Don't tell them you know martial arts

drop bear

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I don't know. I'm not a lawyer. I just know that we had a situation where the cops actually stood by and allowed Phoenix Jones to beat the snot out of a bad guy in what was described as "mutual combat." :)

Amicable contest is the term used here. But there is a raft of laws that don't let you just do that in public. Sort of.
 

BMhadoken

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I see your point about murders and rapes but a person should not have their privacy invaded just because they used self defense in a confrontation. Unlike murder and rape self defense is a legal right.

Is the legal system just supposed to take your word for it when you claim self defense? Oh, and keep in mind that the other guy is also probably claiming self defense. How are they to determine you acted legally, and aren't just a violent prick like the last 99 guys they encountered claiming self defense?
 
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K-man

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I haven't come across the term 'amicable contest' but we have the terminology of 'consensual violence'. Within this context two guys in the pub upset each other and 'agree' to have a dust up, no one is hurt and there is no damage to property, police may well give a verbal warning and use their discretion not to press charges knowing that something minor like that would in all probability be thrown out of court. There is an implied consent even though technically the contest is still illegal.

If in the scenario above one of the guys was not wanting to fight there is no consent and it becomes straight out assault.

Where it gets murky is when two guys agree to fight and one is injured. At law, in many places, there was consent to the fight but there is not consent to the injury. In other words, you agree to fight with another idiot who has also been drinking. You hit him, he falls and hits his head and either dies or sustains life threatening injury. Your 'consent' just disappeared into thin air, go to jail, do not pass Go. Even the fact that one person had been drinking will make 'consent' a very shaky defence.

In other words, getting into any fight unnecessarily is a pretty dumb thing to do.

For anyone with some time on their hands and an interest in law as it may be interpreted in Australia, Canada or the UK ....

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/UWALawRw/1996/6.pdf
 

Steve

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I haven't come across the term 'amicable contest' but we have the terminology of 'consensual violence'. Within this context two guys in the pub upset each other and 'agree' to have a dust up, no one is hurt and there is no damage to property, police may well give a verbal warning and use their discretion not to press charges knowing that something minor like that would in all probability be thrown out of court. There is an implied consent even though technically the contest is still illegal.

If in the scenario above one of the guys was not wanting to fight there is no consent and it becomes straight out assault.

Where it gets murky is when two guys agree to fight and one is injured. At law, in many places, there was consent to the fight but there is not consent to the injury. In other words, you agree to fight with another idiot who has also been drinking. You hit him, he falls and hits his head and either dies or sustains life threatening injury. Your 'consent' just disappeared into thin air, go to jail, do not pass Go. Even the fact that one person had been drinking will make 'consent' a very shaky defence.

In other words, getting into any fight unnecessarily is a pretty dumb thing to do.

For anyone with some time on their hands and an interest in law as it may be interpreted in Australia, Canada or the UK ....

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/UWALawRw/1996/6.pdf
This is pretty much my understanding of how it works here. I could be wrong.
 

Transk53

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Is the legal system just supposed to take your word for it when you claim self defense? Oh, and keep in mind that the other guy is also probably claiming self defense. How are they to determine you acted legally, and aren't just a violent prick like the last 99 guys they encountered claiming self defense?

Probably take on the farming attitude (as I call it) and look at the criminal records and make a decision. Assuming that the guy would be construed as one of those 99.
 

MJS

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If you're ever involved in a physical altercation self defense situation and it goes to court, don't tell them or let them know in any way, shape, or form if you've got any background in the martial arts. It will probably work against you in court.

Well, if you want to get technical about it, the same could be said about anyone who carries a gun for SD purposes. That said, I'll disagree with what you said here. I'm late to this party, so I might say something that has already been said, but I'll still toss in my .02. As it's been said, I would always consult with a lawyer. Furthermore, after the confrontation, I'd exercise your right to remain silent, until you can talk with a clear head. Nobody is going to be thinking clear after a violent confrontation, so why risk saying something right then and there? I'm not saying to not cooperate with the police...yes, of course you should, but you need to think before you speak, as the saying goes. I would also suggest to assess each situation and act accordingly. It's rare that you'll see a martial arts school teach anything other than techniques, leaving out important things, such as what I call the 'before' and 'after' phases of a confrontation. If you look at many techs, you'll see some pretty violent responses, to attacks that probably don't warrant such a brutal response. If we, as martial artists, can't adjust/change a tech, then we've failed, as we've missed out on some pretty valuable lessons.
 

Tez3

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Often the media will jump on a story ( as well as the internet) complaining that an innocent person was arrested for defending himself and many people start going on at the police. A recent case we had here was where the police were called to a farmhouse where someone was quite badly injured, both they and the householder were arrested. After investigation the householder was de arrested and wasn't prosecuted because he had told the truth about the injured person breaking in, attacking him and he defended himself. The problem the police have when they turn up to a house where everyone is unknown to them is that they have no way of knowing immediately who is telling the truth. Arrest isn't a huge thing here, it merely mean holding for investigation and is usually done when a serious crime has been committed otherwise you are just asked to accompany the police to the station. The media said the police should have known the householder was innocent, but how are they until they look into everything and find the evidence? The police take a neutral view and question everyone, would we want it any other way?
The CPS here have said that no genuine case of self defence has been prosecuted, we have had a couple of quite high profile cases that some people have got agitated about but despite what they think the evidence proved it wasn't self defence at all.
 

elder999

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In the aftermath of an incident where one has used self-defense, "reasonable" or not (that's to be determined by the courts), after identifying themselves, one should simply tell the police something like this:

"I was in fear for my life. I defended myself. I'm not going to say anything else."

Then don't.

As for court-if it gets there, they're gonna know that you train already-it's the prosecutor's job (or the lawyer for the guy suing you, if it's a civil case) to use that against you. It will be your lawyer's job to use that in your favor.

Bottom line, if you ever wind up in court, get a lawyer; get a good one, and DO WHAT HE SAYS.
 
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oftheherd1

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In the aftermath of an incident where one has used self-defense, "reasonable" or not (that's to be determined by the courts), after identifying themselves, one should simply tell the police something like this:

"I was in fear for my life. I defended myself. I'm not going to say anything else."

Then don't.

As for court-if it gets there, they're gonna know that you train already-it's the prosecutor's job (or the lawyer for the guy suing you, if it's a civil case) to use that against you. It will be your lawyer's job to use that in your favor.

Bottom line, if you ever wind up in court, get a lawyer; get a good one, and DO WHAT HE SAYS.

Not necessarily bad advice, since anything you say in the excitement of the moment, will be written down by the police. Later, after you have had a chance to remember things your brain put in storage somewhere else in your brain, some people may accuse you of being untruthful in order to make yourself look better.

There is however, the chance that your attacker, and/or his cronies, may tell a vastly different story with lots of embellishments, and you my find yourself being the one charged, and possibly even arrested.

No easy choices other than if you say anything, be truthful. It might be useful to point out if you are still excited, scared, stressed, or otherwise not your normal self, and tell any officers what you are saying is to the best of your recollection at that moment, but your are still under stress (if you are).
 

Mad_Dog

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Lawyers...lawyers...LAWYERS!!!

If people spent more time worrying about justice, than lawyers, this world would be a better place. At least that's what this warrior thinks.
 

Tez3

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Lawyers...lawyers...LAWYERS!!!

If people spent more time worrying about justice, than lawyers, this world would be a better place. At least that's what this warrior thinks.


and perhaps you could spend less time sending PMs explaining why you are a 'real' man and why I should 'toughen' up, sending such things to a woman sounds very much like a threat.
I will repeat...any man who has to tell people he's a real man, isn't.
 

Hyoho

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There is a stigma about M.A. in the West. It just receives all the wrong publicity. Someone does something stupid claiming to be a "Martial artist" or some idiot waving a sword about really screws it up for everybody else with a genuine spiritual interest. In countries like Japan it's of educational value and a qualification to get a job. People in the West need to re-assess why its done and it need to be promoted in a correct manner a take some emphasis of this silly black belt syndrome which in actual fact means you are a qualified beginner and not an 'expert'.

When doing seminars in the West and being asked for the reason for my visit I always make sure invitations read as a Japanese cultural activity.
 

ballen0351

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Is that U.S. wide or just Washington State? Here they would be charged with affray.
Here I can arrest for a fight even if both agreed, exceptions are sporting events or training purposes. So if two guys get into a fight and I see it I can arrest both of them even of they both wanted to fight. If I didnt see it with my own eyes I cant arrest on the spot but I can if I choose go file for charges then get a warrant and arrest them later.
 

Xue Sheng

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Here I can arrest for a fight even if both agreed, exceptions are sporting events or training purposes. So if two guys get into a fight and I see it I can arrest both of them even of they both wanted to fight. If I didnt see it with my own eyes I cant arrest on the spot but I can if I choose go file for charges then get a warrant and arrest them later.

I believe it is the same in NYS
 

Tez3

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Here I can arrest for a fight even if both agreed, exceptions are sporting events or training purposes. So if two guys get into a fight and I see it I can arrest both of them even of they both wanted to fight. If I didnt see it with my own eyes I cant arrest on the spot but I can if I choose go file for charges then get a warrant and arrest them later.


We can arrest both even if we didn't see the fight because arrest is a bit different here, we'd only arrest though if it looked like they were going to flee or be awkward, they'd certainly be brought in for interview though. I don't think a lot of people understand that a police officer doesn't have a crystal ball and can know immediately whether the fight is an attack and self defence or consensual without at least talking to all concerned. Of course it's not nice if you are innocent to be questioned and talked to as though you may be guilty but I can't think of any other way to ascertain the truth when both sides are telling you different things. If you are the innocent party be patient, if local customs are that you get a lawyer/solicitor get one but understand that the police officer's job is to get all sides first, they can't automatically know they other guy is lying and you are telling the truth.
 

Tez3

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We all make mistakes, as the innocent people I've mistakely hospitalized can attest to.

Posting this just proves you are a troll...a not very good one.
 

Mad_Dog

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Posting this just proves you are a troll...a not very good one.
What I am is a warrior, and sometimes in battle there is collateral damage. Am I proud of it? No. Would I change anything? No. My decisions have made me the man I am.

My heart longs for the glory of battle and the adulation of the crowd. Though I know I will never set foot on the sands of the gladitorial arena, I make do with the beer-stained floor of the bar. A floor where I know my life will end one day, my spilling across the tile as I experience the warrior's death and await my entrance to Valhalla.
 
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