Is ground and pound ethical?

Jared Traveler

Black Belt
Joined
Jul 17, 2022
Messages
606
Reaction score
263
With MMA ground and pound has become somewhat acceptable. How does this fit into legal and ethical self-defense?

What conditions do you consider it acceptable? How do you determine when enough forces has been used? How might this look on a cellphone camera? How could this change an altercation from a legal use of force, to excessive force?

What are your guys thoughts on ground and pound for self-defense?
 

isshinryuronin

Master Black Belt
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
1,446
Reaction score
1,452
Location
Las Vegas
With MMA ground and pound has become somewhat acceptable. How does this fit into legal and ethical self-defense?

What conditions do you consider it acceptable? How do you determine when enough forces has been used? How might this look on a cellphone camera? How could this change an altercation from a legal use of force, to excessive force?

What are your guys thoughts on ground and pound for self-defense?
LE has protocols it must follow, generally holding them to a higher standard in regard to inflicting harm than civilians are held to. There are guidelines for LTL actions such as pepper spray and Taser. And, yes, cell phone cameras are often not the friend of LE in these anti-police times. Excessive concern for the optics can cause hesitation and second guessing possible administrative/legal results which is dangerous to the arresting officer who is putting himself at risk in the heat of combat.

I think the general public should follow this basic rule: Inflict no more harm than is required to render the assailant unwilling/incapable of continuing the attack. Of course, there is some gray area, IMO, depending on the nature of the attack. Some will need more persuading than others. There will be a point beyond which further pounding the guy is just uncalled for and excessive. Now, if the attacker was assaulting my wife or daughter, or trying to kill me, that point may be pretty far down the line.
 

Jimmythebull

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Sep 15, 2022
Messages
798
Reaction score
261
There will be a point beyond which further pounding the guy is just uncalled for and excessive. Now, if the attacker was assaulting my wife or daughter, or trying to kill me, that point may be pretty far down the line.
exactly this.
 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
12,388
Reaction score
4,773
What conditions do you consider it acceptable? How do you determine when enough forces has been used? How might this look on a cellphone camera? How could this change an altercation from a legal use of force, to excessive force?
Always acceptable. There are various intensity levels for ground and pound. I can change that if needed. Some cases will be more brutal than others. Enough is when the attacker is no longer a threat and that also may be depending on if I think he'll get back up and try to pull a hidden weapon on me, or if I can see that he has had enough. It just depends on the intensity that leads into the ground and pound. If I think the person will get back up then he's going to take a lot more punishment, so that I can safely leave the scene and or call the police.

Ground and pound doesn't guarantee victory in a fight on the street. I think people often compare themselves to professional fighters and the truth is that many of us or not. A person may go into ground and pound mode and get over powered after the third strike and then be on the receiving end of ground and pound.
 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
21,091
Reaction score
6,591
Location
Covington, WA
With MMA ground and pound has become somewhat acceptable. How does this fit into legal and ethical self-defense?

What conditions do you consider it acceptable? How do you determine when enough forces has been used? How might this look on a cellphone camera? How could this change an altercation from a legal use of force, to excessive force?

What are your guys thoughts on ground and pound for self-defense?
I think that ethics is a very different discussion than legality, and you threw in optics, as well.

What is legal? I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think ground and pound is illegal.

What looks reasonable? Well, that's a tough one to answer. If you're captured in cellphone footage, I'm presuming you are in a fight that you probably could have avoided. What you can convince the police is anyone's guess.

What is ethical? If you're in a fight, you've probably already lost the ethics battle, IMO. Because you're harming someone willingly and intentionally. You can argue that it is justified, but I think that's more of a way to let yourself off the hook so that you can live with what you've done. I'm deeply distrustful of anyone who talks about killing or injruing people casually.
 

Jimmythebull

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Sep 15, 2022
Messages
798
Reaction score
261
If you're captured in cellphone footage, I'm presuming you are in a fight that you probably could have avoided.
why? a fight can happen anywhere & people like to film it. Outside a club, or even you fighting with the people next door to you. cell phones are everywhere this is 2022 !
 
OP
J

Jared Traveler

Black Belt
Joined
Jul 17, 2022
Messages
606
Reaction score
263
I think that ethics is a very different discussion than legality, and you threw in optics, as well.

What is legal? I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think ground and pound is illegal.
Legality and ethical are always connected. The legal discussion is important, but only as a stepping stone(in almost all cases) to under the real question, the ethics.

Ground and pound is illegal and it isn't. It depends on context. Like all use of force decisions.
 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
21,091
Reaction score
6,591
Location
Covington, WA
Legality and ethical are always connected. The legal discussion is important, but only as a stepping stone(in almost all cases) to under the real question, the ethics.

Ground and pound is illegal and it isn't. It depends on context. Like all use of force decisions.
Legality and morality are connected.

Ethics of harming or killing others is only connected to legality if you use the legality to justify your actions. In other words, it's a sort of causal relationship... "It's legal. Ergo, it's ethical." I don't personally buy that argument.

Morality, which is what I think you're getting at, works the other way. "It's moral. Ergo, it is (or should be) legal."
 
OP
J

Jared Traveler

Black Belt
Joined
Jul 17, 2022
Messages
606
Reaction score
263
What looks reasonable? Well, that's a tough one to answer.
It is a tough one. But what looks "bad" is more easily identify. Being bigger and stronger than someone, sitting on top of them so they can't run a way, then punching them for 30 seconds, looks pretty bad.

In some cases reasonable, but it some cases not, and it certainly looks bad.
 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
21,091
Reaction score
6,591
Location
Covington, WA
It is a tough one. But what looks "bad" is more easily identify. Being bigger and stronger than someone, sitting on top of them so they can't run a way, then punching them for 30 seconds, looks pretty bad.

In some cases reasonable, but it some cases not, and it certainly looks bad.
Yeah, what I meant by optics and what looks reasonable is to point out that this is entirely subjective and not related to ethics, morality, or legality. It's all about optics, and one's ability to align the optics to something that will communicate ethics, morality, or legality. Better get a persuasive lawyer with a strong ability to persuade others.
 
OP
J

Jared Traveler

Black Belt
Joined
Jul 17, 2022
Messages
606
Reaction score
263
If you're captured in cellphone footage, I'm presuming you are in a fight that you probably could have avoided.
Thanks for your reply Steve, there is a lot to unpack from your comments, so I'm trying to break it down in segments. The comments above is a massive assumption. I can't imagine how you could come to this conclusion with so little facts of any case. It seems like maybe you have some type of bias against.... I could say what.

But these types of assumptions and biases are exactly why the laws are so clearly spelled out regarding self-defense. And why if someone actually does end up in front of a jury, people get educated on how you can't make guilt/innocent decisions on presumptions like that.

With that said, I think you were implying this as a moral judgement, maybe not a legal one? In either case this seems like a shot in the dark wild speculation. People start filming everything these days.
 
OP
J

Jared Traveler

Black Belt
Joined
Jul 17, 2022
Messages
606
Reaction score
263
What you can convince the police is anyone's guess.
What you are doing in a self-defense case is not or should not be guess work. It is a matter of giving them enough pieces of the puzzle so that they can articulate in their report that your force was legal, as spelled out in the law.

You aren't trying to sell them a story, you should be documenting truth. If you can't articulate important giant pieces of legal self-defense at the scene, and ultimately a detailed statement through an attorney, perhaps what you did wasn't justified. In which case say nothing, you are a criminal at that point.
 
OP
J

Jared Traveler

Black Belt
Joined
Jul 17, 2022
Messages
606
Reaction score
263
What is ethical? If you're in a fight, you've probably already lost the ethics battle, IMO. Because you're harming someone willingly and intentionally. You can argue that it is justified, but I think that's more of a way to let yourself off the hook so that you can live with what you've done.
This is a fine if those are your morals, but regarding justification of using force you should consider supreme court rulings. Which overtly and strongly disagree with you. Both liberal and conservative judges have pored over these cases in great detail. Justifiable use of force, justifiable homicide are not legally subjective opinions. The courts have determined clearly and repeatedly that in many, many cases one is legally justified in using force.

Intentionally and willing using legal and ethical counter violence is not even close to the same as being a violent person and using violence.
 

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
6,567
Reaction score
1,997
Part of the problem with being "good for the cameras" is are you good for the cameras at the moment you decide to use force? Clips can be edited and taken out of context to make you look like the bad guy.

The important part of any self-defense scenario is your use of force stops when the attack does. If you have someone pinned and they are still fighting, then you can use ground and pound or submission moves to encourage or force them to stop.
 
OP
J

Jared Traveler

Black Belt
Joined
Jul 17, 2022
Messages
606
Reaction score
263
I am deeply distrustful of anyone who talks about killing or injruing people casually.
This is totally up to you to be distrustful of these people. However I think it's worth considering that the person who is not comfortable legally and ethical using lethal force, or lesser force, is far more likely to be attacked.

You can see this in most videos of people being attacked, sucker punched or whatever. The more they try to deescalate by communicating that they will not fight, the more it green lights assaultive behavior from an attacker.

If you communicate (it's very hard to bluff this against an experienced criminal) that you will without question injure and/or kill him, you are far less likely to have to use force.
 
OP
J

Jared Traveler

Black Belt
Joined
Jul 17, 2022
Messages
606
Reaction score
263
Clips can be edited and taken out of context to make you look like the bad guy.
Good points Skribs, and certainly true in the court of opinions, and society mob justice. But an edited video I wouldn't imagine would make it into court under the "best evidence rule."
 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
21,091
Reaction score
6,591
Location
Covington, WA
Thanks for your reply Steve, there is a lot to unpack from your comments, so I'm trying to break it down in segments. The comments above is a massive assumption. I can't imagine how you could come to this conclusion with so little facts of any case. It seems like maybe you have some type of bias against.... I could say what.

But these types of assumptions and biases are exactly why the laws are so clearly spelled out regarding self-defense. And why if someone actually does end up in front of a jury, people get educated on how you can't make guilt/innocent decisions on presumptions like that.

With that said, I think you were implying this as a moral judgement, maybe not a legal one? In either case this seems like a shot in the dark wild speculation. People start filming everything these days.
If you think Im talking about the law, we arent on the same page. Ethics, morality, and legality are not synonymous.

Im actually not all that interested in a discussion of legality, but Im very interested in ethics.
 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
21,091
Reaction score
6,591
Location
Covington, WA
What you are doing in a self-defense case is not or should not be guess work. It is a matter of giving them enough pieces of the puzzle so that they can articulate in their report that your force was legal, as spelled out in the law.

You aren't trying to sell them a story, you should be documenting truth. If you can't articulate important giant pieces of legal self-defense at the scene, and ultimately a detailed statement through an attorney, perhaps what you did wasn't justified. In which case say nothing, you are a criminal at that point.
Got it. So, it's a legal discussion. May I suggest to you, then, that when you introduce concepts like ethics, it obscures your point?

This is a fine if those are your morals, but regarding justification of using force you should consider supreme court rulings.
This literally made me laugh out loud. Don't get me wrong. I get what you mean, but SCOTUS as an arbiter of morality is tenuous in the best of times, and given Dobbs, this isn't the best of times.

Which overtly and strongly disagree with you. Both liberal and conservative judges have pored over these cases in great detail. Justifiable use of force, justifiable homicide are not legally subjective opinions. The courts have determined clearly and repeatedly that in many, many cases one is legally justified in using force.

Intentionally and willing using legal and ethical counter violence is not even close to the same as being a violent person and using violence.
I'm trying to help you understand that you are conflating ethics, morality, and legality, and you're continuing to mash them together willy-nilly. Makes it hard to discuss the issues. It seems, though, like you tend to be defaulting to what is legal, which is cool.

If the discussion gets back to actual discussion of ethics and/or morality, I'm totally down. But if you think that whether something is legal or not is the final arbiter of morality, we're not going to get very far. :)

This is totally up to you to be distrustful of these people. However I think it's worth considering that the person who is not comfortable legally and ethical using lethal force, or lesser force, is far more likely to be attacked.

Right. I don't think taking lives, or even intentionally injuring people, is ever ethical. And yet, I was in the military and prepared to take lives, if necessary. It's an interesting ethical conundrum, and something I find pretty interesting. But when folks are cavalier about killing or injuring other folks, that's concerning to me.

We might find some common ground on situations when we have no choice but to kill or injure others. We might agree that there are times when our right to live is threatened by others, or that we are doing so out of a sense of duty or the greater good. But I believe that hurting or killing others is always something that should carry some emotional and ethical weight, and done with regret, if at all.

You can see this in most videos of people being attacked, sucker punched or whatever. The more they try to deescalate by communicating that they will not fight, the more it green lights assaultive behavior from an attacker.

If you communicate (it's very hard to bluff this against an experienced criminal) that you will without question injure and/or kill him, you are far less likely to have to use force.
I think you're the one making some crazy assumptions now. It's okay, though. I better understand what you're interested in talking about now, and it makes sense.
 
Top