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Watch My Back: The Geoff Thompson Story Paperback – September 15, 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Lennie McLean had the brawn, Dave Courtney had the charm, but Geoff Thompson is in a class of his own... FHM; A brilliant insight! Reggie Kray; This man is very, very hard. Buy his book if you know what's good for you. Maxim; This is as real as it gets. Dave Courtney; The psycheouts, the stabbings, glassings, incidents involving the camaraderie of the door... Thompson's 300 fights - never losing, not once - are recorded in this excellent book. Loaded; A compelling insight into the world of bouncing, its problems and frequent brutalities, but also the complex psychology of those men who stand at the door. Arena"

About the Author

Geoff Thompson is the author of over thirty books, a stage play and a BAFTA-winning short film. His autobiography, Watch My Back, has been adapted into a major motion picture, Clubbed. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale Publishers (September 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840241896
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840241891
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,285,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John on October 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is about Mr. Thompson's life as a bouncer in Britain. It is very interesting, and pretty humorous at times, as well. As they say, reality is weirder than fiction. I kept saying "oh my god", when I read this book. The book basically contains one story after another of real bar fights and confrontations that that author had. It provides both a window into the male psyche (or should I say "psycho") and also what works and what doesn't, in terms of de-escalation and actual combat. It provides an interesting look at modern British society, too.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I didn't intend to read this as a self help book BUT it really made me see things on how other people feel and what other people go through. Not much different from what I have experienced in my own life. I got a lot out of this book--much much more than what I ever expected. If I had to pick just one thing that really made a change in me is Thompson's explanation of fear is and how we as people CANNOT ever get rid of fear--ever! A lot of self help books make promises on how you can get rid of fear and never be afraid again Wrong!!! The brain doesn't work that way.

Thompson explains first and foremost what fear really is and why we as people have it. He then explains how "he" learned (and he explains how) h ow to control his fear and how he learned how to channel it to make fear work for him which turned him into a formidable foe you didn't want to contend with--which included masking his fear so no one would have ever known he had fear in him to begin with. Truly powerful stuff. Good read and thank you Geoff Thompson---I will meet you one day.
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Format: Hardcover
Geoff Thompson is a martial arts expert. A 6th Dan at Karate and 1st Dan at Judo as well as studying many other styles. However buying this on the basis that you might learn something about martial arts would be a mistake.

The story basically covers his life as a doorman with small periods covered before and after these years. Its a violent true story and the tales he tells are compelling reading. Working in Coventry in the 1980's, he dealt with some of the nastiest hoods and nutcakes around. As a Doorman Thompsons main tactic was to initially try and sort the problem out without resorting to violence. However when it came to the crunch and a troublemaker had to be dealt with - "BANG" he would nail them with a knock-out punch (to the side of the jaw I guess) before they could do anything. Invariably one punch was enough, however sometimes if the mood took him he would roundhouse kick their head as they fell to the floor!

There is one particularly unpleasant incident, which Geoff Thompson was not involved in, that he recounts that I found hard to read. Partly this is because I knew he was describing something that was a true story. So if you are easily upset by descriptions of acts of violence this not a book to buy.

Geoff Thompson has gone on to write, appear on TV, and produce a huge amount of material on martial arts and the psychology of fighting and self-defence. Everything I have read of his so far has been of interest. You will probably only read this one once (I did in 3 days) but its well worth getting.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like the down to earth and brutal reality of his writing depicting the writer's real life experiences as a bouncer in some of the toughest clubs in the UK. Not a job for the faint of heart. He gave some real practical advise on the art of fighting also. It could really come in handy some day and maybe save your life.
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Format: Paperback
Geoff Thompson is a martial arts expert. A 6th Dan at Karate and 1st Dan at Judo as well as studying many other styles. However buying this on the basis that you might learn something about martial arts would be a mistake.

The story basically covers his life as a doorman with small periods covered before and after these years. Its a violent true story and the tales he tells are compelling reading. Working in Coventry in the 1980's, he dealt with some of the nastiest hoods and nutcakes around. As a Doorman Thompsons main tactic was to initially try and sort the problem out without resorting to violence. However when it came to the crunch and a troublemaker had to be dealt with - "BANG" he would nail them with a knock-out punch (to the side of the jaw I guess) before they could do anything. Invariably one punch was enough, however sometimes if the mood took him he would roundhouse kick their head as they fell to the floor!

There is one particularly unpleasant incident, which Geoff Thompson was not involved in, that he recounts that I found hard to read. Partly this is because I knew he was describing something that was a true story. So if you are easily upset by descriptions of acts of violence this not a book to buy.

Geoff Thompson has gone on to write, appear on TV, and produce a huge amount of material on martial arts and the psychology of fighting and self-defence. Everything I have read of his so far has been of interest. You will probably only read this one once (I did in 3 days) but its well worth getting.
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Format: Paperback
This is an enormously compelling book. You have a series of exciting, brutal bar-room brawls. But if that were all this book offered it would go nowhere. Thompson weaves his story of being a bouncer in some of Britain's toughest pubs into a larger picture of martial arts, self-defense, and finally spirituality.

I was poised to enjoy this book as a practicing Buddhist and jiu-jitsu novice. But, I think there is a compelling immediacy to Geoff Thompson's voice that would draw in and captivate readers who are not spiritually inclined or even interested in martial arts. This is a story about a man who has entertained, trained, and questioned his own instincts, and put his revelations up against finding that reading human nature is the bigger battle than simply knowing combat techniques.

It's not a feel good story, but it's not a brutal pandering to bar-fight vouyeurs either. It's both and more. Highly recommended.
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