Author Topic: Martial Arts and the Law  (Read 17382 times)

adacas

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Martial Arts and the Law
« on: April 21, 2003, 03:41:33 PM »
I was reading D-Man's topic about the use of the brachial stun and started thinking about the skills taught to martial artist, kajukenbo in particular.  In kajukenbo you are typically taught to beat your opponent down and to make sure he won't be able to get up anytime soon.  This makes sense in self-defense.  You have no idea what your opponent is capable of so you get the job done fast.  But the problem I see is in the law of the land.  What I was told is that you can only exert the same amount of force that the person who attacked you presented to you.  This sounds all fine and dandy except that this is not realistic. :P  Its almost illegal to defend yourself.  I have gotten into plenty of trouble because of this.  I have darn near been arrested several times at school because I had to defend myself from not one but several people at once.  Gang members don't like to fight alone.  Fortunetly I knew the officer that patroled my school so he wouldn't take me in.  I am not going to allow some punk the opportunity to hit me.  Chances are that if he hits me it will hurt.  I don't like pain so my attacker is out of luck but then again so am I.  Also what about blackbelts.  In many cases they are considered deadly weapons(some more deadly than others).  I have read stories of martial artist not only being sued by their attackers but also some of them sent to jail.  I want to hear peoples opinions on this.  I know there are some cops on this site so their opinions will be greatly appreciated as well.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Offline D-Man

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Re: Martial Arts and the Law
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2003, 05:08:39 PM »
Very interesting subject.  I've bee taught that there are five possible outcomes to a fight.  1)you are injured, attacker wins, YOU LOOSE.  2)you die, attacker wins, YOU LOOSE.  3)you are injured, attacker looses, YOU LOOSE.  

4)you defend yourself, attacker sues you, YOU LOOSE.  

5)you defend yourself successfully and legally, you win.  Look at the odds of a favorable outcome.  

Yes, the law can make it a little difficult.  To a martial artist, in most cases, IN YOUR OPINION, any action you take can be deemed "due force."  For example, if someone were to threaten me verbally, then make the slightest body movement that suggested they were going to launch an attack, there's no question about it, they've had it.  Simply eliminate the problem before it exists like we are taught (kind of like the way of the intercepting fist).  To the untrained whiteness, I, ME, the GOOD GUY, "started it."  Then you get to the courtroom.  The judge has seen way too many Kung Fu movies, and tells me that it should have been easy for a person of my skill level to lock him out, or do some sort of cool Matrix style body dodge without hurting him.  Instead, I broke three of his teeth, his nose, and gave him a concussion.  Now he can't talk smack, snort crack, or fight for weeks.  Poor guy.  I get fined and put in jail (I think it's usually a misdemeanor?).

Here's another example.  The same thug walks up to you, barks his mouth off, and you know what's coming.  He gets closer, closer, and finally, too close.  You see his fist clench, weight shift, and WACK!!!  Wow, he was a lot quicker than you imagined.  Apparently he's Mike Tyson's little cousin, and has been boxing sense he was 3.  Ouch.  Now you have the concussion, and are in a state of shock.  This shouldn't be happening to you, you're a Martial Artist!  Then the next thing you know, he gets in one more shot for good measure.  Gosh, he just broke your spine on accident.  Hmmm.  What now?

I believe that the best way to insure legal safety, that I am aware of, is to let everyone around you know that you have done everything possible to avoid physical conflict- Use your voice, leave, comply, whatever it takes.

I can't see any judge sending you to jail after being attacked by a whole gang, unless you are an extremely tough looking dude.  There's almost know way to get off scot-free at school.  Just know how far you are willing to let someone get before the consequences of not acting outweigh the consequences of acting.  It sounds like you have Adacas.  It'll be different everywhere you go, on the street, at school, at home, everywhere.  When it comes to training, I personally, always plan for the worst.  That's what the criminals do.

Sorry I kinda went off on a long story here, but this subject really bugs me.  I'm probably not done yet either.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:04 PM by -1 »

Karazenpo

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Re: Martial Arts and the Law
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2003, 06:27:06 PM »
 Both you guys are essentially right on the money, in my opinion anyway. This is an excellent topic, I'm surprised we didn't think of it earlier, thumbs up to 'adacas'! ;)
  D-Man, you said it with the 'stop-hit' or pe-emptive strike. I was taught that the highest level of the block/strike sequence was no block at all, but to read body language and if your opponent translates to you he is in the process of an assault, you nail him! Should we be penalized for being faster than an attacker? The person who starts a fight is not neccessarily the one who lands the first punch but can be the one who 'attempts' to land the first punch. I've had this discussion in courtrooms. This is how I put it to a defense attorney. If someone pulls a knife or gun on me in an attempt to use it, (which is an assault, the battery would be the physically touching-the cut, stab or gunshot wound) should I wait for them to fire the gun or lunge with the knife and hope they miss or do I attempt to fire two rounds center mass as we are trained to do. I think there is only one answer to that question. Now, let's scale it down to an unarmed assault. If the bad guy says to you that he is going to knock your head off and he is standing within relative range to do so, he clenches or chambers his fist and all your training and experience conveys to you the threat of bodily harm, then the assault has already occurred. Now, you either let him take the first swing remembering (and you can use this in court) that action is faster than reaction and blocking or evasion is therefore by no means 100 per cent and take the chance it doesn't land or again you, as D-man said (intercepting fist)beat him to the punch. Again, ask the court without sounding arrogant, "Am I to be penalized for being a bit faster than my attacker?" Now, if the dude yells at you from a third story window as you walk on the sidewalk under him that he is going to knock your head off, waving a clenched fist at you and you then run up three flights of stairs to nail him, well, you 'may' have a problem. He must have the means and the opportunity to carry the threat out.
   As far as the Kajukenbo followup goes, I know what you guys are saying. I was taught the same way but that can get you screwed these days and believe me I'm with you but the law is against us on that one. Once the threat has been neutralized and you are no longer in danger and can leave the scene, any further follow up would be considered excessive force. In other words if the assaillant is half out of it on the ground and you follow up and that can be proven by witnesses, you may be in trouble.
   Another point of D-man was to let everyone know who may be witnessing the situation that you don't want to fight. Tell the assailant to stop, get back, just let me go by, I'm not looking for any trouble, etc,etc, all the time being prepared for the 'battle of your life'! Avoid yelling at the guy, saying things like, I'll kill you, I'll knock you're head off, I'll smash your face in, blah, blah, blah. Witnesses will parrot whatever you say!
    Remember, I'm giving you my experiences, the way things are dealt with in Massachusetts, not to mention things could change tommoro with a goofy judge, unreasonable police officer, whatever but also take note, if the cop sees you pummel the guy, he will have to charge you or he could get suspended or even terminated. In Mass. he could just charge the both of you with affray (two or more people fighting) or a more serious charge of assault & battery. If you use the ground to wack his head against or kick him with a shod foot (covering over the foot-footwear) it can be assault & battery w/ a dangerous weapon. At one time it could have been a sneaker or mocasin, however with so many people kicking since the propagation of the arts most District Attornies ( again, in Mass.) will advise to go with simple assault & battery which is a misdemeanor rather than a felony. Big
difference!
   Please remember, I'm by no means an attorney, nor a judge, and you could very well end up in the slammer for listening to me on this :P, I'm just conveying to you guys my training and life experience. I still have liability buried in the back of my mind or a prison sentence for merely defending myself but I stick to the "old" cliche that's been around for years in law enforcement and it goes like this: "I'd rather be judged by 12, than carried by 6". ;) Great discussion, guys.....What say you? :)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:04 PM by -1 »

Offline Mell

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Re: Martial Arts and the Law
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2003, 10:05:06 PM »
I'd rather sit in jail for the rest of my life than live a day knowing I could have done more to have saved a loved one.

I think it is important to explain to students what is allowable by the law, but we should also teach self defense as what could be done, should we feel a personal conviction to permenantely nuturalize a treat.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »
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Offline Nagi

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Re: Martial Arts and the Law
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2003, 07:29:10 AM »
This happen to me one day...
This man was walking down the street and I let him cross in front of my truck. He took his walking cane and slammed in over my hood of my truck. I got out of my truck to confront the man and he wounded up (a dream come true) attempted a side club strike that I intercepted. There was a bystander that walked down the street to my house and was saying to the Cop that what I did wasn't right, he only saw the end of the tech. I told the bystander did you see the attack on my truck? Did you see this dude try to take my head off? He said no and the Cop said we are all set over here. I knew the cop I did Kempo with him At Shihan Joe's school, he asked me what tech did I use? I told him and he said that was his favorite. Just for the record I saw the attacker 2 months prior run up the street and throw 2 rock's at a neighbor's window, just so you know that im not beating up old men.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »
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Offline Sensei_Sue

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Re: Martial Arts and the Law
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2003, 07:59:34 AM »
Nagi,

Don't you think that getting out of your truck to confront than man was a mistake?  What if he had a gun?  Or a knife?  Or what if you had slipped when attempting your technique?  You could be dead.  :'(

If you knew this man you could have just gone to the police.  Or you could have confronted him by yelling out the window of your truck.  Then if he had a weapon, other than his cane, you could have made a fast getaway.

Sounds to me that your male ego got in the way of the smart thing to do.   :-[  Are you married?  Children?  You must have someone that would have missed you had this confrontation gone bad.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Offline Nagi

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Re: Martial Arts and the Law
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2003, 09:24:55 AM »
Quote
Nagi,

Don't you think that getting out of your truck to confront than man was a mistake?  What if he had a gun?  Or a knife?  Or what if you had slipped when attempting your technique?  You could be dead.  :'(

If you knew this man you could have just gone to the police.  Or you could have confronted him by yelling out the window of your truck.  Then if he had a weapon, other than his cane, you could have made a fast getaway.

Sounds to me that your male ego got in the way of the smart thing to do.   :-[  Are you married?  Children?  You must have someone that would have missed you had this confrontation gone bad.

It was 10 years ago and if it happen today I would of done things differently. I actually gave that situation some thought years after it happened (like you described) but I never regreted what I did. You can say all the what if's but the fact of the matter is he deservered the beaten he received for the damage to the truck and for the future incidents he caused in the neighborhood. I do agree with your thought's though but sometimes you have to take chances
. What if I did yell from the truck and he walked up and hit the truck again? Or taking my chances being trapped inside and not being able to move well while yelling at him from inside? Or if I tried to take off in reverse so fast that I hit someone or something? See what if's? It all worked out well for me and is water under the bridge. I did learn a good lesson from it which is the important thing. Thank you Sue for your concerns about my well being
 
Ron




« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:04 PM by -1 »
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Offline Sensei_Sue

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Re: Martial Arts and the Law
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2003, 09:33:43 AM »
Ron (nagi),

I'm sure he deserved every bit of it!  ;)


sue
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Karazenpo

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Re: Martial Arts and the Law
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2003, 12:35:14 PM »
Sensei Sue, your response to Ronnie (Nagi) is the politically correct answer, and I would say that is undisputed. Men and women think and act totally differently to situations from what I've read and heard on talk shows and obviously experienced in life and on this forum. I'm not knocking it,or passing judgement, its just the way it is. Didn't someone write a book once titled: 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus' :), I guess that says it all,lol. :D  Other than being politically correct, I can't argue with you that the safest thing to do is exactly what you said. ;) but call it male ego if you want but I call it 'the principle of the thing'. Sometimes, as a guy, you just have to do what you have to do. What happened to Ron has happened to me as I'm sure it has also happened to many of the male members of this forum. Our response to such an altercation may even be classified as immature but the bottom line is if I'm in traffic and stop to let a guy cross the street and he whacks my car in any way, shape or form, then we're going to 'rock'n roll',win, lose or draw! I guess its a 'guy thing' ;D We are who we are and sometimes in life we have to take chances and as long as we believe it is the right thing to do for us, then it is. ;)
Again, to agree with you, if my students asked me that question my answer would be the same as yours but by the same token if they asked me if that is what I would do, I'd have to say,no! Hypocritical?, no, its my personal choice whether I want to take that risk and I shouldn't infringe on any one elses safety. Life is all about choices. ;) Respectfully, Shihan Joe
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Offline Mell

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Re: Martial Arts and the Law
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2003, 04:59:56 PM »
I don't know, I might have panicked and accidentaly stepped on the gas pedal.  But that's because I'm a girl. ;D

Seriously, it really is best to remove your self from any situation if at all possible.  Our lives are far more important than our things.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »
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Karazenpo

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Re: Martial Arts and the Law
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2003, 06:07:55 PM »
Very well said, Professor Scott. I have to give you a thumbs up! Some may say that is because you agreed with my post but its actually about something else that I missed in Sensei Sue's post-'male ego'! ;) You're absolutely right, Professor, ego does not discriminate gender. I have known of women with egos bigger than the great outdoors! ;D Both in law enforcement and civillian life and I don't believe that there is a woman on this forum that can say that reading this right now, someone's name(s) hasn't come to mind! ;) Ego is a human condition. Guys get it thrown in their faces all the time but did you have hear woman talk about other women because of their ego problems-VICIOUS! I am far from chauvanistic and totally support women in the arts as you can tell from my posts. I also know of women who have done similiar things as to what happened to Ron, only to other women. Thanks for making that point, Professor, that one had slipped passed me! ;D  All in fun to the ladies on this forum, not to be taken personally, unless you want to challenge myself and Professor Scott on the "Jerry Springer Show"!  :D  Shihan Joe
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Offline KBOWARRIOR

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Re: Martial Arts and the Law
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2003, 01:05:23 AM »
I have been in law enforcement for 15 yrs and teach advanced weaponless defense for several police and sheriff's departments in Ca.  I am a P.O.S.T. certified instructor and can tell you that you do not match the force used against you, you go one level above.  As a law enforcement officer and as a citizen you are allowed to use the force necessary to protect yourself and or effect an arrest.  It is always best to try and walk away from any incident, but sometimes the other person won't let you and you have to take care of business.  I train with Master Greg Harper, Harper Kajukenbo, and we do a great deal of groundwork.  We train that when the subject hits the ground you do 5 or 6 more strikes, but in a real life situation you have to understand you are only going to use 2 or 3 more strikes.  As a law enforcement officer I am able to use handcuffs, OC, baton, gun, radio for backup, ect.  As a citizen, you will not have those options and when able, make sure the subject attacking you is not a threat to you any longer.  That does not mean that once the person is unable to attack any longer you can still pound on him or her.  That means that once you have disabled that person, you stop.  If and when you go to court your instructor will have to go and testify that your actions were justifed.  I have testified in these issues several times and will testify several more times in the future.  The quote tried by 12 is better that carried by 6 is the way most officers function and the way you must act to protect yourself in todays violence society.  I don't want to even get into self defense on school grounds, you might win the war with the legal system, but you will always loose with the education system.  In there eyes there is no such thing as self defense.  I had 2 5th graders jump my 3 grade son in the rest rooms and when he fought back, kicking one in the groin, and punching the other several times, he was suspended for a week.  I confronted the principal and was told that my son should not have fought back, instead just stood there and let the 2 5th graders beat him up.  My advise to those of you that find yourself in a violent situation, "ground and pound" and go see your family afterwords.   8)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »
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Offline kajuwarrior

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Re: Martial Arts and the Law
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2003, 02:03:44 AM »
But what do you think would have happen had Nagi
not known the officer in this case. the officer
seemed to have taken him for his word because he
had known him and trained with him. I'm not saying he
did anything I would not have but, it look like
he got lucky. I do know in some cases what it is
like to know the officer and not know the officer.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »
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Offline Nagi

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Re: Martial Arts and the Law
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2003, 05:22:12 AM »
Quote
But what do you think would have happen had Nagi
not known the officer in this case. the officer
seemed to have taken him for his word because he
had known him and trained with him. I'm not saying he
did anything I would not have but, it look like
he got lucky. I do know in some cases what it is
like to know the officer and not know the officer.
Got lucky? I got attacked with a weapon and I think that is called assault & Battery? I defended myself and he paid the price. I got out of the truck not looking to fight,when I got out I said something like hey buddy what is your problem why did you hit my truck? And he took the fight to me, he never gave a chance to resolve the matter. Maybe we should let the would be attacker get the first strike in and then react with an attack of our own? If any thing I should have press charges against him? The reason why I didn't because the dude was out of his mind and would of never shown for a court date.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:04 PM by -1 »
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Offline Sensei_Sue

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Re: Martial Arts and the Law
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2003, 05:30:49 AM »
Testosterone is what causes the male subject to be more aggressive.  And that, I believe, is where the term "Male Ego" comes from.  It's also a pride thing.  And yes, woman have it too.   ;)

But let's say I am in my car and someone smacks it with a fist and starts to walk off.  That person might be having a really bad day.  And now I get out and start yelling and asking "what the hell do you think you're doing?!"  

Am I now adding to the situation (i.e. gas to fire)?  Or am I helping the situation (i.e. water to fire)?

Protecting your things is justified, but at what cost.  Determining whether or not someone is a threat by confronting them, imo, is not the smartest thing to do.  Each situation must be weighed and a decision on what you do probably has to happen within a split second or two.  Not easy in every event.

Personally, I would have said something like "hey! what are doing?" from my car and the windows and doors would have been up and locked!

 :)

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »