House of Mayhem

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House of Mayhem is the name that Rod Turpin gave the informal self defense meetings upstairs of Spearfish Lake Appliance (Gil Evachevski's appliance store) in downtown Spearfish Lake.DW20 Several members in the community meet each Wednesday evening in the rooms above the store. While the meetings are not secret, some activities are not fully disclosed, such as the nature of Carole Carter's style of defense that they call Steel Wrists.AC13

Brenda Hodunk is introduced to the House of Mayhem in this way:AC13

By now, the Saturday mornings together had become routine; Carole usually dropped by Brenda's apartment dressed in exercise clothes on the way to the Fitness Center. It happened like normal – but this time, they headed the other way up the street, to the older section of downtown, with its century and more old two- and three-story brick buildings. Some of the mystery left Brenda as soon as they came to an otherwise unmarked doorway to a flight of stairs next to the front door of Spearfish Lake Appliance.

We have yet to find out if the appliance store is in a two or three story building.

As Brenda followed Carole up the stairs, she kept hearing sounds – dull thuds, yells, nothing that made sense. The first sight at the top of the stairs came that close to sending her back down them: there were two men there, both wearing white, having the fight of the century. She didn't recognize either of them – one's back was to her – but relaxed a little when she realized that both were wearing the formal gi of the martial artist – and both of them had black belts. The pace was furious; she could barely tell what was going on as they worked on each other. One apparently saw an opening, went in, and somehow, in a second, the other one of them was on the floor, while the one with his back turned was on top, his right hand flashing for the throat with a lethal blow . . . which stopped an inch short of connecting.

Most regular members have their own specialty of fighting and teach and practice with each other to keep their skills active. Occasionally some individuals are specially invited, such as Brenda Hodunk and Jason Bailey to give them a general competence of self-defense.

Regulars include:

"Gil is a retired Army Sergeant Major, and he taught unarmed combat to Green Berets for years. He has some friends he works out with, up in a room above the Appliance Store. One of them has six black belts, another one just got his third. Another guy spent 40 years as a cop breaking up bar fights, and one was a national-caliber amateur boxer. There are others. When Jenny needs extra security at a show or something, that's the pool her security guards are called out of."BB16