your head like a football or his girlfriend is stabbing you.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson. too deliberate and too risky. which leaves your hands free to deal with the second assailant. The moment you grab one person you tie yourself to him. "In a real situation." Kickers & Grapplers to be Towed Away Boldly. The danger of grappling is that it is a protracted art: you can’t finish someone clinically in less than a second as you can with punches. And he only has to be a road digger or a bricklayer or any manual worker. what you need is something clinical. And it’s always the hands that are closest to the target.htm 2/26/2005 . biting and buddies. He states that the grappler can have the upper hand on the ground. but he feels that scenario is indeed a rare occurrence. who’s stabbing the grappler with her stiletto or http://www. and you can drive your whole body weight through it. he faces the danger of what he calls ‘the four Bs’: blinding. only to be attacked by the adversary’s girlfriend. where you can get a knockout in one hit.

htm 2/26/2005 . a good grappling system. then I would say boxing and grappling.knucklepit. But I would never choose just one discipline.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson. There http://www. preferably boxing because it’s based on the knockout. The good thing about western boxing is that it is pre-emptive. because they have submissions. Thai-boxing because it’s ferocious and is a practical art. Thirdly. Secondly. Geoff Thompson the Author If You Were Allowed One Wish "People often ask me what art I would select for a physical confrontation if I could only take up one discipline. and I tell them it would be boxing. preferably judo/jiu jitsu or catch wrestling. "You really need three systems: firstly a good punching system.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 25 of 34 sticking a broken bottle in his neck. If I could choose two arts.

or to fight if there are no other options. and then king hit him.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson. And most of these arts are done with partners and with no complying.knucklepit. which opens a window of attack. Sometimes Geoff would even say he was scared to give his attacker a false sense of confidence. http://www.htm 2/26/2005 . and that’s a great art because it combines all three ranges.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 26 of 34 are lots of good shoot-fighters out there now. And the way to become used to fear is to get exposed to fear by participating in confrontational arts such as boxing or judo where there are no hiding places. Again Thompson stresses the importance of deception. "If you make a mistake in judo or boxing you’ll get choked out or knocked out. But he states that they can use the latent energy to run away." Geoff says he would sometimes lower his voice and purposely let a little fear filter through in his speech during a confrontation. He suggests that when novice defenders first experience a rush of adrenaline they often mistake it for fear. It’s okay to feel fear: you should feel fear. "If you’re choosing a club." A Horse Called Fear One of Thompson’s favourite subjects is harnessing fear. so as to encourage his adversary to drop his mental guard. look for the broken noses and the cauliflower ears. You need to confront fear in order to get used to fear. but you still have the problem of adapting to the street and not going to the ground.

mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 27 of 34 With former European Heavyweight Boxing Champion Scott Welsh Take it on the Chin. But a sniper doesn’t set his sights three inches above the target.knucklepit.htm 2/26/2005 . But if you train for accuracy. It’s difficult to get accuracy when you have adrenaline running through your body. and train for accuracy while you’ve got adrenaline flowing. "You only have to miss by half an inch and you’ve missed the knockout. He says the novice often makes the mistake of looking at the opponent’s face when aiming for the jaw. So if you want to get the knockout. you need to look at where you’re hitting and place the punch there.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson. he focuses on what he intends hitting. Boy Geoff compares the street fighter to a sniper. you need to look at the line of the jaw. then by hitting them so hard it will discourage them from batting on. then you will be accurate. And one punch will normally end the fight – if not by knockout." http://www.

that they’ll get an idea that you’re targeting the groin for a kick." You're feeling very sleepy .. he did find there was a minority of people who only respected him when he got physical. ‘I understand what you’re saying now’.. they’ll often like you for it. because they have to take advantage of a perceived weakness. during his decade on the door. They tend to look anywhere but the eyes. It’s only if you’re looking at something obvious. Not only do they respect you afterwards. in an adrenaline-filled situation. the fighters get tunnel vision. "People don’t notice little things such as whether you’re looking at the eyes or the jaw.. could be talked down or allowed to walk away whilst saving face. But they can’t help themselves. So when you punch them in the eye they’re like. so if you look at the jaw they won’t notice it. like if you drop your eyes to look at their bollocks.htm 2/26/2005 . It’s not a http://www.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson. Very few people look in the eyes anyway.soon you'll be out to it. "It’s really like a lower form of communication. Can We Still Be Friends? Although Geoff found that most people he dealt with. and all things on the peripheral disappear.knucklepit.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 28 of 34 Thompson says that although some instructors preach the theory that one shouldn’t show their hand by looking where they are going to hit.

I stood up to the bullies and next thing they’re making me cups of tea and wanting to have my babies. life’s stumbling blocks are merely stepping stones that need to be overturned.geoffthompson. You do it more to save them from themselves. To Thompson. http://www.com photos © Geoff Thompson Ever wish you could be the best in the world at something? Ever wish you could win the lottery and make all your dreams come true? Ever wish upon a star? Geoff Thompson is like that: He spends most of his life dreaming.com Geoff Thompson Part Three The Castaway Dreamboat © Marc Wickert www.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 29 of 34 matter of being physical.knucklepit. What separates Geoff from most of us is that he makes his dreams come true. you’ll end up having to be physical with them and then they will have a problem!" For more information on Geoff Thompson go to www.knucklepit. When I started the job at the factory years ago. it’s a matter of being firm. And he doesn’t leave anything to chance. He works and works until his dreams become reality.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson.htm 2/26/2005 . because if you allow them too much leeway.

When Geoff wanted to feel safe on the street and decided to stop being bullied. let alone http://www.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson. until someone finally saw the book’s potential. "Brown Paper Bag". if I had listened to many of the people around me. He wanted to become an author and has now published over thirty books and thirty videos. Today. I would not have even set goals in the first place. it did not stop them from happening.knucklepit. And yet.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 30 of 34 Geoff ’s whole life has been a series of hurdles he’s erected for himself. He says at times the rejections seemed to outnumber the manuscripts sent out. Thompson also wrote the hugely successful novel "Red Mist". I would not have achieved anything in my life." says Thompson. Over 20 publishers turned down Geoff’s first book. It did not stop the whole universe from conspiring to make my little dreams into big realities. starring Ronnie Fox and Jo McInnis. and his latest film. Hardly enough to feed the extras. because all of the things I aimed for seemed impossibly grand. "Take the short film "Bouncer" that we recently made. In fact. Our budget for the whole film was only ten grand. I pride myself on the fact that I set goals that others would consider completely unrealistic. Even more amazing is that Geoff wrote the entire book. he took up bouncing for ten years at some of Britain’s roughest nightclubs. "Watch My Back" is a bestseller. But none of his success has been handed to Geoff on a platter.htm 2/26/2005 . And every day he raises their height. all my life. sitting on the toilet each day. won a BAFTA in the Best Short Film category. whilst he was employed as a factory floorsweeper. But the determined author kept submitting his autobiography as a bouncer. "Watch My Back". He has defied the odds and made the impossible happen through his hard work and unrelenting persistence. even pretentious to them. "If I only set realistic goals.

"It’s about self-protection and covers the whole gamut. verbal dissuasion.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 31 of 34 actually hire anyone to make the film.knucklepit. shoot the film and then get it to all the film festivals – with no money. is another of his publications that has received international acclaim. And he has finished the third draft of a film with working title "The Death of Christine James". which is about people coping with changes in their lives. "More than one person scoffed when we said that we were aiming to get Ray Winstone as the lead. ‘Impossible’. And yet we did it. Christine. hire the extras (free). "Dead or Alive"." Thompson’s self-defence book. It’s a love story. Ronnie Fox. gets mugged and suffers post traumatic depression. At last count. Ray Winstone alone usually charges 75 times more than our whole budget. awareness and escape. Her husband develops a complex. Sean Parks. everything from avoidance. "Bouncer" has been in 30 international festivals.htm 2/26/2005 . many of them said. and it’s about how they cope with this change in their lives. to where we want to be. loop-holing and http://www. because he was unable to help her. and then send it in to the BAFTAs.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson. I’d still be sweeping floors in the factory. and when we told them that we wanted to enter the BAFTA competition. He did it free because he liked the script. winning awards and award nominations around the globe. "The fictitious character. We had to find the locations (free). If I thought realistically. Paddy Consedine – four of our biggest stars – and a supporting cast of 200 extras and crew." Geoff has now completed the first draft of a motivational book tentatively titled "Shape Shifter" which he says is about the process of shifting from where we are. It starred Ray Winstone.

htm 2/26/2005 . and the knowledge that being first to strike is the only thing that works in this situation.knucklepit. he says most of his martial arts training now involves what he calls ‘internal scrimmaging’." At forty-four. I’ve been working with best-selling criminologist. And if it does get physical.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 32 of 34 posturing. The physical training only takes you so far.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson. Thompson still does a lot of yoga and running. You begin exploring your mind to see what you can do with it. it goes into the aftermath: the emotional aftermath and understanding the legal ramifications. Geoff also helps others to overcome their fears ("Fear – The Friend of Exceptional People"). and starts to come in emotional and spiritual. and he has access to all these murders and muggers. and the attacker’s ritual. then we get right to the nitty-gritty: the pre-emptive strike. We interviewed rapists and serial killers to find out how these people operate. Finally. I then devised an attack ritual. the ability to hit f**kin’ hard from close range. "Most of my martial arts strength has come from the outside to the inside. "This then allows you to become more aware. like kicking and grappling. and when you get to where you’re about as good as you can get physically. it spills over and starts to come in cerebral. which is the kind of ritual attackers go through before they assault someone. http://www. And then it goes into the support system. the ability and the courage to hit first. Christopher Berry-Dee. physical attack. because it’s more about awareness than physical confrontation. but for the man regarded as the world’s #1 authority on doormanship. It takes you to a pinnacle. where he wrestles with his thoughts." Through his motivational books and videos. I work a lot on self-control and self-strength. understanding fear.

and what you order is what you think.knucklepit.’ "In life. and certainly thinking what you want with a little more accuracy. and stress ("A Book for the Seriously Stressed"). you usually get exactly what you order. say and do.htm 2/26/2005 . They actually predict their own failure when they say something like.com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson. That’s the real key. think and talk failure." For more on Geoff Thompson or to order his books and tapes: www. ‘Well I put in for that job. but I know I won’t get it. I am amazed by the number of people out there who want success. Dare yourself. How many instructors do you know in martial arts who actually get out there and train under other instructors? How many martial artists do you know who never step outside their local class to enable their talent to grow? "Dare yourself to do the things that you really want to do. talking what you want a little more succinctly. why not try seeing what you want a little more clearly. but see.geoffthompson. and you will get everything from life that you want.mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 33 of 34 negativity ("The Elephant and the Twig"). He also shows people how to reach for the stars and grab hold of them ("The Great Escape"). "Are you getting what you want out of life? If your answer is ‘no’.com For the Ultimate Street Defence Manual click here http://www. And they are not even aware of the fact that they are doing it.

mixed martial arts-Geoff Thompson Page 34 of 34 return to feature stories top of page Home http://www.htm 2/26/2005 .com/mixed-martial-arts -geoff_thompson.knucklepit.