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XtremeTrainer
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 20 Feb 2018
Posts: 89


PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 9:10 am    Post subject: Meeting Force With Force Reply with quote

From what I know, self defense can be very iffy in court. If you're attacked and you stop your attacker you're supposed to stop, you can't continue to beat on a subdued attacker and call it self defense because the goal of self defense is to stop an attacker and once you've stopped them there is no need to continue to beat on them. This makes sense.

However, to make it more complicated I also understand you're supposed to meet force with equal force, for instance if a small child takes a slap at you, you can't shoot him. Shooting a small child who takes a slap at you would be way too excessive and you would most likely be looking at murder charges, this also makes sense in a situation such as this where there is such a huge difference in force.

Now, lets say Im in a situation such as this. Im a grown man and Im attacked by a grown man. Lets say we're both grown men in college and we're roughly the same size. He attacks me first and I fight back. We both don't have any weapons and I stop once I stop him. The way I see it, I shouldn't get in trouble since I didn't do anything excessive. A grown man is equal to another grown man, bare hands is equal to bare hands, and I stopped once I stopped him.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14189
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rest, well, relies on for the court to decide its outcome. There's always two sides to anything.



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Last edited by sensei8 on Mon May 07, 2018 2:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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OneKickWonder
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends where you are. Sadly it also depends on the race, age and gender of those involved. Life is not always fair

In our club, we're sometimes told that the reason why, by default, we always step backwards from ready stance to fighting stance is to show that we are not attacking. Similar with open hand vs clenched fist. There are pros and cons to both, and it goes far deeper than mere politics, but one of the reasons for open hand is that it looks less aggressive, so witnesses are in theory more likely to corroborate your claim that you acted in self defence.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1694

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is far from being as complicated as some people make it. The answer to how much force should be used is simply whatever it takes to allow the “victim” to break and get away, from the attacker.

The longer one stays near the attacker, the higher chances are for the situation to get worse. Attempting to beat, dominate or subdue the attacker is a very foolish and dangerous idea. Self-defense is not a fight and the goal is not to “win”, but to get away and out of sight before the attacker can recover and:

A) draw or pick up a weapon
B) call or attract more attackers
C) confuse the situation when/if the police arrive
D) attract a crowd/witnesses who will make escape difficult.

In addition to this, running away give time to collect oneself and come down from the adrenalin rush. Then it is possible to think clearly about explaining the situation when/if the time comes.
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Wado Heretic
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 23 May 2014
Posts: 386
Location: United Kingdom, England, Shropshire
Styles: Wado-Ryu , Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu (Kodokan), RyuKyu Kobojutsu

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the United Kingdom you are permitted the use of reasonable force to protect yourself. Reasonable force being governed by the danger you "believed" yourself to be in at the time, not the actual danger, but that interpretation is then determined in the courts. As long as the force you used was demonstrably consistent with the level of danger you believed you were in then you will generally walk free.

Let us take two examples of deaths and house invasion:

Recently a home owner had his house invaded by two men, and his life was threatened with a screwdriver. When the home owner and one of the men were isolated in the kitchen, a fight ensued, and one of the house invaders died from a stab wound inflicted by the aforementioned screwdriver. The Homeowner was taken into custody but faces no charges, as despite the death, it was successfully argued he used force consistent with the danger he both believed he was in and was probably in.

In contrast, a number of years ago, a farmer shot a house invader dead with a shotgun. He shot a 16 year old in the back, at a distance where the house invader was no threat to him. It also emerged that the farmer suffered paranoid delusions, and made a habit of staying up late at night holding said shotgun fully loaded. The farmer was sent to jail for murder. The argument being that he killed someone that he would have had no reason to believe was a danger to him (The forensic evidence was the house invader was at a distance, and actively fleeing.)

Context is hugely important to any discussion regarding self-defence. Above I have discussed reasonable force in the context of self-defence during a house invasion. I largely agree with Spartacus Maximus if we are discussing the context, of say a violent mugging, and he has outlined the ideal and the simplest course. Effective Self-Defence is about effective avoidance of potential situations, deescalation of situations, and removal of self from danger. However, there are cases where escape is not feasible, or indeed possible, without doing some harm to the aggressor. Similarly, there may be cases where restraining the aggressor is the sensible course of action, for cases of citizen's arrest and the like.

I cannot speak for other places in the world, but so long as you used force consistent with the danger you believe you are in, then you are usually okay in the United Kingdom.
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JazzKicker
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 07 Aug 2017
Posts: 117
Location: NJ
Styles: JKD, TSD, MMA

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the saying goes, Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

As a practical matter, it depends on how much damage you do.

A few years ago I was a juror for an assault & battery case. It was 2 young men who worked at a pizza joint. One, the aggressor, considered himself in charge (though he wasn't the boss), and the other was kind of a slacker. So the bossy kid bullied and hassled the other until it came to blows, and as you might expect, the bully "won" the fight but ended up in trouble. We concluded the defendant was guilty, but it didn't meet the standard of assault & battery. If I remember correctly the charge was reduced to simple assault, and he got a slap on the wrist.

On the other hand, there was a case in NJ last year of a bar fight where a guy was killed by a single punch, and the guy who unintentionally did it was charged with manslaughter
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OneKickWonder
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JazzKicker wrote:

On the other hand, there was a case in NJ last year of a bar fight where a guy was killed by a single punch, and the guy who unintentionally did it was charged with manslaughter


How did he unintentionally do it? Did the man stumble and run into his fist or something?
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JazzKicker
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 07 Aug 2017
Posts: 117
Location: NJ
Styles: JKD, TSD, MMA

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, he sucker punched him on purpose, but the victim fell and hit his head.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2285
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
The rest, well, relies on for the court to decide its outcome. There's always two sides to anything.



There’s always 3 sides to the story - yours, mine, and the truth. Doesn’t mean either of us are lying; just that our interpretation of facts gets clouded by emotion.
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMHO if you were the one being attacked and you did just enough to end the attack and either subdue your attacker or give yourself time to get away to call the authorities, you don't have much to worry about, especially if there are witnesses present.

I was always told to hold my hands up in a defensive manner and try to talk the attacker down, if this did not work then you end the attack as quickly as possible.

IMHO it's pretty hard for a prosecutor to convict someone for not allowing someone to beat you to a pulp.

The problem is that in most circumstances the defender walks away thinking its done and the attacker calls the authorities and claims you attacked them. In this circumstance you are in another type of fight for your life. Especially if you are not damaged and they are.

My advice;

1. Don't act bad and escalate the situation. You may know you can beat the guy but announcing it or egging them on makes you look like the attacker to witnesses.
2. Maintain that you do not want trouble and do your best to talk them down.
3. If attacked do what is necessary to end the fight without allowing emotions to take control so that you do not go past what is considered reasonable in the eyes of the law.
4. Call the authorities immediately, even if they run from the scene. P.S. don't run after them. You turn into the predator at this point.
5. If there are witnesses ask them to make a statement when the authorities show up.

Bottom line is if you find yourself in this situation try to reason with them and if that fails end the fight with the least amount of damage possible. If the attacker has the intention of deadly force (says he'll kill you, pulls a weapon, etc.) either run or do what is necessary to save your life. It may go before the courts but at least you're alive.
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