The Unofficial Borat Homepage
Behind the Scenes: Danny Passmore
In the Guide to Hobbies Episode, Borat tries to act up with Grand Master Self Defence Instructor Danny Passmore. How do you stop the "Jew's claw" attack, Borat asks. Borat also wants lessons on how to stop his wife from raping him. At the end of the session, Borat tries a surprise attack on Danny, this is used in the show's title sequence.
The Unofficial Borat website was delighted when Danny agreed to an interview with us.
1. Had you heard of Ali G prior to the Borat interview?
2. How did you get pulled in to do the class?
I received a call from (name removed), a representative of United World Television, based in London, with an office in LA. It was explained that they represent overseas interests in producing documentaries and such. I checked the phone number and it was indeed an LA extension. I ran an internet search on the name and did find a web site. There wasn't much to it, but it was there. It seemed credible, so I agreed to participate.
It didn't seem out of the ordinary, really, since I am asked to travel on behalf of martial arts and other interests. By the end of 2004, I will have also have visited Algeria, Mexico, and Hawaii. I was asked to be part of this documentary to help the struggling country develop successful independence in the market place. I was told they would pay my fee and fly me to San Antonio where they would rent a gym for the day. I suggested letting me find a martial arts school near their location. My being the president of the Texas Martial Arts Hall of Fame, it wasn't hard to find. I told them to save the expense of a plane ride, a gym rental, and my fee ($100 per hour portal to portal) and just make a nice contribution to our non-profit business for at-risk kids from disadvantaged families. This is the only part I regret, because their donation didn't even cover the drive time. (Webmaster's note: Anyone from HBO reading this? details are at the bottom of the page on how to make a donation) Now, don't you feel bad? We will still be happy to accept a contribution to this worthwhile organization. Make their check payable to The Nice Ninjas!
3. At any time within the improvisation did you suspect that it was a hoax?
I didn't suspect a hoax at all. I should have since someone representing a state run television should not be that inept. But, I was in my zone and my focus was on being the best help I could to this, shall we say "special needs" individual. I did notice that his English improved the longer we taped.
4. Can you remember any of the questions Borat asked which where not included on the video?
He began by telling me that his country's premiere had killed two opponents with his bare hands and wanted to know how many opponents Bush had killed. I explained that our President defeated his opponents with his brains.
He went on about the strength of his leaders and compared them to Conan played by Arnold Swartzenneger. When I told him that Mr. Swartzenneger was one of our political leaders, he left the subject of political leaders and began a dialog on the average macho male citizen.
He told me that in Kazakhstan you are not a man unless you fight when insulted. I replied that a real man can walk away from an insult.
He also asked me how to beat off beggars without receiving a fine. I told him to feed them. He complained that it was HIS food. I explained the concept of everyone pitching in to feed these "homeless" and they could become strong enough to work and then leave him alone. He liked that idea. The karate gym we used had several bags of cat litter in the corner since they were participating in a drive for homeless animals on this particular month. I used it as an example of compassion and of how much more important people were than animals.
He asked about defending oneself from the Uzbeki slaves if they break their chains. Uzbekistan, in case someone doesn't know, is a much smaller country South of Kazahkstan. I told him that we once had slavery in America (for which he smiled and high fived me). I went on to explain that it didn't work and cost us bitterness within our own borders. Further, that when we freed the slaves and eventually learned to treat people with the respect they deserve, many of them and their descendants have made great contributions to the positive development of our country and the world. I explained that freeing the slaves would allow him to hire workers whom he would not have to feed and house, and if the work was not satisfactory, he could fire them and hire others. He didn't care for that idea.
He asked about defense against what he called Chocolate faced people. I again explained how it was a misjudgement to classify groups of people as being "bad" based on skin color, ethnic background, or religion.
He wanted me to show him some self defense, so I asked him to grab my arm and I would teach him a basic escape technique. He refused unless I would vulgarly insult his mother, which I wouldn't do. Then he wanted to wrestle in the nude as they do in his country (and began to drop his pants). That took me by surprise. I told him that if he wanted to wrestle in my country, he'd have to do it with his clothes on . He tried to insult my manlihood and began his routine about comparing testicle size, but I just wouldn't enter that conversation. He said he couldn't understand why I wouldn't wrestle nude and I replied that I didn't understand why he wouldn't let me show him self defense moves without insulting his family. He called it even on that one and we moved on.
Then he asked where he could get a prostitute. I told him it was against the law here. He was shocked and wanted to know how a Man (who needs satisfaction) could visit a country for a month or two without his wife and not have sex. Love, I explained. Saving yourself for your partner is an honor and when he got home, he would enjoy his wife even more.
Toward the end of our 3 hour interview, he tried to grab and tackle me about 3 or 4 times. I figured since I didn't answer his questions with violence, he must have thought that I was a fraud. Each time he attacked me, I would gently restrain him on the ground for a moment until he was calm enough to let up. Finally, when finished, he attempted one last shot at my ego by telling me I was very good and asking me if I was the greatest martial artist in my country. I explained that everyone in my country knew how to do this, but we choose not to use it unless absolutely necessary.
5. When did you first realise that you were going to be on HBO and the Ali G show?
I received 2 calls in one week from martial artists asking me what I was doing choking someone on HBO (they saw it on a short clip or promo). The only thing I had done recently was choreograph something for VH1 and I wasn't even on it, so I didn't know what they were talking about. Then, one of them asked me if I had done an interview with someone from Kazakhstan. He told me about it and we both had a good laugh.
6. Have you a message for Sacha (Borat) in case he is reading this?
Not many people can say they sucker punched an 8th degree black belt and lived to talk about it. Next time we meet, I'm gonna twist your arm behind your back and make you say "Uncle Sam"!
7. Where you shocked/offended by his persistent questions about Jews attacking?
Actually, being a Christian in the martial arts, I've had to endure much worse questions and occasional unprovoked criticisms. Knowing that Kazakhstan is predominately Muslim, and believing his questions were based on ignorance, I saw it as an opportunity for a lesson on acceptance.
8. ...and finally - do you think he will be in trouble from his wife when he returns to Kazakhstan?
I hope so.
By the way, is he pulling the plow? *
* Danny explains this final joke, "This was due to his lead in about his wife raping him. He had told me that he bought one of his wives because she is strong and can pull the plow. However, because she is stronger than him, she can rape him. He asked what he could do and I told him 'Maybe you need to pull the plow a little yourself.' He didn't like that idea so I agreed to show him how to get her off of him when she held him down and got on top."
Anybody wanting any self defence lessons in the Texas area - then we strongly recommend going to Passmore Self-Defence.
If you think Danny was great and would like to make a contribution to his non-profit business for at-risk kids from disadvantaged families then go to the website http://www.passmoreselfdefense.com/PSD/ and send him an email.
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