What are you looking at?

Do you mean what you say or say what you mean?

What’s the difference?

I often tell young guys that they need to stop focusing on WHAT their girlfriend says and just try identify what mood she is speaking from.


She was sad, why? Before you blame and defend yourself what happened just before you saw her? She’s saying you don’t understand, calling you useless… Forget the words, she feels sad and alone and you don’t understand that she’s sad? That’s kinda what sadness is like right?

It’s not about ‘useless’ or ‘understanding’ it’s just SAD that’s happening.

So you give her a pep talk until she laughs and then go get some candy.

Women don’t always mean what they say because it’s moment to moment, mood to mood, emotion to emotion. That’s why they tolerate each other, they know that she didn’t mean it, or she was shitty about the other thing. But they mean what they say. The emotion: is the meaning, not the words being said.

In the criminal world, when someone says ‘Do something’ it means ‘Do something BAD.’ People usually say it with wide-eyed fear.

It’s best not to ask, if you don’t know anyone involved.

If someone says they ‘Did something’ its like “Are you okay?”

But hopefully they’ve got a bunch of money or drugs and we’re all gonna get high.

That’s another thing. You can ‘do something’ to someone and a few weeks later you’re getting high in the same room again.

Not to say it doesn’t come up again.

I knew a guy who pulled someone’s eye out in a fight. He said it was all good and they had a beer together a few weeks later. I actually didn’t believe him.

“Didn’t it come up?”

He pissed himself. “It did actually. He was carrying on for a bit…”

I couldn’t fucking believe either of them, but also, I could.

Because in that corner of the world, everyone’s there for the same fucking reason: because we fucking hate ourselves. And there’s only one remedy for that…

Well actually there’s several. And it’s pretty much whatever’s on hand that’s gonna help you forget who you are.

So quite often you end up sitting next to people that you don’t like, that you don’t trust, that you don’t know.

And you can see right through them and they can see right through you.

It’s terrifying. Yet beautifully vulnerable at the same time.

They can see the desperation in your eyes and smell the failures that have brought you here. You can hear their parent’s voices and smell every one of their tears. They look at you and they know they shouldn’t trust you for a second, because you’d both betray each other in a heartbeat if it meant you could forget yourself for just one… more… day.

I’ve followed strangers to the filthiest places. You never care, you never ask. You’re following some guy you’ve never spoken to because apparently he has a place where we can get high. And you know he’d kill you for your gear and he’d probably fucking enjoy it.

Yep you can tell the sadistic ones.

There’s a deadness in their eyes and a constant joy in their hearts.

They’ve died a long time ago.

They just don’t know it yet.


In the martial arts world, I never met a man I was scared of in the same way as in the criminal world. Occasionally I’d meet someone I knew from the street years earlier, or there’d be some sociopath who’d learned to channel his emptiness into this disciplined status-seeking environment.

But I was never afraid of anyone really hurting me.

Too many rules.

There are guys with so much technique, so much training, they could dismantle a person without breaking a sweat.

But more dangerous are the young, foolhardy, genetically gifted and socially dominant. Young guys with heart, will hurt you more because they’re messy, they’re wild.

Trainers and teachers tell them to calm down, to be precise, to be good at training. This is the greatest lie of all.

The heart, the wildness: that is what makes a warrior.

That incorrigible fire.

I realise we have to become civilized to participate, to train. To exist in the martial arts world, we are always attempting to quell those innate forces.

But as I said, I never feared a man who I met in that world the same as I feared the men in the criminal world.

I never trained, sparred or competed against a man who I thought would kill me.

Jason Moran was killed outside his kids school, in front of several witnesses. This is the nature of that world. There is no reasonable doubt, no penchant for fairness or decency, no humanity.

The fact that pedophiles aren’t at least chemically castrated by the justice system, still eludes me. People see it as inhumane and if that were the case, what other barbaric acts would the government be allowed.

In prison they just torture the sex offenders. There’s no concern for morality.

They’re fucked. So fuck them.

The ruthlessness is devoid of logical decency and for this reason, I trust and fear men the same.

You always know what a desperate person is thinking. You can see through them. There’s no bullshit. Everyone is too fucked-up to hide it.

Every day is a mission to get away, to hide it from yourself.

Who’s got the energy to hide it from other people too.

Fuck you I’m trying to hide from myself, if you can’t handle it don’t fucking look at me.

“What are you looking at?” is actually a dare.

Tell me what you see, tell me what you think of me.

Give me a reason to take it out on you.

Because in that moment when I’ve lost it, when I’m destroying you, at least I won’t be thinking about me.

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