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Watch My Back Paperback – 5 Jan 2009
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"'Lenny McLean had the braun, Dave Courtney had the charm, but Geoff Thompson is in a class of his own.' FHM '...it's Trainspotting time all over again. Or maybe make that Clockwork Orange time again.' BRITISH FILM magazine review of Clubbed"
"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. Over the next ten years, he was involved in hundreds of brutal and bloody fights that left two of his friends murdered and many more in prison. Geoff turned himself into a fearsome fighting machine, reached the top of his trade and became addicted to violence.Then it all changed. After being nearly killed in a gang attack, and almost killing one of his attackers, he was forced to reassess his relationship with violence. After writing down his experiences, Geoff discovered a flair for writing.This is the story of an ordinary man who faced his fears and took himself from bedsit to best-seller but very nearly got killed on the way.See all Product description
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I'm currently training in a weapons based martial arts system and my grand master and instructors recommend this book (they know the author personally, so they know he is writing from experience and not from fantasy land) - the book is probably as useful as the techniques I've learning to be honest. It's a good sotry to read, but as you read it you learn a lot about the mentality and reality of what a doorman's life is like, as well as how and why street-thugs and bullies act like they do.
It delivers a riveting tale of redemption, from a guy who liked violence for the sake of it through to somone who wants to make the world a better place. It also explains the tough reality of the consequences of violence too - I've met plenty of people who reckon they would "smash and kill" anyone who steps to them, but back down when they are in a confrontation. This book explains so much about the fighter, and the bully, mentality, that it is given me a whole new viewpoint on the importance of street awareness - as well as why bouncers act the way they do when there has been a disagreement (I never used to understand why doormen were still aggressive after seeing people calm down in a pub disagrement, now I completely understand why and what they are thinking).
I'm not tough by a long shot, nor am I a fighter, but this book has been an entertaining, and informative (at some times horribly informative) realistic story of how nasty things can get, and why violence is rarely a good solution.
Invaluable to anyone seeking to be knowledgeable on conflict resolution, avoidance and the realities of fighting.
After a while though, I couldn't help but be a little de-sensitised to it all. Perhaps that's not the author's fault. What should have been checked, though, was the grammar, spelling and facts. Petty as it may sound, it's just plain annoying to have The Monkees' 'Daydream Believer' referred to as "The Monkeys 'Cheer up sleepy Jean'", or have quotes attributed to Oscar Wilde when they're obviously not his.
Things like that lose it a star. Very good and very readable, though.
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