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Watch > Episode > Geoff Thompson - Fear My Friend

Geoff Thompson - Fear My Friend

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Writer, teacher, and martial artist Geoff Thompson reflects on his early days as a nightclub doorman in Coventry, how he listed and conquered a “pyramid” of his greatest fears, why he continues to enjoy writing, and how being sexually abused as a teenager led him to discover that forgiveness is the only revenge.
In this exclusive interview, London Real host Brian Rose meets the BAFTA-winning screenwriter to discuss his life, career and why fear is his friend.

Geoff Thompson’s life story is a testament to the transformative power of resilience, self-reflection, and the pursuit of personal growth. Born on August 13, 1960, in Coventry, England, Thompson’s journey took unexpected turns, leading him from the gritty world of nightclub security to becoming a globally recognised authority on fear and self-defence.

In the 1980s, Geoff Thompson found himself working as a doorman in some of Coventry’s roughest nightclubs. It was an environment fraught with danger, violence, and a constant threat to personal safety. Thompson’s experiences during this time became a crucible that would ultimately shape his philosophy on fear and his approach to personal development.


The intense and often violent encounters in the nightclub scene forced Thompson to confront his deepest fears. Rather than succumbing to the cycle of aggression, he sought a path of personal evolution that would redefine his relationship with fear and transform his life.

Geoff Thompson’s pivotal moment of insight came in the form of a metaphorical and physical barrier: “The Fence.” This concept, born out of his experiences and evolving martial arts knowledge, became a revolutionary approach to self-defence. “The Fence” is a proactive, non-aggressive stance that uses body language to create a psychological and physical boundary between oneself and a potential threat.

This innovative approach, emphasising awareness, communication, and setting clear boundaries, marked a departure from traditional martial arts and self-defence techniques. Thompson’s concept resonated not only with martial artists but also with individuals seeking practical strategies for navigating the complexities of real-world violence.

Geoff Thompson’s journey from the nightclub scene to a beacon of knowledge on fear and self-defence found expression in his writings. He authored numerous books that not only chronicled his personal evolution but also served as guideposts for others on similar paths.

His autobiography, “Watch My Back,” provides a raw and unfiltered account of his early life, the challenges he faced, and the transformative journey that ensued. Beyond his autobiography, Thompson delved into topics ranging from martial arts philosophy to personal development, leaving a literary legacy that continues to inspire readers worldwide.

Thompson’s creativity and storytelling prowess extended to the world of film. He wrote the screenplay for “Clubbed” (2008), a gripping British film that explores themes of redemption, courage, and personal transformation. Through cinematic storytelling, Thompson was able to reach a broader audience, sharing his insights on fear, resilience, and the human capacity for change.

As an acknowledged expert on fear, Geoff Thompson has become a sought-after speaker, sharing his wisdom on fear management, personal development, and self-mastery. His talks resonate with diverse audiences, from martial artists seeking practical self-defence strategies to individuals navigating the challenges of everyday life.

Thompson’s approach to fear goes beyond physical encounters, addressing the psychological and emotional aspects that can limit personal growth. By dissecting fear and offering practical tools for managing it, he empowers others to confront their fears head-on and embark on their own journeys of transformation.

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