Bio

Biography:

Christopher Lee Matthews is a writer and blogger from the city of Stoke-on-Trent, England. He is a self defence and martial arts enthusiast. He is a former professional wrestler, wrestling coach, and promoter. He also is a former nightclub doorman (or bouncer).

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In his blogs Chris writes about a variety of subjects. His twenty five year career as a pro wrestler, spanning from coast to coast, all over the UK. He writes about his unique martial arts background, including his own personal take on the subject of street self defence …and his six plus years working on the doors in Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, and the Staffordshire Moorlands.

Chris also has achieved recognition in the mainstream media. He has appeared in martial arts publications including Combat Magazine and Kamppailija Magazine, and the pro wrestling publication WOW (World of Wrestling) magazine.

Please scroll down this page to read Chris’ latest blog, or chose a subject from the menu located at the top of the page.

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MORE YOUTUBE VIDEOS COMING SOON!

Hey guy’s and Gal’s I just wanted to let you know that after a very llloooonnngg break from posting martial arts videos to my YouTube channel, I’ve decided it’s time to come back. This time I’ll be focusing on striking arts like boxing and I’ll be revealing some tricks of the trade from my fairground boxing days. Stay tuned. head on over to my channel and subscribe to catch the latest uploads.
Chris.

P.S.
In the meantime here’s some footage from a catch wrestling semibnar, for those of you who like their grappling arts.


Catch Wrestling: The Violent Art

An old pal from across the water was kind enough to send me this footage this past weekend. It was recorded back in 2011. There’s some nice, very basic – but effective catch wrestling and dirty grappling techniques being demonstrated here. Happy days! Please Enjoy! …and subscribe for updates.

Regards, Chris.


Product Review: Hand Forged Ninja Sword

Some people say that the straight bladed ninja sword never existed in feudal Japan. That ALL swords were curved, and that the whole straight blade and square tsuba look was created for the Sho Kosugi ninja movies during the 1980’s. However, there was such a weapon used by the Ashigaru. The Ashigaru were foot-soldiers throughout feudal japan. They were not of Samurai class, but rather the paramilitaries of their day. They specialized in guerrilla warfare. Some became mercenaries.  Assassins to the highest bidder. Doe’s this sound familiar?

The Ashigaru had the skills and the intelligence to fashion their own crude sword-like weapons from pole-arms such as the naginata. Crude as they were – they were effective weapons.

If you check out the graphic (below) you may be able to spot the similarities between the naginata (pole-arm) and the chokuto (straight, single edged sword). This supports the theory that the Ashigaru may have produced their own improvised weapons.

Japanese Swords

Japanese Swords

Here is the latest addition to my collection. The Hand Forged Ninja Sword that I purchased from the Blades UK Clearance Facebook page. This item was reduced in price to only £26 – due to some small dents on the saya, but you can hardly see them at all. It’s hand forged with carbon steel. It has a real ray skin tsuka, and it’s ultra sharp. The blade itself is unblemished. Immaculate. It is NOT the exact same size as the commercial ninjato that are available over the internet. It’s blade length and handle length is the same as a standard katana. If anything its more Ashigaru than it is ninja! A more appropriate name for this sword would be the chokutō instead of the ninjato.

Hanwei ninja swords can cost anything from £240 – £448. They do have shorter straight blades and a square tsuba – just like the movie ninja sword. It may be made of a higher grade carbon steel than some other brands of ninjato. If you are looking for a bargain I can recommend a visit to the Blades UK Clearance Facebook page and don’t forget to click the like and follow buttons.

I don’t buy cheap swords – I buy swords cheap!
Please practice responsibly, and enjoy your budo.
Chris.


My Thoughts On The All Star Wrestling/ Butlin’s Situation

Sad news for British Wrestling in 2017. It gives me great sadness to announce that Brian Dixon’s All Star Wrestling will not be appearing at the Butlin’s Holiday Camps for the foreseeable future.

The Camps were a great place to work, learn, and refine your craft. It was a great way of gaining further experience. It gave myself and so many other individuals opportunities to work and learn from a successful peer group. Experience is the greatest of teachers, and successes breeds success. That’s a fact of life.

Being around a top notch team of workers to critique and advise you in your early days as a pro was (and still is) crucial to any aspiring wrestler’s development. It chiseled away the rough edges. It refined you in a myriad of different ways.

In the past I’ve worked up to six days a week – all up and down the country on “the camps” for Brian Dixon, and also for the Knight Family’s WAW in the Norfolk area. I will always be thankful to these individuals for the lessons and opportunities that they put my way. The camps could be fun, but at times hard work. You could be wrestling in a different city or county everyday. There were many miles and hours of traveling, but that’s all a part of the job and lifestyle that goes along with it.

At the present time I can not comment further on the situation as I’ve herd many rumours as to what may have happened. One source alleges that another promotion/ promoter may have a deal with Butlin’s but whoever it is will not have the experience to pass on to the next generation and I believe that will compromise many a young inexperienced workers further development. I believe the situation may become a case of the blind leading the blind. It’s bad news for the British wrestling business as a whole.
Personally, I can’t imagine anyone else having the experience, manpower, and finances to make this a success.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Brian for all the opportunities he gave me on the camps, and wish all involved with All Stars luck and success in the future.

Chris.


Ribs On The Road

Pete Evans had this habit of making grunting sounds and non-existent words during a match. Utsah, cha-ho, cha-ho-ah, gianah. It was a bit like watching a karateka do their “kiai” or something like that. He just went on and on doing it – all the way through a mach, like a broken record. It’s strange how you never forget these little things. At the time nobody seemed to even notice it.
One day, I was on the road with Mike Weaver and Keith Myatt and I started to do impressions of Pete while we were traveling in the car. It was hilarious, and I must have kept this up for at least an hour and a half.
Mike and Keith had trouble keeping their faces straight whenever they worked with Pete after this. They just wanted to bust out laughing during the match. The harder you try not to laugh – the harder it seems to not to do so. At first they couldn’t even make eye contact with him in the dressing room because we would have all been laughing like hyenas on nitrous oxide!

Jason “Kashmir” Singh with Pete Evans.

There was another time when a few of us from Stoke were traveling back home from a show and I decided to play a rib. We noticed a car up ahead towing a trailer with what looked like a wrestling ring. As we got closer, we noticed that it was Dave Reece’s wrestling ring. No points for figuring out who was driving the car… I asked Mike to slow down a minute while I put my wrestling mask on. I asked Mike to overtake them while I proceeded to lean out of the opened window as we passed them by. I grabbed my nunchaku and held it together so it would look like a double barrelled sawn off shotgun. Here I was leaning as far out of the car window as humanly possible. Mask over my head and holding what looks like a firearm. Doing 70MPH on the M6. Dave Reece is driving and Pete Evans was the passenger and they both shite their pants. Nearly crashed their car.

One time when I was working as a professional shooter at the infamous Horseshoe Bar, Blackpool Pleasure Beach – there was myself, Vic Powers, and Shak (Kashmir Kid) standing on the steps at the front of the bar. Simon Charles was on the microphone asking for challengers. He was about to say his little promo speech. It went something like this…
“To my left, the Kashmir Kid… To my right, the masked (whatever he called me on the day) …and centre stage, Task Force 1 – Vic The Body Powers”…
I can’t remember who’s idea it was, but we all kept switching places on the steps …and it really gave him the needle. Pissed him off big time. 🙂

I remember many years ago wrestling on the holiday camps for Brian Dixon. I was travelling with Mike Weaver and Vic Powers. After the show we were getting changed in the dressing room and Vic Powers noticed some award medals. Gold looking finish and a nice, fancy ribbon. Vic took one and handed it to me. He told me to keep it and tell punters that I’d won it in a wrestling tournament. I though to myself why not? I didn’t believe in buying into my own publicity or believing my own hype. I thought it would be a good opportunity to see how many people I could work.
After the show the 3 of us went to a cafe on the A5 near Cannock. It was a very popular meeting place among the pro wrestling community. Vic told me to wear the medal. I felt a bit of a knob walking in there wearing it, but I was up for anything back then.
While we’re ordering some food one of the girls behind the counter asked me about my medal. Both Mike and Vic were nudging me with their elbows. Trying to egg me on.
I told the girl that I had won it in a wrestling tournament. That I’d wrestled four matches and won them all.
…and then Vic Powers just opened his mouth and said something like “No. That’s a lie. He has been wrestling, but he hasn’t won it. He’s stolen it from a holiday camp, and now he’s going around telling lies to everyone, telling them that he’s won it.” I could have crawled up my own arse!


Product Review: Shinobigatna / Shinobi Katana

The Shinobigatana / Shinobi Katana is “allegedly” a sword carried by the ninja of Feudal Japan. It is fashioned with the intention to deceive the opponent into thinking that the ninja – or shinobi were caring standard sized katana, or a similar blade. However, the blade length was allegedly much shorter than that of a katana – thus, allowing the swowd-man to execute a faster draw than his opponent. The shorter blade makes the sword much easier to use than the standard katana in tightly confined spaces. Say a small corridor -for example…

My Custom Made Shinobigatana

Mine is NOT the official Bujinkan one. It’s not made to the exact same sizes and specifications, but I consider it a damn good near match. This bad boy was custom made by an EBay seller (Samurai X) – who was selling hand a forged wakizashi. The seller was offering to customize the sword for no extra cost. You could chose your own color of saya, rayskin, type of hand-guard, and so on… So I asked the seller if he could remove the standard sized handle (tsuka) and add a larger nodachi sized handle. Also I asked if they I could change to a katana sized saya. …and I’m more than satisfied with the result.

Below, is a link to the sellers eBay page. I can recommend this service/product 100%.
http://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/381646938989

Size Comparison:
Top = Nagamaki. Center = Shinobigatana. Bottom = Ninjato.

If you wish to purchase the official “Cheness Oniyuri Katana” from oriental-weaponry.co.uk this item will cost you the pricey sum of £332.30 / €448.61. …and some of them don’t even have the bo-hi (blood groove)! …Anyone who knows their swords – knows that a blade with a blood-groove is far more effective for stabbing applications. I guess the purple haired punk-rocking pensioner Masaaki Hatsumi must have had a “senior moment” or a “brain fart” when he designed the original model.

If you wish to go for something more affordable (and effective) – I recommend that you visit the eBay link and contact the seller. I found the seller would always reply to my messages within 24 hours. He asked me to “please wait patiently while he assembled the sword”, and I received it in the post in just over one week from the date of purchase. It cost me ONLY £83 in total. This sword is excellent value for money. It looks deadly awesome, and feels great to handle and maneuver.

Martial Arts should be affordable in my opinion.
Please practice responsibly, and enjoy your budo.
Chris.


Closing It Down

It was a Friday or Saturday evening at The Albion, in Newcastle-Under-Lyme. I was working the Door with tall Scottish guy called Ross. He was a tough ex rugby player, and he used to work on the doors in Glasgow. The guy was tough cookie, I’ll give him that. For some reason, one of the door staff didn’t turn up for work, and the other doorman had to go early because of a family emergency. So, there was just the two of us to work the door. That’s suicide!

Anyway, we couldn’t just go home because that would have made us both cowards in the doorman world. Quite late on in the evening one of the bar staff reported a commotion in the beer garden. We both went along to investigate. There were two males literally nose to nose ready to kick off. We had a serious word with them both about their behavior. One guy was quite reasonable. He didn’t want to get banned from the pub. He was very cooperative. The other guy wasn’t having any. He wouldn’t shut up. He kept making threats. He was jumping around and shouting. There was no way on this earth that he was gonna calm down. If you ask me – I think he came out looking for a fight. …and his eyes! There was something about a look in his eyes. I couldn’t tell weather he was insane, or if he was taking some kind of psychotic drug. I KNEW it was one or the other. …Maybe both of the above?

While he was threatening Ross, I did my usual trick. I went to face his back and slapped a chicken wing on him like lightning. Then something rather bad happened. Ross started to punch this guy in the head. Repeatedly. I could hear this sound. It wasn’t like the special effect sounds that you hear in the movies. It was a snapping, or a breaking sound. Ross was punching this guy so hard that he was breaking his own fingers and knuckles. …and this guy just laughed at the top of his lungs and shouted out to Ross “Is that all you’ve got?” I still had him under control in the chicken wing and told Ross to open the beer garden doors as quickly as. We had a real fight on our hands. …and I could tell this was far from over.

“Ross, you cover the right front door, I’ll cover the left. Quickly. I don’t want that fucker back in here” I shouted. His response wasn’t good…

“Chris, look at my hands for fucks sake. I need to go to the hospital, now”…

“Go on then, fuck off and get yer hands fixed up. Do me a favor. Go the front left door way, and lock it for me on your way out”

I shouted Brandon, the bar manager over and told him that I was closing the bar down with immediate effect. I wasn’t asking – I was telling. Then I went straight to the kitchen. Grabbed a Jif Lemon, kicked a brush handle in half and hid it up my right sleeve. The Jif Lemon was held in my left hand. I got to the only door that was left unlocked just in the nick of time. This nut job came charging at me and I had to do something to stop him in his tracks. A short sharp squirt of Jif Lemom in the eyes is just as effective as any C.S. spray. The acidity in the lemon blinds you, it’s effects last a while, but it’s not permanent.Besides Jif Lemon Juice isn’t a weapon – it’s a food seasoning. What could the police do??? While he was temporarily blinded, I gave him a terrific right backhanded strike to the throat with the broken piece of the brush handle. Then I just whaled him as hard as I could across the temple with it. He was incapacitated. I wasn’t taking any chances with this one. I couldn’t afford to.

The pub was starting to empty really quickly. I had to drag him up the alleyway, and delete the CCTV footage to cover my tracks. It turned out that this guy wasn’t only a big power drinker – he was into some recreational drugs big time. Speed, cocaine, PCP/ angel dust to name but a few… When people have cocktails like that they they can become very dangerous individuals. They have no fear, but can become paranoid at the same time. High pain threshold too. They are hard to hurt. So, you gotta knock em out, or put them to sleep. Sharpish!

There was a meeting with all the staff the following evening, and everyone agreed that I did the right thing. I was never one for calling the police. That’s seen as grassing in our world. However, the guy wasn’t banned because one of the co-owners, Jamo was friends with him. That really pissed me off, but the guy rarely frequented the bar after that, and he remained on his best behavior.