Monday, 20 May 2013


Anybody who has done any KARATE has heard of the RED TRIANGLE school in LIVERPOOL. This was one of the first schools were the legendary Japanese masters ,KANAZAWA and ENOEDA started training when they first arrived in the 60's. All the members have become Karate legends and comprised the national squad for many many years. But one of the 'Main men' was a certain TERRY O'NEILL. 

ONEILL ,apparently was fascinated with feats of great strength ,etcas a boy and in later years started developing his body and in later years was a full blown body builder. A lot of people say that you cannot develop muscle and retain the speed and power that Karate requires, but O'NEILL managed it .He's a tall bloke anyhow, but with bulging bits was pretty intimidating and with his speed and incredible flexibility combined with this strength and power it's no suprise that the American magazine BLACK BELT named him the no1 in their list of 'DEADLIEST FIGHTERS ON THE PLANET'!.....Not bad for a 'limey' in an American journal?

Whenever he fought in competition he would be spectacular ,not to show off, but he was aware that he had an arsenal of weapons and utilised ,basically everything, whereas many others have their favourite tecnique and don't often waver from that. O'NEILL has amazing kicking abilities with the 7 foot legs he has and the fists aren't to be argued with either.

He has worked on 'the doors'....Security at clubs throughout LIVERPOOL even the CAVERN in the long gone days of yore. Apparently ,even in real situations 'on the street' his kicking was spectacular "All that BRUCE LEE stuff that nobody can do in a fight!".....Well he did!

I had the honour of training at his DOJO in the 80's...It was behind his martial art shop ,THE SAMURAI. I asked if i could train and he was very friendly, but informed me with a cold hooded look that if i didn't use control i would be sparring with him, I gulped and hoped that my sphincter wouldn't let me down and stammered "Yyyes, SSssensei!"....And a few times a week i sweated my cobblers off busting a gut ,training as hard as i could . One night i was giving it my all, until i happened to glance to the side and there was a tasty lady with an exposed low cup bra ,with contents on display....As my knees wobbled and my fists few all over the place, suddenly i could see the ceiling, the floor and the ceiling again before an almight thump and me gasping for breath as i hit the wooden floor....SENSEI O'NEILL had seen what had distracted me, swept my feet from under me then stepped across me looking down with a wry grin and just said "CONCENTRATE!"

Aside from teaching,training and competing he published FIGHTING ARTS INTERNATIONAL magazine ,quite simply the best martial arts magazine ever. He interviewed ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER( i bet you never thought i'd get that right!)....And got a small role in the second CONAN THE BARBARIAN film and got walloped ,along with most of the Hollywood stuntmen by the mercurial GRACE JONES who didn't quite follow the planned fight moves. 

His acting career took off and he appeared with a variety of stars in some pretty prestigious films and telly shows. One , a story of ex soldiers called 'CIVVIES'...O'NEILL was a nasty sergeant in Ireland during 'De trubles!!'....His antagonist was JASON ISSACS. An issue of FIGHTING ARTS was late due to his filming commitments, but he didn't say that. He told a tale of how a personal grievence had finally blown up and sorted by a fight with pictures of O'NEILL and  ISSACS, both looking battered and beaten ,O'NEILL didn't look as bad ,although he had ,he pointed out been beaten.

The following issue of FIGHTING ARTS was taken up by all those occuppying the moral high ground and voicing their disgust at how a respected Karateka like TERRY O'NEILL would lower himself to this behaviour. Much embarressment for them ensued, i hope as later on in the issue , O'NEILL wrote an article about the filming of a really brutal fight between the two characters that ended the series, i've still got it somewhere on old VHS tape and it's a stormer, but JASON ISSACS  won.

I haven't seen SENSEI TERRY O'NEILL for many years ,although we did speak on the phone for a few minutes months ago. I'm not training with a club currently, but O'NEILL is holding a seminar for a day nearby in a week or two, so i'm training myself as a form of damage limitation, so i dont get too hurt....Only joking ,i'm looking foreward to seeing my old teacher and hope he's not too upset at the caricature!

Friday, 17 May 2013


Through the years we've seen on films how prisoners have had to suffer in various ways in jails through history from chained in dungeons and branded with branding irons ;working on chain gangs, wearing canvas sacking uniforms with arrows on. Punished, whipped ,flogged ,slung into 'solitary' ;roasted and frozen in the 'box' ,a favourite of film makers ,where the corrugated iron box is molten hot during the day and freezing cold at night....That was in a lot of cowboy films ,infact the other day watching an old 'KUNG FU' episode KWAI CHANG CAINE and another bloke are slung into one as way of punishment. The mere mortal normal 'con' is dying between shivering his tits off and sweating his cobblers off, whilst CAINE sits serene ,calm and placid feeling neither heat nor cold. Sure enough the ignorant mere mortal wants to know "What kind o' man are you ,Caine?".....To which he gets the Caine reply whispered ..."I am just a man!".....But he explains that to survive he must make contact with his soul....?.....There y'go ,simple! Now you need never wear coat, scarve n' gloves again when its miserable and cold, or strip in the sun when its not. So easy as that the fellah crosses his legs in the lotus position like Caine and days later emerges much to the guards amazement as 'fresh as a daisy!'...All very well, but how did he manage the lotus position ,just like that ? I can get my head around surviving the temperature extremes ,but for a new boy to sitting cross legged in a box for days ,how he's not crippled for life is beyond me.

Prisoners beaten ,whipped on the chaingang, (PAPILLON ,,,COOL HAND LUKE, etc)....Then the glamour of those far off prison islands and such is replaced by our much more less dusty sunny, less glamourous, far sighted prison reforms , tiles and bars ,the pot in the corner and the smell of boiled cabbage pervading the old victorian buildings. New concrete buildings are built and prisioner numbers go up and more time in cells,prisioners must be kept happy, tellys ,phones ,gyms, etc are supposed to be the prisioners lot these days. I don't know ,but i do know i don't have any sympathy for anyone who breaks the law ,the laws the law ,okay ,you might not agree, but thats it ,you break it you get punished. The other day our next door neighbours got broken into and thescumbag sweethearts turned the whole house over, far as i'm concerned theres no excuse and 10 minutes with a baseball bat around their heads should be given to my neighbour.

I've tried to explain to my disgusted daughter ,angry at rules at school about uniforms and hair colours etc, that the rules are there and if she breaks them she'll be punished ,she's on about writing to the European Court of Human Rights about not being able to dye her hair some purpley brown colour.

The other day that slimey, lying scheming MP was released after serving a fraction of his sentance for getting his wife to take the blame for a speeding offence. Apparently the prison is in a lovely part of the world and the prisoners lock themselves in at night ,if they want ,or they can amble down to the village, apparently after this few weeks of hell he's going to write a book about his ordeal ,as is his wife ,who was in a similar 'holiday camp'.....Can't imagine a PAPPILON type novel , definitly not a STEVE McQUEEN or PAUL NEWMAN film in there!

Saturday, 11 May 2013


  Years ago there was a telly programme called GLADIATORS where all these muscley false tanned ladies n' gents used to do strange physical tasks for the enjoyment of the studio and viewing audience. They all had dramatic names like WOLF and YORKSHIRE TERRIER, etc.....Not really i cant remember the others ,there might of been a PHOENIX  in there ,but generally like all fit sculpted body people they were a strange bunch. 
There was a time when people used to do excercise to get fit ,things like 'jerks' and swinging of arms like soldiers in the morning when exercise was known as PHYSICAL JERKSas shown in those old war timePUBLIC INFORMATION FILMS... and the most technical was a press up or sit up. But now nobody plays sport(goverment cutbacks and money starved property developers removing playing areas and pitches,etc,but that's for another blog!).... or does physical occupations or pastimes ,so now they jump in their car and go to the posh gym which they've spent a fortune to bust a gut and sweat their cobblers off on a variety of very weird and wonderful looking torture devices. It has always been a source of amusement to me going past a leisure centre and seeing hundreds of people running on the spot all facing out at the traffic oblivious of the world passing in front of them as they've got ear phones on or watching the telly above them as drivers and pedestrians are laughing at them and commenting to each other ,"Look at them knob'eads!"....."It's a lot cheaper running around the block!".....

I know a lot of people who 'Go to the gym' and all of them are always complaining of aches and pains i've come to the conclusion that this healthy living will kill you. Whereas in the old days people were active and did their 'physical jerks' nowadays every muscle has a huge machine bearing a vast array of weights to strain this or that particular muscle, so people can develop whatever part of their body they want,mostly for appearance sake rather than health and fitness sake. Muscles have become a fashion statement, like most fashions they come and go and are designed. Take the abdominal muscles ,or as us in the know refer to them as 'AB's', or now the SIX-PACK Every pop or movie star ,etc has the 6-pack. The 6-pack is top of everybodies fitness shopping list, but is totally unnatural. You look at all the movie stars from before BRAD PITT,etc in the 80's back, CHARLTON HESTON,etc and not one of them have the 6-PACK!

You see people walking around town in the middle of winter blizzards in tee-shirts because they have to show their gym pumped bulk, funny thing is most work on their arms and have huge barrel like chests and powerful thick arms and sad spindly neglected legs. A lot of these muscle jocks accentuate their muscle with tatooes, i can't help thinking come the day when the gym membership isn't renewed and the pleasures of laziness and bone-idleness sets in and the muscle starts to shrink, does the tatoo shrivel like a picture on a scrunched up piece of paper.

I trained in KARATYE for many a year and like most young fellahs i used muscle power convinced that ,that was the way it was done ,but to do that you had to be fit and had to be warmed up before you could even start. Now i'm a middle aged old fart i've realised that is wrong. All fighters ,etc are finished by their 30's as their body can't maintain that strain. I discovered TAI-CHI when we lived in INDIA 10 years ago and combined with KARATE i discovered this insane method of training where, instead of speed and power ,general busting a gut ,et al....The slower and more relaxed you moved the better. My KARATE developed speed and power from going in totally the opposite direction, for a lazy bastard like me ,this was proof there is a god and he's a feckin' genius! I'm currently training myself to do a Karate seminar with one of the real Karate greats SENSEI TERRY O'NEILL....As i'm not with a club i'm training myself so i don't get too badly beaten. But the secret of Karate as explained to me once by the great Japanese master HIROKAZU KANAZAWA is in breathing ,relax and breathe and the speed and power is there. The amazing thing is  i dont get stiff i dont even have to warm up, but it is advised, i'm a middle aged old fart and i can kick above my head although i've never been able to do the splits even after all these years of stretching excercises, but ah well......And i don't have a 6-pack , but i can take a punch in the gut off anybody.

Thursday, 2 May 2013


JOHN  WAYNE......THE DUKE!......Through the years 'THE DUKE' made a couple of hundred films of varying quality it has to be said ,but he was always the good guy ,all American hero and all that and entered the realm of legend for The Good ol U.S.ofA....Living on whisky and moms apple pie.

 Apparently when the war broke out some old football injury and the fact that he was in his thirties and getting on a bit to be shot in real life excluded him from being called up for active service which 'broke his heart', personally i'd've been 'over the moon'. So he stayed with fighting and shooting people on the big screen.
 This event is thought to be the reason that he became such a staunch republican and Anti -'Pinko commie fag'!....Joseph Stalin ,apparently liked John Waynes films but ordered him to be assassinated. The Yank soldiers still loved him and named items of equipment after him, even the toilet paper , as "It was rough tough and didn't take shit off nobody!" Now that should be on a tombstone.

I liked his classics and his later middleaged elder character going towards the humour of the western. His greatest creation was JOHN WAYNE and he was the character in every western ,same guns and cloths ,the only one where a whole new character was created was TRUE GRIT as the dubiously heroic whisky guzzling one eyed hero ROOSTER COGBURN! Hired by a young girl to track the killers of her father with the help of GLENN CAMPBELL,no less. The great fight at the end with ROOSTER storming down a grassy slope on his horse with a WINCHESTER RIFLE in each hand loading and firing with one hand for each gun , yelling something along the lines of "Fill yer hands you sons of bitches!" A great film ,performance and winner of an academy award ,i think the only one the duke won.
Whereas ,even when JOHN WAYNE was young i never thought of him as young ,just had darker hair and tended to be in black n' white. Whereas JEFF BRIDGES was a wild young thing ,i always remember him being CLINT EASTWOODS wild side kick in 'THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT'. He seemed to dissappear for a while, to return , now a 'more mature' character has emerged playing the old grizzled characters like WILD BILL HICOCK  in 'WILD BILL'. a cracker of a film i saw fairly recently and loved it. When they said they were going to remake TRUE GRIT, i thought 'Well why?'....But who am i to question the money grabbing swine over there in HOLLYWOOD. 

I bought a pirate copy in a boozer in the fair city of LIVERPOOL. It wasn't too bad until towards the end along the bottom of the screen you could see people going to and from the toilets along the rows of seats as people stood up and down to allow the pain in the arse cinema boozers to get to the bogs....And then to top it off some inconsiderate swine spoiled my enjoyment of my pirate DVD by allowing their mobile phone to ring ,just no consideration some people!

But i did watch the proper version and liked the more grizzled realistic settings and ROOSTER COGBURN, basically the same story and sequence of events, but did JEFF BRIDGES get rolls of cheap military bog paper named after him?I think not,he's an actor, not an American icon  I think J.B. is great ,and J.W. is great....J.B is a wonderful actor and great at the tough grizzled character at this time in his career....Whereas J.W. was the great JOHN WAYNE playing the hero of whatever film he was starring in. 

Two versions of the same film and i loved them both, JEFF BRIDGES ,'TRUE GRIT' would've been a classic without the shadow of JOHN WAYNE hovering over it, but JOHN WAYNES 'original ' has been a classic for years now after all this time it has competition.