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Customer Review

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fighter's take on Knuckle, 25 Aug. 2011
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This review is from: Knuckle [DVD] (DVD)
As someone who loves all forms of combat, self defence, and martial arts, and whose father knew a few gypsy prize fighters - this is a world that has always fascinated me, yet I have never really been able to find out much about... until now.

With a keen interest in this secretive world, I would read stories of Gypsy Kings such as Bartly Gorman, and watch traveller documentaries and fights on Youtube - and because of this, many of the faces and names in this documentary were already familiar to me.

Recently, Gypsies (or travellers as they prefer to be know) are something of a novelty with the media and the subject of public fascination, but Knuckle is a documentary that has been 12 years in the making; it was underway long before the recent interest and so is honest in every way, with no media 'spin'.

Director, Ian Palmer, started filming bare-knuckle fights after being invited to film a gypsy wedding. Next, he was asked to film a bare-knuckle bout and was then accepted into the community - after filming that first fight he was hooked, and in his own words, started 'hanging around' with the films main characters to find out more.

What resulted was a fascination and appreciation for the men and the traveller culture, plus the chance to shine a spotlight on the tradition and show it in a different light. It's always easy to judge things without knowing the full story, and Knuckle will go someway to disparage the view that prize fights are just brutality for brutality's sake... nothing could be further from the truth.

I remember the same thing happened when MMA first became popular, with MPs calling for it to be banned and mothers calling it barbaric and senseless, mindless violence. Well, if they'd taken the time to find out more about what they were commenting on, they'd realise nothing could be further from the truth. The same applies to 'fair-fights' (as the traveller community call these organised matches to settled family fueds and disputes).

Gypsy life, and in particular bare-knuckle fighting, is a world that most people will never be able to understand - especially as it's a world we'll never, ever really be let into and can only ever view from the outside. But this documentary gives us a glimpse of that world and the traditions that underpin this activity (for want of a better word), going someway to explain it and dispel the myths - plus confirm a few too. All in all, it makes for a riveting watch whether you appreciate pugilism or not.

Given my interests, I think Knuckle is a must see, but I think it's a film most men will enjoy and find fascinating too. So Knuckle-up and enjoy the ride. Growing up, in the school yard you learn the mantra 'never get into a fight with a gypsy'... and after watching this, I can confirm - that mantra is indeed true.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Aug 2011 12:40:46 BDT
SIMON64 says:
Thank you for this excellent and eye-opening review. I have placed my order on the strength of it.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Aug 2011 21:18:18 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Aug 2011 16:00:32 BDT
The Truth says:
No worries mate - glad to be of help.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Aug 2011 05:04:42 BDT
Last edited by the author on 31 Aug 2011 05:05:56 BDT
mister joe says:
Why in the world does a spotlight need to be shone on this?A truly disgusting subject,let alone title.You sound a lot like a moronic meathead,watching gypsy fights on youtube?Pathetic.Why not get a real interest?Instead of bloodlust.Pleb.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Aug 2011 16:29:54 BDT
Last edited by the author on 31 Aug 2011 19:31:52 BDT
The Truth says:
Thanks for your ignorant response.

Is it not a good thing that a spotlight is shone on cultures that claim to be misunderstood, so that prejudices can be broken down and we all have a better understanding of each others cultures or mindsets - and maybe see things from their point of view?

You say I sound like a meathead - yet combat is an art (hence the phrase martial 'art'). It involves, diligence, tradition, psychology, social science and many other subjects that suggest something other than 'meathead'.

In my experience, whatever you seek to learn about - it is advisable to study all aspects of it, and soak as much up about it as you can; cover all bases and study all areas. Only then will you have a rounded knowledge and skill set, and not be blinkered. This is especially true in of martial arts; you might have heard the phrase in the professional boxing or MMA events, 'a well rounded fighter'.

You talk of bloodlust - yet in my experience most people who study martial arts or go to self defence classes, go because they detest violence.

Mister Joe - I put it to you that you are in fact worse than a meathead. Meatheads at least have the excuse of a low IQ or not knowing any better, when you are just ignorant; for that there is no excuse.

As for my title - I'm not sure why you find it so offensive or disgusting. Perhaps the word fighter upsets you, yet that is the professional term for most boxers. I think you might be getting it confused with the word 'brawler', 'trouble maker' or 'thug' - With this in mind (and judging by your poorly written comment) perhaps you should worry less about my 'ignorance' and more about your grasp (or lack) of basic English.

Thanks for your reply all the same. What sort of interest do you suggest I take up?

Next time, perhaps enlighten me as to what you see as a fitting interest and more worthwhile than personal development through something widely acknowledge as being one of the best ways to create rounded, well balanced human beings when studied, by teaching children discipline, hard work and respect from an early age.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Aug 2011 23:23:44 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 Sep 2011 03:33:02 BDT
mister joe says:
Oh believe me i am a bubble brained moronic meathead.Since WHEN has bareknuckle boxing where an unfortunate opponents face is battered into a beefburger a "martial art"?A lame,lame defense to hide underneath.I have had my fairshare of "scuffles" truly horrid experiences,this type of showdown is blighting gypsies,read up on some fighters WHO REGRET this barbarism.Stuff like this is what alienates society from understanding travellers.You also fail to mention the commerce,the money behind these brawls.Presenting a fairytale like justification where words like "honour" are used.Karate are arts of control,restraint and power.Your reply is a wishy washy argument about a TOTALLY DIFFERENT form of combat.Just be honest,you get a visceral thrill out of watching two men batter each other.The title of the film not your pompous review is what i disliked.Get off your high horse,change your ridiculous,arrogant user name and quit talking about how you are a "signed dj".No one is impressed.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Sep 2011 13:16:27 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 Sep 2011 15:45:58 BDT
The Truth says:
Mister Joe:
Thanks for the ad hominem attack (even though you got the facts wrong), but I am not trying to impress anyone; just give a bit of background on my profile. Which as far as I'm aware, that section asks me to do - perhaps you'd prefer I lie? Anyway, if I was trying to impress I certainly wouldn't use the fact that I'm a successful DJ, as DJs are two and penny and it involves very little skill anyway.

Besides, I thought you wanted me to find a more productive hobby than training? Does music not fit the bill?... but I digress.

'The title of the film not your pompous review is what i disliked.'

This is rubbish and a blatant lie - the fact you edited and removed what you wrote from your original comment may fool other people who read these comments at a later date, but not me - after all I read what you wrote, so know what you wrote.

'Stuff like this is what alienates society from understanding travellers.'

My point exactly. Thank you for agreeing with me. Now take a second to engage your brain and ponder why and what that means. One reason might be because it is not fully understood and just looked at a violence for violence sake.

'You also fail to mention the commerce,the money behind these brawls.'

Well I'm here to write a review of a film, not cast judgement on bare-knuckle fights in general, so why on earth would I mention that? It seems you have a problem with these types of bare-knuckle fights in general. That's fine - but if what you dislike so much is the fact money is involved, then that is ridiculous; as far as I'm aware, there's huge sums involved in boxing, MMA and nearly everything else in life...

''Your reply is a wishy washy argument about a TOTALLY DIFFERENT form of combat''

Combat is combat. If you have an interest in any form of fighting or martial art, it's best (as I said before) that you cover all bases and include as much of everything in your training an knowledge as you can - or pretty quickly you'll find out the hard way that you may not be the fancy pants fighter you thought; and that the art you dedicated a lifetime to is in fact useless when put into practise in a real life scenario under pressure.

'Just be honest,you get a visceral thrill out of watching two men batter each other'

What I enjoy watching above all, is the fight; the fighters, their skills and the art - not people getting hurt. And this is true of all form of fighting, whatever I'm watching (It's not like I sit up only watching gypsies on Youtube - in fact, most of the stuff I watch is knife and edged weapon combat and a Russian fighting system called Systema), but I think it's in human nature on some level to fight and enjoy watching them too. You can deny it, but experts on human nature and psychology (who know far more about this stuff than you or I) would say you're wrong.

'read up on some fighters WHO REGRET this barbarism.'

You mean like Bartley Gorman? And again, why would I? To each his own, and everyone's different. Some will regret it and some not - so what? What has that got to do with anything? I dare say Muhammed Ali regrets ever becoming a boxer... your point?

And RE. Barbarism. Why don't you read up on the statistics and then you'll find that bare-knuckle fights are actually much safer than professional boxing matches, with less deaths and much less serious injuries to fighters; due mainly to the fact that fights don't last as long and fighters take far fewer repeated blows to the head.

'Karate are arts of control,restraint and power.'

So is boxing.

To sum up you seem to have a problem with illegal boxing. Fine - but I'm reviewing a film, not prize fighting. And to draw a line between styles of fighting and say one is better than the other, proves you know nothing of the subject and, to me, says a lot about your mindset. So excuse me if I ignore your opinion, file it under worthless, and get on with my life.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Sep 2011 23:56:23 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 Sep 2011 23:58:13 BDT
mister joe says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Sep 2011 13:37:21 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Sep 2011 15:19:25 BDT
The Truth says:
Mister Joe.
Your ramblings are incoherent. And when all you can do is resort to the school yard tactics of a 13 year old and start calling me gay, it's pretty obvious you've lost this - for want of a better word - debate.

Also, I find it interesting you bring up being gay, and then immediately follow it by writing 'I AM TAILKING'... I wonder if this is a simple typo or something more - like a subconscious Freudien slip on the keyboard. I wonder...tail-king indeed.


But they are in essence the same thing. And anyone who knows anything about the subject (which as I said before you clearly do not) would agree; someone, say, like Muhammed Ali himself - which might be why, correct me if I'm wrong, the first thing he did when he came to England was seek out and arrange to meet King of the Gypsies, the afore mentioned Bartley Gorman.

And beside, you were not talking about bare-knuckle boxing, so much as you were about me. Therefore I was merely informing you of a few facts; something you seem to be running very short on.

I'm not sure what you find so upsetting about the word 'knuckle', and once again, I'm a producer - not a DJ. Also, I don't do karate... it's useless. I'm only interested in real world fight systems such as Krav Maga, Tony Blauer's Spear System and other real world street fighting techniques; which is why I like to spend some of my time analysing real fights - hence an interest in bare knuckle fights.

And if you think watching fist fights on Youtube is pathetic, it's not half as pathetic as watching 'naked chicks'. Perhaps, if you took more of an interest in subjects like this (boxing) and manned-up a bit, girls might take an interest in you and you wouldn't have to resort to beating yourself off in front of the computer.

If you need help with women, you can search through my lists on Listmania, where I have put together a step by step guide to help losers like you get a girlfriend - so that you might feel the pulse of a real woman rather than your own fist.

In fact, here's a link for you, as I wonder if you have the mental dexterity to find it on your own. Enjoy.

I don't like house music by the way.

As per your request, I have kept this reply brief rather than embarrass your further. I trust it is short enough for your tiny brain to digest.

Feel free to make yourself look even more stupid by leaving another moronic response... I look forward to deciphering your next offering of gibberish.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Sep 2011 19:43:39 BDT
mister joe says:
Erm.....there is no debate mister dj.Your right,i am wrong.I should have never questioned your hallow dare i mock you.I will leave you to your man fests.Lordy knows what your talking about in terms of Freudian slips or girlfriends.I am a happily married father.Your whole existence is a Freudian slip you moisturising metrosexual.It gets worse...How To Woo Your Dream Woman.Are women like lego sets to you?Need a manuel?Not confident enough to be yourself so you hide behind a sociopathic confidence?A preening narcissist who objectifys women.You were the proverbial fat kid at school.I am not embarrassed at all by your "withering" put downs.A moron can pyschoanalyse you in 20 seconds.Have you ever read American Pyscho?I imagine you to be like Patrick Bateman.I doubt you have read it as if you have any shelves they are taken up by Andy Mcnab,Rocky 1-5,WH Smith biographies on rubbish english gangsters and A Team box sets.I bet your mum still does your laundry tough guy.Your kinda boring me now so how about drinking a protein shake or sharpening one of your knifes?Or looking at yourself in the mirror?Slipping on a bannana skin?Better yet choking on a power bar.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Sep 2011 11:59:19 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 Sep 2011 13:02:11 BDT
The Truth says:
Mister Joe:
'there is no debate.'
You couldn't be more right.

'Your right,i am wrong'
You couldn't be more right.

'Lordy knows what your talking about in terms of Freudian slips'
This doesn't surprise me.

'A moron can pyschoanalyse you in 20 seconds'
Yet you don't even know what a Freudian slip is?

'A preening narcissist who objectifys women'
Your the one whacking off to women on the internet - not me, Joe.

And no I was not fat or ever bullied at school. Nor was I ever a bully. In fact, I was pretty popular - especially with the bullied kids, because one thing I have always detested is bullies, and would always stand up for them. But that's just me. And, if you truly have kids, I feel sorry for them, because you are a bully (and not a very good one, I might add); worse yet - a cyber bully. You don't even have the courage to bully people in person and try to do it with comments on Amazon. Needless to say, you've failed at that as you so obviously have in life if what you say about yourself on your profile is true.

A few days ago I took the time to sift through your reviews - and the fact that you rave about how good the viloence and gore in 'Hobo with a shotgun' is, makes you a bit of an oxymoron don't you think?
There's that word agian... moron. Hmmm.

Yes I have read American Psycho... when I was a kid. My shelves are filled with all sorts of books. Some are WH Smith Biographies as you say, some on the theories of hyperspace. You'll also find the classic by Homer and other stories like Papillon on my shelves, so sorry to disappoint. My day job is writing, so as you'd expect - I have quite a lot of books, on lots of different topics. Here's one I recommend you read:

An Insignificant Life: Overcoming the Fear of Being Gay

Also, as a working writer, may I offer you some advice: You're meant to insert a space after full stops and the like.

Seeing as you seem to have run out of steam now, I think I will do as you suggest, and celebrate my win over you with a protein shake. Because that is exactly what has happened. I won. I believe these days, the kids say, owned.
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