Barker 3 – Dancing In The Dark

HTML clipboardThere are lots of self defence experts, websites, movies, books and loads of other stuff that tell you how to do this move, that move etc when attacked with a knife.  In reality the best bit of advice is to run away, I am not joking, back off and run, better to be a live coward than a dead hero as my mum used to say.

Unfortunately, most people attacked with knives don’t even know the assailant is carrying one or that they are being attacked with a knife until they are bleeding and then, there are just some occasions,  like the one I found myself in, when you can’t run away so you do have to actually defend yourself.

I really don’t want to get into the “boys own, my hands are lethal weapons, AH grasshopper, Kung fu Panda” thingy, but I will try to give a very tentative insight as to what to do.

The first thing to remember is that you should always keep your hands in front of you across your abdomen as this helps you to react and block an attack and thus protects your vital organs.

The second thing to bear in mind is that when under stress such as a fight your heart rate goes up rapidly because of the adrenalin.  You are under stress, angry, frightened, excited blah blah blah.  Unfortunately, once your heart rate gets to around 145 – and it will very quickly- you really loose the ability to carry out complex motor movements.   Complex motor movement are multi-muscle every day movements and actions such as putting a key in your car door or in an attack situation pointing and shooting a gun or doing fancy wrist locks and complex restraining holds.

Now then Grasshopper, just about every martial arts move taught in today’s dojos—like reverse punches, front kicks, wrist locks, arm bars, hip throws, etc. requires you to use “Complex” motor movements, which, I think you will agree, for the reasons given earlier is a bit of a tall order for most people unless you are highly trained, very fit and very used to doing them.

Gross motor skills on the other hand are movements you can do without even thinking—like running, charging, raising your arm above your head or lifting your heels off the ground and these should always form the backbone of a simple but effective defence or attack strategy. In any event practice still makes perfect  ask Jason Bourne or James Bond!

In this case I had a bloke hanging round my neck and was in a fairly confined space so my options were limited twice over.

I could have tried to fend off the attacker with the weapon with a series of strikes and kicks, but because I had chummy round my neck I was going to be over powered very quickly.  I could have done a couple of things directly to the “Barker” hanging round my neck, but the other bloke with the weapon would have been on me very quickly and my whole front was exposed which is not a good position to be in.  What I needed to do was to weaken the grip from behind whilst at the same time trying to reduce the target area on offer to the second attacker.  God, that sounds dead boring and over analytical, but bear with me here.

Back to my situation in the cellar.  I didn’t have a hope in hell of doing all if any of those things,  so I simply went limp and dropped to the floor and twisted to my right as I went into a crouch.  The combination of my weight and the sudden unexpected movement downwards and right took the fake “Barker” off guard.  His grip round my throat was weakened and he was pulled forward and off balance slightly.  In order to counter this he tried to stand more upright and countered my move to the right by trying to pull me to the left.  I was now to his right side which meant that my abdomen and precious vital organs were someway out of a direct strike line, whilst “Barkers” whole left side was exposed.  It is the left side where the knife will strike in most cases as most assailants are right handed.

Sure enough, the assailant had closed the gap and had committed to the attack and so jabbed with his weapon.  Of course what he did not realise was that I was no longer standing up right in front of  him and that “Barker” was more or less where I should have been.  The attacker drove the weapon forward and found a target, which I am pleased to say was not me and then something rather unexpected happened.

In fact a few things all happened at once.

Barker suddenly let go of me and sort of stood up before jumping nay leaping backwards whilst making a rather odd “Whuhhhhheeeahhuurrrrrrr” noise.  Having shot backwards he ended up against some shelves where he collapsed to the floor and by the sounds of things, he thrashed about a little bit.  I will be honest and say that I don’t really know, because I was a little preoccupied with the other bloke so didn’t actually look, but there was the sound of some stuff landing on the tiled floor.

The assailant carried on by his momentum,  advanced  and tripped over me head first as I was now crouched on the floor.  As he did so I simply stood up very quickly and my head drove into his groin (that was an unexpected bonus).  As I jumped up he pitched forwards and  I grabbed his left leg and pushed upwards and helped him on his way.  He was taken by surprise and finding himself falling face first to the floor his instincts were to open his  hands and put then out to protect himself as he hit the floor and in doing so dropped his weapon which clattered to the floor.  He hit the ground hard but not as hard as he might have done, but even so managed to kick out in defence as he twisted and tried to fight back back.

Effective close quarter fighting is quick, blunt, dirty, hard and brutal as you try to make every strike count.  If you want a good example watch the fight scene in the toilets at the start of Casino Royale.  There are no fancy moves or fancy wrist locks.  It is hands, feet, head and any other object you can use to disable you opponent.  I should also say that on occasions there’s nowt wrong with the odd bite here or there.  Just make sure you bite them not yourself cos it hurts.

My first kicks found their marks and I think I must have hurt him, because he lost a little of his initial intensity, but nonetheless he carried on and retaliated with surprising composure.  This was somebody who had been taught self defence or unarmed combat to a fairly high level.  However he lacked a certain aggression or violence that separates those who are taught to attack and defend from those who simply defend.

He started to make a move to get up from the ground and I moved in with what’s called a side of hand strike – a bit like a karate chop but much more fluid and far less technical.  I caught him on the side of the neck and the force of the blow sent him backwards on to his bum and his right arm shot into the air.  Time to move in close and finish this bollocks.

I kicked again and again and one hit him tight under the jaw him sent his head back and threw him totaly off balance and he went backwards.  As he did so his right arm came up into the air which I grabbed somewhere around the wrist with both hands.

I pulled the arm straight then forwards and twisted with as much force as I could.  The assailant was forced to the floor unless he wanted me to break or dislocate his arm.  However, he was still composed and knew what he was doing and tried to counter this by forcing his legs out behind himself so as to give himself a chance to flip or roll round and counter the unnatural rotational force being applied to his arm.  I moved in and stamped down on his right shoulder with my left foot. His shoulder gave against the combined force being applied and it came out of its socket.  Not unreasonably, he yelled and I forced it back and up.  I twisted and stamped down on his head.  He grunted and gurgled and his fight left him and his whole body flopped as he gave out, which was just as well because I’m getting too old for this sort of carry on.

I let his arm drop which clearly hurt him and immediately I knelt on the side of his head and told him I was going to search him and that if he fucked about I would hurt him, but if he played ball I would be reasonable.  Always look for the concealed weapon.  I should also explain that  If you control a persons head you control or at least seriously limit what movements they can make.  By kneeling on him it meant In had both hand free should he try to kick off again and it is bloody uncomfortable for the person concerned and nine out of ten times they tend to see sense.  I did a quick search for other weapons, but all I found was a wallet, a set of car keys and a hanky.  I kept the keys and wallet and then got off him and quickly went towards the door, found the light switch and turned it on and then shut the door.

The room was white tiled store cupboard and looked and felt like a mortuary.  The fake “Barker” was against some shelves looking very odd.  My assailant was lying face down and was bleeding fairly profusely from his nose and mouth but nothing too seriously.  I was also aware that my nose was bleeding and that I had a split lip and a throbbing left eye and a bloody sore neck.  Its funny how quite often you are aware of being struck but not actually aware of blows hitting you in these situation.

At the bottom of the steps there was a small black plastic box on the floor which on closer inspection turned out to be a “Runt” stun gun.  That would explain “Barkers” hasty departure from round my neck, he had been zapped not stabbed.

“Time for some  Q&As I think chaps”  I said to no one in particular.  Fake “Barker” was gibbering and drooling and seeing as I wanted quick answers I reckoned it best I talk to the man with the poorly arm.  I am sure that he wouldn’t want somebody ham fisted like me giving him first aid or examining it.  Would you?

He was a weasely looking bloke probably about the same age as myself maybe a bit younger.  He had straw coloured hair and a gaunt face with shifty eyes and even in his injured state you just knew he was a self centred, dishonest, scheming, prick.

“Now then I want some answers and before I start, let me tell you shag, we can do this the easy way or the hard way.  To be honest I don’t give a fuck which way you want to play it, but either way in the space of two minutes I want to know everything.  OK you got that?”  Chummy looked at me and held his injured arm.

“Who is this bloke” I pointed at the fake “Barker”

“David Barker” He croaked.  What a spaz

“Wrong answer my old mate, now lets have a look at that arm”  He held it close to him but even that hurt “Come on just a peep” and grabbed the elbow.  Not unreasonably he thrashed out and yelled.  I let go.

“I’m sorry did that hurt? shall we try again what is his name?”

“David Minton” He croaked splattering blood all overt he floor. “But he also calls himself Dave Barker”

“Why does he do that?”

“I dunno” he said “I didn’t know he did till recently”

“And who exactly are you?”

“John Hanson”

“And what are you doing with the two Mr Barkers and the lady over there”

“I should tell you that I am a police officer” he gasped.

“That’s handy isn’t it, you will be able to tell the local old bill what’s been going on and what you’re doing attacking people with a stun gun tying them up and holding them captive, I am sure it is all perfectly reasonable and above board”  I said rather sarcastically “OK where’s your brief ”

“In my wallet, I’m working under cover”

“Oh yeah right and I’m the Archbishop of Canterbury just popped in to do the wedding vows.  Fuck off shag, credit it me with some intelligence unless of course you’d really like some first aid on that arm of yours”  I think by the way he guarded it and looked at me that he didn’t trust my credentials in the medical department.  I found the warrant card and his driving licence and few other bits and bobs and he was indeed who he said he was.  “Now look here John, you are clearly embarking down the difficult road and I would strongly urge you to reconsider.  You see I want to know stuff quickly and sadly if you don’t tell me what I want to know, I will have to make you tell me.  That’s not a threat, just the way it is.  Come on John, I’m sure you’ve been in my position  thousands of times, somebody knows something wont say and you know they’re being a cunt and that their only life line is to talk and tell you you what you want to know.”

He glowered at me but said nothing.

“One last chance Johnny boy. How many years are you going to get for two counts of kidnapping and false imprisonment, Importation and possession of the stun gun, assault, GBH, ABH.  You’ll loose your job your pension and last but not least your ring piece once your inside.  I am sure this situation is not so far down the pan that we can’t salvage something for you.”

He knew it made sense and he sighed.

“We were all in the job together and were involved in an arrest which got a bit out of hand.  Its a long story but Barker (nodding at the real Dave Barker) whacked this violent prisoner and Dave felt it was over the top.  The blokes complaint died a death and he got convicted at court and went inside, but it left a bad taste.  Not long after Barker left the job under a bit of a cloud and Dave resigned and went into business with his dad”

“Why did he resign?” I said pointing at Minton/fake Barker

“He’s my mate, but to be honest he just couldn’t hack it”

“OK, so that’s the history, but tell me why is Barker and some woman tied up in this room?”

“Dave is rich now, very rich he went into business with his dad then branched out into other stuff and made a fortune.  He was with Pam (nodding at the woman) for years, they lived together and she has two kids by him.  They split up recently and as far as I know and there was some row over maintenance and she got a private detective who turned out to be our old mate Barker.  He (the real Barker) was bitter and twisted about the grief Dave had caused all those years ago and when he found out how rich he was he thought he would profit.  Truth is that Dave is embarrassed by Pam because she let her self go”  He stopped to cough up some blood.  “I don’t think JJ knows about the kids or Pam , but you should be asking him not me.”

“Fair point, but how did you get roped in to all this”

“Dave said he had arranged for Barker to come here an had agreed a pay off.  I’m going to be his best man so I said I would witness the payment and if he got out of hand I would put the frighteners on him.”

“OK so what the fuck I have got to do with all this?”

“Well somewhere you got mentioned and Barker (The real one I presume) had your details and said he worked with you”

“Why did he say that then John?”

“Well we aerr had a little chat with him and he told us and we found a number written down.  He told us you were ex SAS and did private contract work.  I think Dave thought originally you might get rid of Barker for him but the it all sort of came on top.”

“Ok I get why there’s no love lost with Barker and why he might have warranted a bit of a talking to, but why is she tied up, you’ve lost me there”  I said

“I have to be honest” – This usually means people are lying “I don’t know what she is doing here.  She apparently turned up with Barker to have a meet with Dave and it got out of hand and he had to use the stun gun on them.  They were like this when I got here.”

It was all very confused and I had the nasty feeling that we would soon be missed by JJ so I needed to get my finger out and try to tidy this up.

Who to speak to next, Pam, Barker or Barker.

I decided to speak to Barker.

5 Responses to “Barker 3 – Dancing In The Dark”

  1. Sally says:

    That’s all very confusing!

  2. dl says:


    Like I’ve said before, never a dull moment in your life!

    You’ve clearly picked up some handy skills during your career.

    I’m still not sure why they invited you down, only to try to give you the same treatment as the other two. (Did I miss something?) Death wish, maybe? Perhaps all’s abput to be revealed…


  3. havingmycake says:

    I dont suppose you would be too surprised by the number of self defence instructors who have tried to persuade me to rely on wrist and arm locks even when I point out that my hands are the same size as a child’s and it takes a good deal of luck to get them into the correct position to make anything work on a man’s wrists/arms even in a lesson…
    It’s fascinating to read what it’s really like in that sort of situation, although Im still none the wiser as to why you were invited. Great read 🙂

  4. Uncle says:

    Sally – Indeed very confusing my head hurts just thinking about it.

    DL – still not entirely sure why I was asked to get involved.

    FH – FUBAR

    J – I love it when these martial arts types go through this hold and that hold. Put your thumb here and you other finger there, by which time your opponent has punched your lights out.

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