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Dave’s Gym Top 5 Real Life Badasses of All Time!

Right then guys and girls, a bit of light reading to entertain your weary minds this week. Working in a gym, we come across some badasses time to time. All you need to do is stroll over to the squat rack to witness a shaved bear squat 300 kg’s with relative ease, or make my way to the dojo to find a room packed with fully grown men punching kicking and kneeing the snot out of each other. I am surrounded by badasses. Now, in my mind I’m the badest badass of the lot. I eat nails, shit lightning, and piss Red Bull.

In my mind.

Having said that, I feel I am more than qualified to define once and for all who the top 5 real life badasses are of all time, On to my list…

5 –  Sir Ranulph Fiennes

I don’t think it would be possible to do a badass list without including Sir Ranulph. Perhaps the only person in recorded history to have been kicked out of the SAS for blowing things up. A natural born badass he decided a temporary bridge built on the movie set of Doctor Dolittle in the Wiltshire village of Castle Combe, known as one of the prettiest villages in England was displeasing to the eye. He dealt with this blot on the landscape by placing a little kablooey on the bridge before watching it go kablammey.  Using his skills as a member of the SAS he managed to evade capture, until he was caught, prosecuted and ultimately booted out the SAS. After his time in the forces he made a career out of being a professional adventurer. Being the first person ever to have been to both the north and south poles by surface means, and the first to completely cross the Antarctic on foot. At the age of 65 he reached the summit of Mount Everest earning him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s greatest explorer.

On top of that, in 2000, after a failed attempt to cross the artic on foot, he contracted severe frost bite in his fingertips. His surgeon suggested to keep the already dead flesh attached to promote new growth before amputation. What do doctors know ay? 7 years in university to come out as a pencil necked gutless wimp. Fiennes drawing from his extensive badass-ucation decided the use of his fingers were overrated. Besides, fingers are only useful for two things:

1) Pulling a trigger.
2) Waving offensive hand signals, and he has a whole other hand spare to do all that.

Fiennes decided to go to his shed and hack them off himself. Jolly good fun. Despite suffering from a heart attack and undergoing a double heart bypass operation some years later, he decided the best way to break in his new and improved heart was to run seven marathons in seven days on seven continents a mere 4 months after his surgery.

His series of marathons were as follows:

26 October – Race 1: Patagonia – South America
27 October – Race 2: Falkland Islands – “Antarctica”
28 October – Race 3: Sydney – Australasia
29 October – Race 4: Singapore – Asia
30 October – Race 5: London – Europe
31 October – Race 6: Cairo – Africa
1 November – Race 7: New York – North America

He would later admit that although his surgeon approved the races on stipulation his heart rate did not exceed 130 beats per minute he forgot to pack his heart rate monitor. Wow mate, you’re on the list you crazy bastard.

4 – Jack Churchill

Ever heard the expression ‘bringing a knife to a gun fight?’ Now, change knife to sword and gunfight to World War II. Jack Churchill was a Hong Kong born Leftenant Colonel, warrior, and military head case. Nicknamed ‘mad Jack’ and ‘fighting Jack Churchill’ he was famous for carrying a long bow with Arrows (He is the only known British soldier to have felled an enemy with a longbow in WWII, using his signature barbed arrows) and…..a fucking claymore.

Not the explosive tripwire claymore’s that you would think were conventionally used in the army. No, he used the claymores namesake. A large two handed broadsword used by Scottish highlanders. He was famous, or should I say infamous for saying  “any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed.” His claymore wasn’t ceremonial however. Not like the pansiesque little ceremonial swords the marines wear and never use, this maniac actually used his.

On one occasion he is credited with capturing a total of 42 Germans and a mortar squad in the middle of the night, using only his sword.

On a separate occasion he and his men went behind enemy lines through the barbed wire and mines pitching grenades all the while. Mr Churchill charged ahead, despite the pitiful attempts of his men to keep up, all but 6 got tagged off one by one, most likely by bullets ricocheting of mad Jack’s humongous sword. Of those 6, half were wounded and the only weapons they had left were pistols. Well, pistols and Jack’s gigantic sword. After a mortar shell zeroed in on their location, it killed everyone who wasn’t carrying a giant sword. Being the only survivor and surrounded by a swarm of Germans, Leftennant Colonel Jack decided to give the Germans one last FU and started playing ‘Will Ye No Come Back Again’ on his bagpipes…I haven’t mentioned the bagpipes yet have I? Yeah, he carried them next to his big fuck off sword.

After being sent to a concentration camp, he decided it wasn’t for him and left. He actually just walked out. Obviously the Germans must have been gobsmacked by the balls on this guy, so they did the obvious thing and sent him to a new concentration camp, with shit security. Not liking the facilities they had on offer he strolled out again. After walking 150 miles, being fuelled only by a rusty tin of onions, he was found by the Americans and sent home. On his arrival he demanded to be sent back out into the field, only to learn (to his annoyance) that the war had ended.

He later told his friends, “If it wasn’t for those damn Yanks, we could have kept the war going another 10 years!”


3 – Robert Henry Cain

Major Robert Henry Cain was a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. During the Battle of Arnhem in 1944 his company was closely engaged by infantry, (men with guns) self propelled guns, (men behind bigger guns) and enemy tanks (huge gun strapped onto a massive metal…..car). On the 20th of September 1944, a tiger tank approached his company’s area. To me a tiger tank sounds like a giant tiger with a tank strapped to its back. I’m going to call it a tank-gerrr (tank plus tiger plus grrrr) Any way, Major Cain left the relative safety of his company and went out alone to battle the colossal beast armed with a piat (a piat is a relatively weak form of anti tank weapon. Think of a little bazooka/RPG on stilts).

Taking his position he held his fire until the tank was a mere 20 yards away, that’s 20. Yards. Away.  Until he opened fire. The tank instantaneously stopped, turning its guns onto the soldier, and fired a round towards him obliterating a corner of the house directly behind. Although WOUNDED BY MACHINE GUN BULLETS and falling masonry, major Cain continued to fire upon the tank, not leaving until he connected with several direct hits immobilising the tank, before obtaining a 75mm howitzer absolutely obliterating poor old tank-gerrr…..only then would he allow the medics to dress his wounds.
The next day he managed to scare away THREE more enemy tanks, fearlessly and courageously using his piat. Its note worthy to mention mind that each time he did this, he left cover, taking his position in open ground with no regard for his safety. Fucking maniac!

Over the next couple of days he was stuck to danger like white on rice, leading his men by his heroic and unflinching example, encouraging them to stand their ground and not give up. Despite having a perforated eardrum and multiple gun shot wounds, he refused medical attention, focusing it on his injured comrades instead.

On the 25th September the enemy approached Major Cain’s position yet again, using self-propelled guns, infantry and fucking FLAME THROWERS. By this time the last Piat had been put out of action and Major Cain was armed with only a light 2″ mortar. He managed to utilise this weapon using a combination of skill and coolness to lead the few men under his command to victory, not by taking out the enemy, but by completely demoralising them after 3 hours of constant engagement. At this point the enemy decided to tuck tail and run home than to carry on scrapping with this nutter.

This man was the epitome of a real life super hero. His gallantry and leadership is stuff of legend and his bravery and ballsiness is why he has earned himself a spot on this list.

2 – Joan of Arc

“Forward! They are ours!”

That was the famous battle cry of Saint Joan of Arc, the young virgin, turned badass warrior chick who, before the French gained an affinity for waving their little white flags at every given opportunity (Jokes) led the French army to several important victories. Born in eastern France, she is our only bad ass to have Devine guidance. Whether God was actually speaking to her or whether she was a few cards short of a full deck is irrelevant. She not only was a master military strategist at the age of 19, but donned a pair of grapefruits that would make Vince fucking McMahon blush. Now I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty of how she actually became a general. This is a badass list after all not a history lesson, but just so you know, she was visited by St Michael one day, told to go see Prince Charles VII, (as one does) and casually demanded control of his armies seeing as they were getting there bollocks handed to them. What she must have said to convince the prince to hand over control of his armies must have been epic. I think she gave him a full on “now I’m not angry, just disappointed” speech making him feel like a little bitch and giving him no choice but to see things her way. Any way to the point, what is a 19 year old virgin peasant girl doing on this list?

Saint Joan of Arc was a tough, devout, god-fearing crusader who wouldn’t hesitate to bash you over the head with her sword if you stood between her and the liberation of her homeland from foreign oppression.

Unlike most male warriors who would let little complications like death get in the way, Joan survived through various grievous injuries and kept pressing through. In one battle, Saint Joan was hit in the neck with an arrow, pulled it out and continued putting boots to asses. In another battle, whilst scaling a wall, she got boshed on the head with a friggin cannonball. As to be expected of a warrior saint, she simply shook it off and kept climbing. Her William Wallace style leadership  and battle style (100% attack) traumatized the English army whenever they met. She was captured on the 23rd of may 1430 by the Burgundians and eventually sold to the English, not before attempting escape by jumping out of a 70 ft tower in Vermandois to the soft earth below. She was tried as a heretic and burned at the stake, only to be renamed a martyr 25 years later. It took a further 500 years before she was officially canonised as a saint. Believe me as a Catholic myself, getting the Catholic Church to admit they were wrong, about anything is a feat among itself. St Joan, you were one tough cookie in life and an ultimate badass in death.

1 – Audie Murphy

If Captain America and the Incredible Hulk had a love child, Audie Murphy would be the resultant offspring. All three started out as inadequately feeble girly boys. All three through one fateful event or another got transformed into hulking figures of pure mannish manliness. After getting rejected by the air force and navy, probably due to his pipsqueakish appearance he applied to the army, who probably thought he would be a perfect candidate for their new ‘human shield’ programme. On joining he was instantly shit. Probably couldn’t do a push up and undoubtedly couldn’t climb that long ropey thing in the gym. The army tried to reassign him to cook duty but Audie, must have known his inner badass couldn’t be released peeling spud’s begged to stay put. One thing he was good at though was shooting. (Audie hunted from a very young age.) So was promoted to corporal during the invasion of Italy, at which point he caught malaria. Keep the malaria bit in mind, he had it for most of the war.

Sent to the south of France in 1944, he came across a German machine gun crew who pretended to surrender…then shot and killed his best bud. Murphy responded by totally hulking out, laying waste to the entire machine gun crew. Then, after running out of ammo, used the enemy’s discarded weapons to annihilate every baddie in 100 yards along with 2 more machine gun crew’s and a couple of snipers.

He received a Distinguished Service Cross, and was made platoon commander while everyone apologized abundantly for nicknaming him “Shorty.”

6 months later his company was assigned to defend a critical region in France, even though all they had left was 19 guys (out of the original 128) and a couple of M-10 Tank Destroyers. The Germans turned up with lots guys and a shedload of tanks. Out gunned and out numbered, Murphy sent the tanks in to the Nazi maelstrom. The tanks came back as scrap metal. Our pint sized hero proceeded to hulk out again and go all John Rambo on their candy asses, jumping onto the back of a flaming tank and killing everyone who wasn’t a Nazi. Remember, this tank was on fire….and full of petrol. Audie must have known this. Nutter.

He kept on firing untill he was out of projectile Nazi killer, then jumped off the tank, walking casually towards his men as the blazing tank blew up behind him ala Antonio Banderas in Desperado.

All in all “Shorty” Murphy racked up a total of 33 medals including the Medal of Honour. After the war, he suffered a case of shell shock and got addicted to antidepressants. Instead of going to drug abusers anonymous sessions like some namby pamby crybaby he locked himself in a hotel room for a week and got over it.

On a side note, Audey Murphy went on to become a famous actor after the war. His first role was based on his wartime exploits, which he famously wanted toned down for the film, as he felt his berserker rage wouldn’t be believed by the general public. Modesty and badassery are a rare combination. Well done lil guy!

And there’s my roundup, of our top five real badasses of all time. Putting there real life boots to real life candy asses. Tune in next week for our top five fictional badasses of all time! 

Yours brutishly,

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