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JohnC
Orange Belt
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Joined: 17 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:23 am    Post subject: Throw the first punch? Reply with quote

A couple of other topics (e.g. one punch, one kill) also bring up this issue. Many MA premise "let the other guy throw the first punch" or MA is defensive only. This assumes that one believes he / she has the ability to 'take' the first punch and then still be able to mount a viable defense. This assumption is dubious, at best, because few real fights are 'fair' (e.g. same weight class, ability, one-on-one standup), especially if weapons will be involved.

Question: Is it time to revise this assumption and teach preemptive strike, as the RBSD folks contend?
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glockmeister
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Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 490
Location: Pa
Styles: Haganah, Krav Maga, JKD, Kickboxing,BJJ, Judo

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you know for example that you are going to be attacked and there is no way possible to avoid it, I would much rather strike first especially if the bad guy has the advantage such as improvised weapons, friends, etc.
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tallgeese
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Joined: 04 May 2008
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Styles: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Gokei Ryu Kempo Jutsu, MMA, Shootfighting, boxing, kickboxing, JKD, Pekiti Tersia Kali

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd wholeheartedly say yes.

The preemptive strike is a far better option that hoping that your defensive skills are enough to prevent serious injury. Based on body language and posture, intercepting his inital attack by attacking yourself is not only acceptable, but an excellent idea.

Let's face it, aggression win fights at the end of the day. The more aggressive when needed the better. Taking the fight to him ensure that your the one with the superior aggressive attitude and mind set. That will go a long way to winning the encounter.
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joesteph
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tallgeese wrote:

The preemptive strike is a far better option that hoping that your defensive skills are enough to prevent serious injury. Based on body language and posture, intercepting his inital attack by attacking yourself is not only acceptable, but an excellent idea.

I agree with Tallgeese.

Many people believe that if they execute the first strike, then they are automatically legally considered the aggressor, and so go "on guard" for what's about to be incoming.

What I had read in the past was that it just doesn't happen that way. You can strike first if accosted and have good reason to believe you're in danger, in order to protect yourself (or possibly another person). What I had read in a short book about the law and the martial artist/trained fighter, is that you are likely both considered aggressors at first. In a posting in another thread somewhere, it was pointed out that you have to be adequately articulate should/when the police show up, in order to prevent being taken in along with your adversary.

If you need an attorney, and you may likely need one if you did a pre-emptive strike because you weren't playing "sitting duck" (or the police feel they have to bring you both in--just doing their job), you have to have your facts straight that you were in genuine danger. I carry my family law attorney's card with me, in that her firm handles all sorts of cases, including criminal.
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Bushido-Ruach
Yellow Belt
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Joined: 03 Mar 2008
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Location: California
Styles: Self-defense MMA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Throw the first punch? Reply with quote

JohnC wrote:
A couple of other topics (e.g. one punch, one kill) also bring up this issue. Many MA premise "let the other guy throw the first punch" or MA is defensive only. This assumes that one believes he / she has the ability to 'take' the first punch and then still be able to mount a viable defense. This assumption is dubious, at best, because few real fights are 'fair' (e.g. same weight class, ability, one-on-one standup), especially if weapons will be involved.

Question: Is it time to revise this assumption and teach preemptive strike, as the RBSD folks contend?



I would say that it depends upon the law in your area. Here where I am (central california) if you strike first you ARE the aggressor and will be charged as such if arrested. However, I think we also need to address the main point...allowing the aggressor to strike first - this does not mean that you have to let him hit you, it only means that you have to let him try to hit you first. The very fact that he struck out at you gives you the legal right to protect yourself, it doesn't matter at all if he ever tagged you or not.

I don't know about other states or cities, but here, if you are defending yourself from an attacker, you are patted on the back. Here's where it gets tricky...it is considered an assault on a person just by spitting upon them because of the threat of such things as A.I.D.S.....I don't know if you would get away with beating someone down just for spitting on you....just don't spit on a cop, that's a felony!!!
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wtKempostudent
White Belt
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Joined: 03 Jan 2009
Posts: 7
Location: Long Island, New York
Styles: Kempo

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I look at it this way:
I don't want to throw the first punch, but I will if I'm in a situation which I perceive as threatening and inevitably ending in a fight. However, while I may not want to throw the first strike, I certainly want to hit first. If that means parrying and attacking or blocking my opponent's attack (I train with the mentality that a block is a strike -- a block should cause pain), it doesn't matter, so long as I hit first.

Preemptive striking? Yes, a big part of my training. If I've used my words to avoid the altercation and my opponent's hands are up and he's ready to fight, I very well may throw the first strike, especially if he or she has friends ready to jump in or a clip visible in his/her pocket...
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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that teaching the pre-emptive strike, and how to determine when one should pre-empt, is vital to self-defense instruction.

I feel this way, because automatically determining that you will not throw the first punch puts you on the defensive, and behind the 8-ball to start with.

Action is faster than reaction; so why take that chance?
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NightOwl
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Joined: 08 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think legalities play a big role in how much people think you have 'control' over the situation. If someone smaller tries to kill you with their bare hands and you knock out their teeth, even though you were just defending yourself you probably won't come off looking as well in court.
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wtKempostudent
White Belt
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Joined: 03 Jan 2009
Posts: 7
Location: Long Island, New York
Styles: Kempo

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NightOwl wrote:
I think legalities play a big role in how much people think you have 'control' over the situation. If someone smaller tries to kill you with their bare hands and you knock out their teeth, even though you were just defending yourself you probably won't come off looking as well in court.


That is the one advantage my 5-8, 135 lb frame gives me: if I am ever forced to fight (up until this point in my young life I have never had to use physical martial arts skills to fight, I've avoided a couple of conflicts with words and swallowing my ego), it is most likely going to be someone bigger, stronger, and more threatening looking than myself who picks a fight with me.

Seriously though, I see what you're saying. That's another reason why martial arts training is so much more than just learning physical skills for fighting. You have to learn how to assess situations and make quick decisions while using as little actual thought as possible. When confronted with a situation in which one's physical skills may need to be used, like you said, one would have to consider all factors, including possible ramifications, if they are given the opportunity. )many times there may be little to no time to think of consequences beyond making it out of the situation uninjured or not though)

However, as I said, if I'm approached by someone smaller than me but it looks like he's got three buddies standing around ready to give him a hand, or if I spot a clip on his pocket that could be a knife, then I very well may throw a preemptive strike once I feel the tension of the situation hit a certain point.
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the beast
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Joined: 13 Dec 2007
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Styles: Shotokan

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tallgeese wrote:
I'd wholeheartedly say yes.

The preemptive strike is a far better option that hoping that your defensive skills are enough to prevent serious injury. Based on body language and posture, intercepting his inital attack by attacking yourself is not only acceptable, but an excellent idea.

Let's face it, aggression win fights at the end of the day. The more aggressive when needed the better. Taking the fight to him ensure that your the one with the superior aggressive attitude and mind set. That will go a long way to winning the encounter.


I couldn't agree more.
Don't think of it as throwing the first strike it is a preemptive strike.You need to be able to go from passive to aggressive in a split second because that may be all the time the attacker gives you.
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