New RBPP Book on Military Knife Fighting Jim Wagner
On Sunday, June 29, Pete Lee, Reality-Based Personal Protection Director of the United Kingdom, and I flew to Madrid-Barajas International Airport in Spain all the way from Heathrow International Airport in London, England. Just outside of Terminal 2 we hooked up with Christophe Besse (Reality-Based Personal Protection Director of European French speaking countries), and Level 2 instructor Nicolas Marucci of Belgium. We then drove to the outskirts of Madrid to a small village called Valdemorillo, which was a sizzling 36 degrees Celsius.
After throwing our bags into our well air conditioned rooms we went to my favorite Spanish bar, or cerveceria, called Anca Nino Versalles , for dinner and to watch the Euro 2008 soccer match, which was the final championship playoff between Spain and Germany. Everybody was talking about the game and Spanish flags were displayed everywhere.
When we entered into the bar the young senorita waitress, noticing that we were foreigners, immediately asked us in Spanish, “Where are you from?” I was the only one in the group that was able to speak the language and said, “We are English and French.” We had myself, one American, one Brit, a Frenchman, and a Belge. She relaxed a little, but then shot out, “Who are you going to cheer for?” I raised my right hand above my head and made a fist, “Spain of course.” She smiled and said, “Bueno,” and then sat us down at a corner table with a good view of the large television screen.
The owner came out to us and I asked him just to give us an esalada and a mixed plate of cooked meats. A few minutes later we were feasting on tasty chunks of beef, chicken, and pork. It was not long before the bar was packed with Madrid Real fans. Our conversation at our table went back and forth between English and French because Nicolas does not speak any English.
Spain had not won the Euro cup in 44 years. The Spanish were happy just to be in the finals. This Sunday was such a national event that the King and Queen of Spain sat in the stadium in Vienna, Austria.
The German team forced Spain to endure a testing opening for ten minutes. Then Spanish soccer hero Fernando Torres scored the one and only goal of the Spanish team. The King and Queen leaped to their feet in excitement on the televised game, and I was lucky enough to catch the moment with my digital camera as the patrons of the bar went crazy with cheers. There we were in Spain, in a Spanish bar, cheering for the Spanish team. It was, to say the least, quite exhilarating.
By the time the game had ended the Germans were unable to score any points, and Spain took the cup with their one and only point. People were driving through the small Valdemorillo streets honking their horns and sticking flag poles out the windows displaying the red and yellow wind snapping colors.
For two hours after the game fireworks and loud BOOMS! could be heard just outside our hotel windows. From inside our rooms it sounded like street warfare. It was a jubilant time out in the warm night air, but we were all exhausted from our trip and only sought sleep after our heavy meal.
In the morning Javier Estevez picked the four of us up and took us to the Budo International building where we began my new book project. This new book is going to be 100% all about military knife combat.
Although Alfredo Tucci, the publisher of Budo and a good friend, was not there but away in Italy, Javier did a fantastic job doing the photo shoot. Pete, Christophe, Nicolas, and I worked all morning and early afternoon on hundreds of photos. We then broke for lunch at 2 pm and had some traditional food near the Madrid reservoir.
Once the photos for the book were finished we did the photos for an article. For every book or DVD Alfredo likes to have an article explaining the new release which is printed in Budo magazine in five languages all over Europe.
That evening we took a bus into the center of Madrid and had dinner in the famous Plaza Mayor. The four of us did a little walking around and picture taking and then headed back to our quaint little village.
The next day it was back in the studio at 9 am. This time we completed two DVDs. The first one was about how to survive multiple attackers, both armed and unarmed, and the second one was about surviving real ground conflicts. After lunch we wrapped it all up with photos for the two articles that will be published when the DVDs are released.
The next morning, June 2, we took a taxi to Madrid-Barajas International Airport and all went our separate ways. I stayed with Pete Lee until London, and then we said good bye at 11:30 at night since we had a very late flight. He went to the car park and then started his journey back to Devon and I found a seat in the corner of the terminal and tried to sleep the best I could until I had to be in the Continental Airlines line at 5:00 am. My goal was to be out of England on July 3 and back on American soil on July 4th, which is Independence Day (when America decided to break away from Great Britain in 1776).
Of course I celebrated the holiday with my family and friends, had a wonderful BBQ, and saw a wonderful fireworks display. It was great to be back home, but I look back on my England and Spain trip with very fond memories. They had been both successful trips in many different ways.
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