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CL's Halloween Treat: The City's Ten Scariest Bad Asses


Was John Wayne one? Damn right. Muhammad Ali? Are you kidding? Did you get a look at Joe Frazier's face after the Thrilla in Manila? Clint Eastwood? What do you think, punk? How about Tonya Harding and Martha Stewart? Would you want to come across either one in a dark alley? All of these folks, through either their physical and mental toughness or just plain dogged -- and in some cases, criminal -- determination, have earned the title of Bad Ass in their respective fields. But Wayne, Eastwood and the rest of them are just a bunch of wimps compared to the folks who've shown up for our Halloween issue -- people so tough and scary, the ghosts and goblins will be hiding from them come Friday night.

Our esteemed bad asses include a wide variety of Charlotteans -- boxers, cops, bodybuilders, martial artists, professional athletes and a masochistic rock singer with a fondness for blood and barbed wire. Of course, we denizens of the Loaf's editorial department had to take ourselves out of the running. With all the hardcore sitting and typing we do, we could have dominated the list (cough), but we're just too modest to do that kind of thing. A few quick clarifications: Yes, the list is subjective. And no, it's not meant to be definitive. So if you're a bad ass and didn't make the list, please refrain from going after any of the people featured in the story to prove that you're really the toughest hombre around. And more importantly, please refrain from coming after me. With that said, here in no particular order are Charlotte's Top 10 Scariest Bad Asses. Come get some!

Don Evans
Age: 45:
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 218 lbs.
Why Is He A Scary Bad Ass?
Because he'll have you crying for your momma five minutes into his military-style fitness class at the Tower Club at Charlotte Plaza.

Bad Ass Credentials: Don has been mercilessly whipping Charlotte's corporate types into shape for over 10 years.

Bad Ass Background: Growing up in Charlotte, Evans was an all-around jock. He wrestled, boxed, and ran track and field. He also had a knack for motivating others, and naturally gravitated towards a career as a personal trainer. As a "fitness specialist" at the Tower Club at Charlotte Plaza, Evans runs a "Back to Basics" fitness class based on the intense physical training used by the Navy Seals and the Marines. The class starts promptly at 6am, and Evans conducts the class dressed in fatigues and combat boots and wearing commando greasepaint. "The more realistic you make it the more people get motivated," he says. "I'm dealing with corporate people, and a lot of them have never had any type of military training. So when I'm barking orders at them it helps if I look as realistic as possible."

Evans' personal exercise regimen is just as intense. He trains about five days a week, for two hours, mixing it up with cardio, weight training, calisthenics, plus his weekly classes. "I can scream and holler at my students all I want, but if I'm not in good shape and right there with them, they're not going to buy it. It gives me more credibility, and helps them go that extra step."

Roland Payne
Age: 39
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 230 lbs.
Why Is He A Scary Bad Ass?
Because he was crazy enough to compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship back when there were no time limits, no weight class, and the only rules were you couldn't bite or eye-gouge.

Bad Ass Credentials: The aptly named Payne is trained in a variety of martial arts styles, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; Thai Boxing; Wing Chun; Shotokan Shoot Fighting, a form of wrestling and submission; and Muay Thai, an aggressive and brutal form of Thai boxing.

Bad Ass Background: Payne started his ass-kicking ways when he joined the wrestling team back in high school. "I was in a lot of fights when I was a kid," he says. "I never started one; I just finished them."

Part of Payne's training regimen back in his fighting days included kicking the steel beam of a portable basketball goal to toughen his shins -- usually around 200 shots for each shin.

"The funny thing about most Americans is they don't like things that are hardcore and real," he says. "As soon as they get a little busted up or see some blood, they want to call it quits. They don't understand you have to go through that to learn what your body is capable of. That's why most black belts couldn't beat their way out of a wet paper bag with directions. There's a difference between a martial artist and a fighter. I consider myself a fighter."

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