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Watch My Back: The Geoff Thompson Story [Paperback]

Geoff Thompson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Sep 2001
Watch My Back is the story of one man's search for courage. Depressed, bullied, intimidated by life and indoctrinated to believe that this was his lot, Geoff Thompson, on the verge of a breakdown, decided to fight back. In a bid to confront his fears, he took a job as a bouncer in one of Britain's roughest nightclubs. His life was never to be the same again. Over the next ten years, and after being involved in hundreds of brutal and bloody fights that left two of his friends murdered and many more in prison, the bullied 11 stone youth turned himself into a fearsome fighting machine with an unparalleled reputation as a knockout specialist. Seduced by beautiful women, attacked by maniacs with knives, guns (and a pair of garden shears), chased and locked up by the police and sought after by top establishments to 'clean up' their clubs, Geoff reached the top of his trade and became addicted to violence. Then it all changed. After being stabbed, glassed and nearly killed in a gang attack, and almost killing one of his attackers in a savage car park match-fight, he was forced to reassess his relationship with violence. After writing down his experiences in an effort to exorcise his demons, Geoff discovered a flair for writing. Within a few short years his work found a cult following all over the world. This is the story of an ordinary man who faced his fears and took himself from bedsit to bestseller but very nearly got killed on the way. Geoff Thompson made violence his profession working as a dooman at some of Britain's roughest clubs. As the holder of the rank of 6th Dan black belt in Japanese karate, 1st Dan in Judo and equally well qualified in other martial arts he is a Tough man. As well as many books he has written a film script, Watch My back, based on his life and a stage play, One Sock, that Inspired The Royal Court Theatre in London's West End to invite him into their exclusive writers' group. Watch My Back is his account of nine years as a doorman and bouncer, of living with the ever present fear of going too far and killing someone in any of the 300 violent and bloody confrontations.

Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale Publishers; New edition edition (15 Sep 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840241896
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840241891
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 11 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 306,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Until the age of thirty Geoff Thompson had worked through a plethora of menial jobs, from glass collector to floor sweeper; he even spent a decade working as a nightclub bouncer.

Convinced that there must be more to life than this, Geoff decided to become a martial arts instructor (polled as the number one self defence instructor in the world by Black Belt magazine USA) then followed this by living out his dream of becoming a writer.

He is now the author of thirty-four books published in 15 languages, five multi-award-winning films (one BAFTA nominated, one BAFTA winning), three stage plays and hundreds of published articles.

Geoff's autobiography, Watch My Back, has been adapted into a major motion picture, Clubbed.

Product Description


'A brilliant insight!' -- Reggie Kray

'Lennie Mclean had the brawn, Dave Courtney had the charm, but Goeff Thompson is in a class of his own...' -- FHM

'The psyche-outs, the stabbings, glassings, incidents involving the camaraderie of the door...never losing, not once.' -- Loaded

'This is as real as it gets.' -- Dave Courtney

'This man is very, very hard. Buy his book if you know what's good for you.' -- Maxim

'Watch My Back' is the story of one man's search for courage. -- Front Magazine, October 2001

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
An utterly superb and compelling book that, all the beatings aside , is a story about loss of innocence, salvation and then redemption.As a Coventrian myself I could visualise most of the places thompson talks about and the kind of people he was dealing with. I could not put this brilliant book down and read it in record time. I hear that Thompson has made a film script of this book .When I read it I kept thinking to myself What a great movie it would make . Even non violent people will be enthralled by thompsons story , and made glad that they are not inclined to fighting . A total gem and classic
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That's how it is folks! 14 Jun 2003
This book is long overdue with all the sanitisation of fighting and techniques that get thrown at us in films.As a practioner of a kicking art I fully realise that what will work and what wont. Instructors today should be telling their students what is tradition and what is sport and what is practical if they are going to take their hard earned money. this book should be a standard read to any responsible student as it cuts to the chase. Having worked the door a few times I can tell you that when a group of aggressive and alcohol filled mouth pieces get in your face and promise to be back with weapons that night, you will feel all the emotions run through your system that are recounted numerous times in this book, however it takes a man with exceptional control to do what the author has done so many times, and the advice he gives on controling your fear or as he puts it adrenaline, could one day save your life. The older guy in the car minding his own business could easily be you or me. If you want to see pure evil you dont have to read history books about nazis sixty years ago, just go outside your door on a saturday night in some of our cities. The stories are brutal and real but they are the truth and thats what matters. This book will tell us about the world our children will be facing so face the truth and give them a chance.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ICE6423 17 April 2006
To be honest when i bought the book i had no idea who Geoff Thompson was at all and shortly after reading Watch My Back i've added several of his books to my collection. Being a doorman myself i found a lot of familiarity with some of the stories he describes and the feelings that come along with it. I have read many books on so called "hardmen" who put themselves on "sugar pedestals", as geoff puts it, who never in their entire book talk with as much honesty of fear unless it is of their opponent's! i must have read and re-read Watch My Back about 8 or 9 times so far! once you pick it up you will not want to put it down. it is not often i find a book i can't put down but this has got to be the best i've come across yet. i would advise EVERYBODY wether working as a doorman or a regular clubber to have a read it's brilliant.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it has changed me in ways id never imagined 18 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This is a very special and personal book indeed. In terms of a story it does get a little repetitive and drone, but as an insight it is unbelievalbly powerful. Geoffs views on life, his emotional problems and solutions spoke to me on a level I never expected. I could relate to what he was saying and as I read I became all the more wiser. This book has changed me and in the way I think and deal with situations. It has taught me the importance of mental fortification, and the power of the mind. Through his story I have realised that what we do physically is only an echo of what we do mentally.
I am a better person for reading this book. Stronger, more confindent, and better equipt for what life throws at me.
Thanks Geoff!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great insight into man and the lifestyle... 22 Oct 2004
By Tom
This book will not teach you how to fight. It won't teach you how to be hard. Its quite clearly an autobiography of a man who was both good at fighting and very very hard! But thats it. Its not a text book.
The book itself is a valuable insight into one of the now most respected and experienced teachers in the martial arts circle.
To understand why Geoff Thompson is so good at what he teaches, you have to read this book to know where he got his wealth of experience from.
Always the first to admit violence is ugly and savage, Thompson takes us on a rollercoaster ride of street fighting, door work, night club characters, and a host of degenerate pond life that most of us couldn't be paid enough to deal with.
From his early childhood nightmares, through his teens and into adulthood, his is a story that, with hindsight probably wouldn't have gone any other way.
Thompson writes in a matter of fact, but humourous way, that never makes violence acceptable, but does help take the sting out of some of the more raw descriptions of brutal knock outs and the injuries caused. He makes the Door seem at the same time a fairytale world, and a hell that has to be faced.
Thompsons description of the fights themselves are not overly detailed and give the impression of interactions that start out at 10 feet and end up at 18 inches in the space of a heartbeat.
Unlike some other authors, he never speaks about his victories as knotches on his belt, prefering to be honest and tell the reader that if he hadn't done what he had done, he would be the one lying on the floor with blood gushing out of his chipped teeth! And that is where I find the book differs most from its contemporaries, he justifies himself to the reader.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational !
If you ever find yourself in need of a boost in life to make you get a grip and move forward then this is it. An amazing book truthfully told. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Hamish345
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Insight.
Vivid, extremely easy to read. You can imagine the altercations taking place and how effective Martial Arts can be. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Tom Bradley
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
I was recommended to read this book by my mma instructor! This book really does give you a realistic insight into a man who new how to deal with fear, how to overcome your fears... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Pen Name
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book but the author is not someone to lookup to..
The book was good, but some it seems as if the author was a hit first and ask questions later (or not) kind of person. Hence the 300 odd encounters and not one loss. Read more
Published 21 months ago by A. S. Gill
3.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but with a LOT of fighting
I've wanted to buy this book for a very long time now... I finally ordered it at amazon and when it arrived a few days later, I immediately started to read it. Read more
Published on 18 Oct 2010 by Hjalte
5.0 out of 5 stars Geoff is great
This book is the bruterley truthful it is the best of its kind, any of Geoff work the best because he is living what says he dont just say it. I have lots of his work . Read more
Published on 14 Feb 2009 by Barry Daniels
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
I found this book really hard to put down it is 1 of the best books i have had the pleasure of reading.
Well worth it.
Published on 30 Sep 2008 by Allen Coates
5.0 out of 5 stars an inteligent hard bastard
Published on 5 April 2008 by TheWatchman
4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling read
Geoff Thompson is a martial arts expert. A 6th Dan at Karate and 1st Dan at Judo as well as studying many other styles. Read more
Published on 15 Oct 2007 by S J Buck
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
I read this in 3 days (fast for me) the one thing that struck me the most and impressed upon me was Geoffs honesty and integrity throughout. Read more
Published on 16 Aug 2007 by Mr. C. W. Turner
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