Anybody who has done any KARATE has heard of the RED TRIANGLE school in LIVERPOOL. This was one of the first schools were the legendary Japanese masters ,KANAZAWA and ENOEDA started training when they first arrived in the 60's. All the members have become Karate legends and comprised the national squad for many many years. But one of the 'Main men' was a certain TERRY O'NEILL.
ONEILL ,apparently was fascinated with feats of great strength ,etcas a boy and in later years started developing his body and in later years was a full blown body builder. A lot of people say that you cannot develop muscle and retain the speed and power that Karate requires, but O'NEILL managed it .He's a tall bloke anyhow, but with bulging bits was pretty intimidating and with his speed and incredible flexibility combined with this strength and power it's no suprise that the American magazine BLACK BELT named him the no1 in their list of 'DEADLIEST FIGHTERS ON THE PLANET'!.....Not bad for a 'limey' in an American journal?
Whenever he fought in competition he would be spectacular ,not to show off, but he was aware that he had an arsenal of weapons and utilised ,basically everything, whereas many others have their favourite tecnique and don't often waver from that. O'NEILL has amazing kicking abilities with the 7 foot legs he has and the fists aren't to be argued with either.
He has worked on 'the doors'....Security at clubs throughout LIVERPOOL even the CAVERN in the long gone days of yore. Apparently ,even in real situations 'on the street' his kicking was spectacular "All that BRUCE LEE stuff that nobody can do in a fight!".....Well he did!
I had the honour of training at his DOJO in the 80's...It was behind his martial art shop ,THE SAMURAI. I asked if i could train and he was very friendly, but informed me with a cold hooded look that if i didn't use control i would be sparring with him, I gulped and hoped that my sphincter wouldn't let me down and stammered "Yyyes, SSssensei!"....And a few times a week i sweated my cobblers off busting a gut ,training as hard as i could . One night i was giving it my all, until i happened to glance to the side and there was a tasty lady with an exposed low cup bra ,with contents on display....As my knees wobbled and my fists few all over the place, suddenly i could see the ceiling, the floor and the ceiling again before an almight thump and me gasping for breath as i hit the wooden floor....SENSEI O'NEILL had seen what had distracted me, swept my feet from under me then stepped across me looking down with a wry grin and just said "CONCENTRATE!"
Aside from teaching,training and competing he published FIGHTING ARTS INTERNATIONAL magazine ,quite simply the best martial arts magazine ever. He interviewed ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER( i bet you never thought i'd get that right!)....And got a small role in the second CONAN THE BARBARIAN film and got walloped ,along with most of the Hollywood stuntmen by the mercurial GRACE JONES who didn't quite follow the planned fight moves.
His acting career took off and he appeared with a variety of stars in some pretty prestigious films and telly shows. One , a story of ex soldiers called 'CIVVIES'...O'NEILL was a nasty sergeant in Ireland during 'De trubles!!'....His antagonist was JASON ISSACS. An issue of FIGHTING ARTS was late due to his filming commitments, but he didn't say that. He told a tale of how a personal grievence had finally blown up and sorted by a fight with pictures of O'NEILL and ISSACS, both looking battered and beaten ,O'NEILL didn't look as bad ,although he had ,he pointed out been beaten.
The following issue of FIGHTING ARTS was taken up by all those occuppying the moral high ground and voicing their disgust at how a respected Karateka like TERRY O'NEILL would lower himself to this behaviour. Much embarressment for them ensued, i hope as later on in the issue , O'NEILL wrote an article about the filming of a really brutal fight between the two characters that ended the series, i've still got it somewhere on old VHS tape and it's a stormer, but JASON ISSACS won.
I haven't seen SENSEI TERRY O'NEILL for many years ,although we did speak on the phone for a few minutes months ago. I'm not training with a club currently, but O'NEILL is holding a seminar for a day nearby in a week or two, so i'm training myself as a form of damage limitation, so i dont get too hurt....Only joking ,i'm looking foreward to seeing my old teacher and hope he's not too upset at the caricature!