The Gentlemen's Ale Sampling Society

        1982-2017  35 YEARS OF BEERS









At The Roffen Club



Tuesday November 6th

Organiser  -  Steve Bell


Really good turnout, apologies only from Nick & Len (out of the country) and Chris (work commitments).


Nobody knew what to expect when we all bowled up at The Roffen.  Steve had sold us the idea as a martial arts demonstration and of course we had all built it up jokingly as an opportunity to knock seven bells out of each other, not really expecting anything of the sort.   Well the guys arrived from the Doce Pares International School, under the command of Ermar Alexander, our local instructor in the ancient Filipino art of ESKRIMA. 


Eskrima, also known as Arnis or Kali, is an indigeneous Filipino Martial Art which utilizes weapons such as sticks (single and double), knife/daggers, espada y daga (sword and dagger), bangkaw (staff), mano-mano (empty hands: kicking and punching), and dumog (grappling) - the Filipino way. It is a complete system by itself.

Find out loads more by following this link

The guys started out slowly with some choreographed demonstrations that were slow and melodic - when we were looking for fast and damaging, you could see the thought bubbles ...... "this could be a tad on the boring side",  "dry paint, dry!",  "morris dancing again!".


A balletic approach to mayhem          Nice, but we were all hoping for blood!

During this low-key warm up It was amusing to observe the members studiously avoiding their normal piss-taking routine.  Now that could have been because they had all suddenly become way more polite than they were when faced with Morris Dancers, or could it have been because here there were eight martial arts demonstrators, all armed with sticks and knives - I don't know, you tell me.

In any event Ermar soon livened up the proceedings by donning armour and proceeding to knock seven bells out of his cousin with two long and very hard sticks.  That got our attention I can tell you!  Having done a couple of demos he called for volunteers from the audience.  Now we all thought he was asking for a volunteer to come out and spar with him, or was that just me got that impression?  In any event there was complete, total silence, not one hand went up.  In the end only the brave Brian Henslow was foolish (drunk?) enough to stick up his mitt and get suited up. 

Only once he was inside his red armour, and peering myopically out of his helmet grill, did he spot a rather tall opponent in the black armour, way taller than Ermar.  Odd! he thought.  Then it dawned on the dupe that it was Steve Bell inside the other helmet, looking equally perplexed.  Two sticks were shoved into the fighters hands and within seconds someone had shouted FIGHT!

Well I have to say that the next three one minute rounds were the longest, most energetic and most exhilarating three minutes I have had for quite some time.  We went at it hammer and tongs, Steve had spotted my thumbs poking out of my glove and tried to hospitalise me by breaking them, I realised the pain he caused me from an early blow to the kidneys could be repaid in spades, he pushed my helmet off and cracked me on the back of the neck, I tried to separate his arms from his shoulders, and so on.  Three minutes of raining down blows with both hands while having similar blows rained down on you, probably at a rate of 4-5 blows a second, is quite something, especially when you are hitting as hard as you possibly can!!  Sadly, as I was the cameraman there is no video of our melee, but there are other videos lower down.  They are big files, 3-4 megs, but they really are worth the wait for them to load.  If you only watch one then you have to see Keith try and kill Phil R, watch as he knocks his helmet off, and then keep bashing him around the swede, the last blow is a cracker!!!

Amazingly, having watched Brian beat Steve to a pulp, Ian fought Neil, Ron fought Hew, JB fought Alan, Peter fought Ray, and finally Phil R had his ding-dong with Keith.  Every match was a real punch-up and nobody took it easy.  Gawd alone knows how nobody was seriously injured, but once again GASS won through.  The following photos give you a flavour of the evening.



Brian before he knew it was a real fight                         Brian & Steve go at it -brave ref!!                          Well done! (bastard, wish I'd mullered you!!)


      Neil and Ian go at it hammer & tongs - great bout!                           Look at those eyes - Adrenaline rush!


          JB with Ermar 'The Champ'                    JB and Alan                                      Kiss and make up!


I'm sixty f**king seven, should I be doing this?     Too bloody late now!!!!     You could be 107 - you're going down!


               Ron and Hew ready to go                                        Hew trying to brain Ermar one-to-one

Phil before his bout with Keith                               Phil, not so happy now, AFTER his bout with Keith

Now take a look at this video of Phil & Keith in their last round - big file so be prepared to wait as it downloads, but watch for the end where Phil's helmet crashes off and Keith just keeps on whacking.  Committed or what!  No wonder Phil looks a little sore above.

Just double click on this link, it will take about 30 seconds to load:    Phil and Keith's last round - violent

and here are some more great vids to view if you want to see more gratuitous violence

Ron verses Hew - Ron loses sticks

JB verses Alan - good fight!

Ermar showing how it is really done

Hell of a meeting, well done Steve and a big thank you to all the guys and girls from the Doce Pares International School, especially Ermar.



There was a close fought voting battle over the Christmas do, London verses Local, local won.  It was then down to three contenders, The Snowpark (2 votes), a hotel called Strangemoor (nil point), and a return to the Kent County Showground (10 votes) so the County Showground it is ON THE SECOND TUESDAY, THE 11TH DECEMBER

We also confirmed the following:

1.  The JANUARY meeting is hosted by DON and will be at PIZZA EXPRESS Maidstone, where we will make our own Pizzas.

2.  We will have an AWAYDAY in London in Feb or Mar and learn CIRCUS SKILLS, this is a meet at lunchtime, coach up, entertainment, then dinner, type of day.  General agreement from the assembled.

3.  Phil R suggested we form a GASS SPERM BANK and that collecting said sperm could form the basis for a good meeting.  Everyone agreed but felt that maybe Phil had some more work to do on the concept.


On that point the meeting ended and we retired to the bar to lick our wounds!!  Thanks again to Steve for a great night.