For those on the receiving end, a Neil Best tackle tended to be more than just a hit and, instead, could result in an unwanted memory both on the mind and body.
The former Ulster and Ireland flanker made a career out of scything opponents down - some team-mates also lived in fear of playing against him in training - through his own brand of ultra-physicality which he also brought to England with Northampton Saints, Worcester and London Scottish.
It seems that not much has changed as the now 41-year-old, who has been in Singapore for five years as an adjuster for energy, marine and insurance consultancy AqualisBraemar, has not entirely finished putting himself about.
If the evidence of the latest Singapore Premiership Final, played earlier this year, is anything to go by, he is still capable of administering some, literally, bone-rearranging hits.
"I hope to be back playing this year depending on how the Covid-19 situation develops," says Best, who played 122 times for Ulster between 2002 and 2008.
All doubtless rather worrying for those likely to face him, especially as Best mixes it up these days at various levels, and positions, while he also coaches with particular focus on the next generation - including sons Theo, who is nine, and eight-year-old Otto - at Singapore Irish, the club he set up two years ago.
The pandemic restrictions in Singapore are gradually being relaxed and, while Best is still primarily working from home, there is at least some form of rugby training again.
"Overall, Singapore is super well organised with mandatory masks and tech solutions for everything from contact tracing apps to QR code tracking for all stores and public spaces," says Best.
"We stopped training in March but are due to return on a heavily modified programme without any contact.
"At Singapore Irish we've got club masks made for the kids and they will practice in much smaller groups, and the focus will be on skills until restrictions are further relaxed," adds Best, who played 18 times for Ireland and was in the squad that horribly under-achieved at the 2007 World Cup.
His was a less well travelled route to the pro game having not come through the usual pathways, while he was already equipped with a primary degree in chemical engineering from Queen's University - with a Masters qualification to follow - when he seized his chance to be part of Ulster's squad.
A combination of extra graft and good fortune got him there. While just a club player at Malone, the former Wellington College pupil had found that the twice weekly training nights weren't quite enough, so he raised a few eyebrows at Gibson Park by running both to and from the albeit fairly full-on sessions.
The career-ending injury to South African flanker Robbie Brink in 2002 opened the Ulster door and then coach Alan Solomons quickly realised that he had unearthed a player more than able to mix it physically while also being very eager to learn.
"I took the view I had nothing to lose," is how Best recalls his breakthrough of 18 years ago.
He thrived and became one-third of an entirely locally-sourced back-row with Roger Wilson and Neil McMillan.
"Roger (Wilson) was so resilient," Best says of his former team-mate both at Ulster and Northampton. "And he played consistently well week in, week out, while 'Neilly' (McMillan) was my best mate and was known as 'good Neil'.
"I, on the other hand, was termed 'evil Neil', though I can't think why," he says.
"The balance seemed to be there as Roger carried well, 'Neilly' scavenged for the ball and I made some tackles."
The wily Solomons also knew what buttons to push when it came to sending Best into battle.
As Best diplomatically explains: "He allowed me to operate within certain parameters that suited the things I most liked about the game."
Though McMillan's injury profile had an impact on his availability, Wilson and Best made significant contributions to the success both Solomons and then Mark McCall enjoyed in terms of silverware, the former in charge when Ulster won the Celtic Cup in 2003 and the latter overseeing their Celtic League success three years later.
There is no easy explanation as to why things then unravelled at Ulster - a combined dip in form along with off-field issues ate away at the squad - but two difficult years after lifting the League title the province were clearly unravelling, and Best, along with Wilson, threw his lot in with Northampton.
The upping of the physical ante in the Premiership suited him well, though there was occasional controversy, and he won a European Challenge Cup at Franklin's Gardens before playing on for Worcester and then London Scottish up until retirement from the pro game five years ago and relocation to Singapore.
As for Ireland, Best won 18 caps, but this was a largely different experience, with the Ulsterman being seen by then coach Eddie O'Sullivan as an impact player when it came to the Six Nations and World Cup.
"Eddie didn't pick on performance, which made it pretty hard to break into the team," maintains Best.
He at least voiced his frustration, though O'Sullivan wasn't for turning.
"I was ambitious and pushed myself to be involved but it didn't happen. Eventually you learned to accept that," he adds.
For now, there is no acceptance that being in his 40s ought to see him just pack up the playing side of things. Not while there are still tackles to be made. Rugby players in Singapore have been warned.