Necessary, Restrained Self-Defense Can Be A Crime!

September 2005

Volume 8 Issue 9

Aibudo Kanji
Picture of Shihan

Now why would anyone, who turns out to be a "helpless" individual, attempt or threaten harm to anyone?  It isn't "anyone" they are attempting to threaten or hurt.  They wouldn't perpetrate harm against any individual who might turn the "tables" on them.  They wouldn't knowingly pull a knife on someone who is carrying a gun.  They would only attempt the above on someone who they feel is "helpless" to them. But, without the knowledge that you are more of a threat to them than they are to you, can turn the "law of the land" against you.  How dare you have the unknown upper hand in a street assault and then incapacitate the individual to a point of having to go to the hospital!  They go to the hospital and you go to jail.  What's the justice in that?  The justice is, that you are still alive to do it again the next time.  The extended justice, particularly against that individual, is that they most likely won't attempt it again.  Their "word of mouth" will also restrict the actions of others who might also attempt it themselves.  What do you know, there just might be some good come out of all that training after all. It might cost you some time in jail and a bit of money, but the satisfaction that a "slime ball" got what they deserved and possibly allow you more piece of mind where you live, could make it all worthwhile.  That probably sounds a bit caulis, but until you have lived the life of a professional martial artist, it might be impossible to understand.  Until you have someone who normally is aggressive to others and treats you with a "sickening respect", you won't have a true understanding of being a professional martial artist.

The down side is, that many others who don't wish you harm, will avoid you like the plague and do anything to keep from starting a conversation.  They want to, but don't know how to approach with out appearing to enter the "forbidden and unknown space".  Their conversations are generally just that, "general" and bland.  If they do have the courage to bring up your "abilities", it is immediately followed with a chuckle and statement to others around you, that "they better watch out for this guy".  You are just to uncomfortable and difficult to be around.  They just don't understand "who you are" or "what you are about", and there is no way that you can explain it.  If you tried, they either wouldn't believe what you had to say or have the ability to understand.  We professional martial artist are a 'breed" all our own.  Using what we train to do, can make us guilty of nothing, yet guilty just the same.  Attempting to explain the unexplainable, generally doesn't help.  It's like speaking Russian to my cat.  She doesn't understand English, yet alone Russian, and it all comes out the same in the end.  You might just as well keep your mouth shut and not waste the time.  If I had a choice, would I go back in time and choose something else to study, rather than the martial arts?  Not on your life!  I personally enjoy the feeling of being in "more control", no matter the scenario's or location's that I place myself in.  It's not to say, that I don't feel the "threats" that are all around, but that I have options to work around them.  We have avenues that most others don't have.  The obvious is not readily accepted.  To accept what appears to be and ignore what's hiding behind it, restricts the mind in the ability to react to it.  This ability to react effectively, in an "abnormal" way to everyday threats, is what makes us different and cause us to "break the law".

     Without witnesses in your favor, what you do to protect yourself or others can be construed to be an act of battery, in our American "court of law".  It is your word against the "world".  If you place your "hands" on an individual that has threatened you, approaches you in a threatening manner, reaches for you, etc, etc. and you use a "stopping action" against them, you have legally perpetrated battery upon them.  No one is hurt, bruised or otherwise, but you are guilty.  How would that make you feel after training, studying and living the martial arts for a major portion of your lifetime.  Training to do what is right, at the right time and at the right place, only to be charged with battery against a "slime ball", who doesn't care anything for you or anyone else.  It hasn't happened to me (yet), but it could happen tomorrow, next week or never.  Regardless, the possibility is there everyday.  In the martial arts, you are constantly training to defend yourself and others, with the result of the perpetrator, most generally, becoming injured in the endeavor.  If they are "injured" more than you, then you were possibly more aggressive in your actions than necessary.  How could that be?  It can be, particularly, if it's known that you are a professional martial artist.  You should have been more restrained and professional in your actions.  It doesn't matter, that in a fraction of second in hesitation, you could have died.  It doesn't matter that the individual attempting to cut your heart out, out weighed you a hundred pounds, was six inches taller than you and could have been thirty years younger, you should have utilized more restraint.  You committed legal battery against a "helpless" individual, who wasn't able to defend themselves against you.