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Geoff Thompson (writer)

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Geoff Thompson
Thompson in 2009
Thompson in 2009
Born (1960-01-26) 26 January 1960 (age 64)
Coventry, England
Period1989 - present
GenreFilm, Stage, Spirituality, Self-Help, Autobiography
SubjectPersonal development, Depression, Addiction
Notable worksWatch My Back
Notable awardsBAFTA for Best Short Film
SpouseSharon Thompson

Geoff Thompson (born 26 January 1960) is a BAFTA-winning writer,[1] film-maker, spiritual teacher, and martial artist. He has written prolifically in a wide range of genres, including books on spirituality, self-help, self defence, and martial arts, and scripts for film and stage.[2]



Early life


Geoff Thompson was born on 26 January 1960 in Coventry, United Kingdom.

Thompson had been a student of martial arts since a child and gained a high rank in Karate. His fear of violent confrontation despite being a highly ranked martial artist encouraged Geoff to become a night club bouncer in order to confront his fear. His experiences on the night club door, combined with a life-long desire to be a writer, led to him writing the manuscript of his first book Bouncer. Thompson says this was written on the toilet of the factory in Coventry where he worked as a floor sweeper, and he was encouraged by workmates to write down the bouncer stories he shared during lunch breaks.

Nightclub bouncer and first book (1980s)


Thompson left his factory job and became a full-time martial arts instructor, teaching martial arts during the day and working as a bouncer at night. He eventually found a publisher for his first book Bouncer (later re-published as Watch My Back), and shortly afterwards quit working as a bouncer - partly due to his notoriety since publishing his book - to focus on martial arts and writing.

World-renowned martial artist (1990s)


Thompson became a world renowned martial artist specialising in 'reality' martial arts and self defence, based on his experience at the night club door, and co-founded the British Combat Association with Peter Consterdine.[3] Thompson became famous as a self defence instructor and in particular for his concept of "The Wall". He taught seminars in the US for Chuck Norris.

Film writing and BAFTA award


Thompson began writing for film with his script for the short film Bouncer in 2003, which went on to star Ray Winstone and was nominated for a BAFTA award. He wrote the script for a short film Brown Paper Bag, based on his own brother's problems with alcoholism that eventually led to his death in 1999,[4] and this won Thompson a BAFTA award in 2004 for Best Short Film.[1]

Geoff went on to write the film script for the feature film Clubbed (2008), based on his autobiography Watch My Back, starring Colin Salmon.[5]

He wrote the screenplay for the feature film The Pyramid Texts (2015), starring James Cosmo.[6] Thompson made his directorial debut in 2015 with the short film The 20 Minute Film Pitch.[7]

His work Romans 12:20, directed by the Shammasian Brothers and starring Craig Conway, (2008), has been adapted into a feature film, Romans (2017), starring Orlando Bloom.

Writing for stage


Thompson has written successfully for stage, including the play Fragile which is semi-autobiographical and showed in Coventry.

Spiritual teacher, podcast, TED talk


Alongside writing, for many years Thompson was a spiritual teacher and coach, drawing upon his own experiences as a martial artist and of personal problems that he had contended with, which inspired his self-help books.

Thompson produced a popular podcast on spiritual guidance and self-help for a number of years, and in 2016 he presented a TED talk entitled Conquering Fear.

Recent years


In 2020 he released an autobiography, Notes from a Factory Floor and the spiritual self-help text The Divine CEO.



Feature films


Short films

  • Bouncer (2002) – Writer, starring Ray Winstone. BAFTA nominated.[9]
  • Brown Paper Bag (2003) - Writer, starring Ronnie Fox. BAFTA winning.[10]
  • Romans 12:20 (2008) – Writer[11]
  • Pink (2009) – Writer[12]
  • Counting Backwards (2014) – Writer[13]
  • The 20 Minute Film Pitch (2015) – Writer and Director[7]
  • Shadow (2017) – Writer[14]



Thompson has written and co-authored more than eighty books.[15]


  • Notes from a Factory Floor (2020), Urbane Publications, ISBN 978-1912666713
  • Watch My Back (2004), Summersdale, ISBN 978-1840247169 Originally published as "Bouncer" in two parts c. 1989.

Self-help / Spirituality






Martial arts / Self-defence


Martial arts


Thompson began his martial arts training in the Eastern arts including karate, aikido and kung-fu. However, during his time as a nightclub doorman, he found that what he had learned was inadequate for the reality of violence. Thompson came to realise that the techniques encouraged and practiced in touch-contact and semi-contact martial arts were not always suitable for self-defence. Though he utilises a small core of these techniques as part of his teachings, Thompson prefers full-contact martial arts and combat sports such as boxing, Muay Thai, judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Greco-Roman- and freestyle wrestling.

He holds the ABA Boxing Instructor certificate and high-level coaching awards for wrestling,[16] a 1st Dan in Judo (1997) under world champion Neil Adams,[17] and an 8th dan in Shotokan Karate.[18] Geoff is a Joint Chief Instructor of the British Combat Association.[3]

Geoff Thompson was also the first instructor to name and extensively teach "the fence", a technique in real-life defence involving keeping your hands in front of you in a non-threatening manner so as to protect yourself in case a situation escalates but without provoking violence.

In the 1990s, Thompson wrote and presented a wide range of martial arts and self-defence DVDs. In 1995, he and his self-defence school featured in the Channel 4 documentary Passengers.

Martial arts instructional DVDs

  • The Escapes (2005), Summersdale Productions, ASIN: B0007NLRT8[19]
  • Ground Fighting – Chokes and Strangles (2005), Summersdale Productions, ASIN: B0007NLRU2[20]
  • Pins – The Bedrock (2005), Summersdale Productions, ASIN: B0007NLRSY[21]
  • The Pavement Arena Part One (2005), Summersdale Productions, ASIN: B0007NLRWA,[22]
  • The Pavement Arena Part Two – The Protection Pyramid (2005), Summersdale Productions, ASIN: B01I05LPZ0[23]
  • The Pavement Arena Part Three – Grappling, The Last Resort (2005), Summersdale Productions, ASIN: B0007NLRWU[24]
  • The Pavement Arena Part Four; Fit to Fight (2005), Summersdale Productions, ASIN: B0007NLRX4,[25]
  • Real Punching: The One Punch Kill (2005), Summersdale Productions, ASIN: B0007NLRS4[26]
  • The Ultimate Self Defence Seminar (2006), Summersdale Productions, ASIN: B000CR6X5C[27]


  1. ^ a b "BAFTA | Film | Short Film in 2004". awards.bafta.org. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Geoff Thompson". IMDb.
  3. ^ a b "British Combat Association | About". britishcombat.co.uk. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  4. ^ "Author, Guru & Martial Arts Pioneer Geoff Thompson Talks Fear, Films & Factory Beginnings". TheMalestrom.com. 2019. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Clubbed (2008) - IMDb". IMDb.
  6. ^ a b "The Pyramid Texts (2015) - IMDb". IMDb.
  7. ^ a b "The 20 Minute Film Pitch (Short 2015) - IMDb". IMDb.
  8. ^ "Retaliation (2017) - IMDb". IMDb.
  9. ^ "Bouncer (Short 2002) - IMDb". IMDb.
  10. ^ "Brown Paper Bag (Short 2003) - IMDb". IMDb.
  11. ^ "Romans 12:20 (Short 2008) - IMDb". IMDb.
  12. ^ "Pink (Short 2009) - IMDb". IMDb.
  13. ^ "Counting Backwards (Short 2014) - IMDb". IMDb.
  14. ^ "Shadow (Short 2017) - IMDb". IMDb.
  15. ^ "Books by Geoff Thompson". Goodreads. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  16. ^ Geoff Thompson web site. "wrestling". Archived from the original on 22 April 2008.
  17. ^ http://www.britishjudo.org.uk/member-search-src/dan-register-display.php?PageNo=1&txtSurname=Thompson&grade=&number=9763[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ The British Combat Association. "Welcome". Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  19. ^ "Ground Fighting: The Escapes". Amazon UK. January 2005.
  20. ^ "Ground Fighting: Chokes and Strangles". Amazon UK. January 2005.
  21. ^ "Ground Fighting: Pins". Amazon UK. January 2005.
  22. ^ "Pavement Arena 1: Adapting Martial Arts for the Streets". Amazon UK. January 2005.
  23. ^ "Amazon.co.uk". Amazon UK.
  24. ^ "Pavement Arena 3: Grappling: The Last Resort". Amazon UK. January 2005.
  25. ^ "Pavement Arena 4: Fit to Fight". Amazon UK. January 2005.
  26. ^ "Real Punching: The One Punch Kill". Amazon UK. January 2005.
  27. ^ "The Ultimate Self Defence Seminar". Amazon UK. 23 January 2006.