Dave Briggs: Do you think that is due to the fact that a lot of people don’t like to hear the truth, they find it hard to face up to reality?
Geoff Thompson: Yes sometimes you might be saying to someone who has spent thirty years training in their system and how they might take it, is as though you’re saying that what they’ve been doing isn’t any good and its not meant to do that. I’ve never wanted to upset anybody or hurt anyone, I think if you offend people you lose them, you lose the message, but I do think if people are offended by what I say then they’ve got to ask themselves why and its probably because what I’m saying is true. If what you’ve got is real why would you be threatened by what somebody else says, you wouldn’t be threatened at all. The people that shout the loudest are the ones that need the most work, they are the ones that need the message, that message is implanted, whether they accept it or not it’s there. If they are honest with themselves, they really look at what they’ve got, they know it isn’t going to do the job they think its going to. It might do lots of things, it might give them fitness, it might give them recreation, it might give them art, and it might give them social standing. It might give them all that, but is it gonna give them a system that will work outside the chip shop when you’ve got two or three guys who want to flatten the world with your head. This is what you’ve got to ask yourself. The people your teaching, is it going to help them in a life or death situation. Now, I’m aware that the physical side of the martial arts is only a very small part of it. Seventy-five percent of the fights I’ve faced, I’ve won without having to employ physical force, by using higher echelon communication, or I talked them down, or loopholed, avoiding it by giving them some other way out. It was only twenty-five percent that turned out to be physical. With the skills I’ve developed now in dissuasion and posturing etc, I think that I could put that up to being able to avoid ninety-five percent of those situations just with the higher echelon communication. What I’ve done has never really been just a physical thing, but when is has to become physical, when all other options are gone, you’re left with just two choices, you either become the hammer or the anvil. I cannot tell people what they must choose, I can’t say that you must attack or you must yield, they must choose themselves.
There are some people out there who are pacifists, who feel that they don’t want to attack, I can completely respect that. But to be a complete pacifist means death because you can’t drink a glass of water without killing millions of micro-organisms, we can’t live without killing. Even our bodies have to kill germs to heal itself, even to do exercise session we’re killing because of the cells we are destroying so that new cells can generate and allow us to grow bigger. Unfortunately life is about killing, its about death, so I think that pacifism is an extreme and violence is an extreme, its trying to find somewhere in the middle, some happy medium. For me, my life is so exciting, there’s so much going on in my life, there’s so many things that I want to do and none of it involves violence or hitting anybody else, but there’s so much I want to do that I refuse to be defined by violence. But I’m not naive, I won’t hide away from the fact that our existence relies on violence, it relies on the fact that we have to kill to live. If you eat meat you kill, if you drink water you kill you are killing some organism, even a blade of grass is a living organism, you couldn’t walk across a lawn without killing something. I cut a hedge down the other day and it broke my heart because I realised that I was having to kill this hedge to take it down, and I had a tremendous dilemma over it. So the information that I’m carrying, giving, is that there is a responsibility with it. I can’t look at anything without seeing death, even time is being killed when we don’t use it. We sit around living a sedentary lifestyle killing time, wasting time that we could invest. So death is a part of existence, so for the pacifists out there, and I don’t think there are any true pacifists. Even Ghandi, who was probably the best known pacifist on the planet, with a following of twenty million, had to admit that he couldn’t be a pure pacifist because it would mean that he would die. I know we’re talking about pacifism when people are going to attack you. Its O.K. saying that I would let someone attack rather than injure them, but by letting someone attack you your allowing death, your allowing someone to hurt you, and when they hurt you, they hurt every member of your family, they hurt the whole backlog of people behind you. So in lots of ways, although I admire the type of person who has got that kind of determination to be non-violent, I would say that pacifism is a very selfish thing, because whilst you stopping yourself from injuring somebody who is attacking you, because it grieves you to hurt them, your allowing a multitude of other people to injured. I think it was Mahatma Ghandi that said “Are we not equal to the people that want to destroy us. Are we not equal to a germ that we kill. Are we not equal to a viral cell that wants to come and attack the organism. If we look at the way the body works, it sends out killer ‘T-Cells’ and all they do is roam around the blood stream killing germs to protect the organism. If you look at these killer T-cells, with their two little horns on their head, actually physically stab these alien germs to death, a very violent and ugly death. So we can’t live without killing. The way we stay alive is by killing, so therefore true pacifism isn’t really possible if we want to sustain live. But, we should strive to pursue every option we have available in order to avoid a conflict. I don’t say that loosely, this is what I practise every day, this is what I do in my life. I be patient with people, I avoid, I escape, I’ll use verbal dissuasion, I’ll loophole, I’ll even stay all day talking to someone if it means avoiding a fight. The day I have to hit somebody is a very bad day for me, but I still have to say that if I’m cornered and felt threatened I would use whatever force I felt necessary to neutralise the situation, it doesn’t mean that I won’t defend myself. I’ll defend myself with everything I’ve got, but I won’t do it unless I’ve got no other option available, I’d have to be completely and utterly trapped, and my intent would be reasonable.