Kicking in the To-Shin Do

ToShinDoKa

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OK:

From the Siu Lim Tao form of Wing Chun Kung Fu, to my years dedicated to the Shotokan discipline, kicks have been an integral part of my arsenal. But since training in the arts related to ninpo, I sometimes notice difference in the kicking methods.

In karate we focused on,

Mae Geri (Front Kick)

Yoko Geri (Side Kick)

Ushiro Geri (Back Kick)

as the basic three. Later on "Kakushi geri (ura and omote)" would come into play, but those I've noticed in both To-Shin Do in some manner, like in the Water Curriculum demonstrated by Anshu.

Otherwise, the kicks above, seem to have different names, like:

Zenpo Geri (Forward Stomping Kick)

Sokuho Geri (Side Stomping Kick)

Koho Geri (Rear Stomping Kick)

as some basics. With that said, we do have 'kiri gaishi (shin strikes)' and 'juji geri (crossover kick)' applications, but those I don't have a problem with.

I suppose my question is, "Does To-Shin Do use any of the first list of kicks I've mentioned, and if it does, do they have the same names, and how are some ways they can be applied in your self defense arsenal?"

To-Shin!

-Scott
 

newtothe dark

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I cant say for certain my years in issinryu mae geri is a ball f the foot strike. That maybe the big difference. TSD and BBT use kicking much like Kung Fu where they stomp through instead of snapping. Just my opinion.
 
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ToShinDoKa

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I see...

See I ask this, because recently I was promoted to Red Belt, and now 'shiho geri' striking is on my curriculum. So far, when using my feet for striking, it's been 'kiri gaishi' shin strikes, 'zenpo geri' stomps to the torso, inguinal fold, or knee area. I just haven't found much use for the yoko and sokuho geri techniques yet. I do, however, use a juji geri of sorts to trap feet, occasionally. Perhaps they're used if opponent comes from another angle or there are more than one?
 

newtothe dark

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With the follow through and complete commitment in each technique in TSD or BBT the heel is the 'natural' weapon for most kicks as it allows the motion to continue 'thru' the attack into the next IMHO
 

Michael Stinson

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I see...

See I ask this, because recently I was promoted to Red Belt, and now 'shiho geri' striking is on my curriculum. So far, when using my feet for striking, it's been 'kiri gaishi' shin strikes, 'zenpo geri' stomps to the torso, inguinal fold, or knee area. I just haven't found much use for the yoko and sokuho geri techniques yet. I do, however, use a juji geri of sorts to trap feet, occasionally. Perhaps they're used if opponent comes from another angle or there are more than one?

One of the nice things about the shiho geri (imo) is that it allows us to kick in closer ranges than most people would consider 'kicking range'. It also allows a powerful balance taking/stopping kick delivered in any direction with either leg. A drill I enjoy using is to get 3-4 people holding kicking shields to surround the tori. The shield holders randomly close in from different angles and directions and the person in the center uses their kicks to knock them back regardless of direction/distance. I tell the shield holders to make a noise when they are actively closing so the tori has a definitive perceived target.
 
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ToShinDoKa

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Indeed...

So...are the feet used to knock away attackers, or can they initiate an attack likewise. And also, why now, what about them makes them 'fiery' for this element training?
 

newtothe dark

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Great drill. I will have to try that this weekend.

As to thr 'firey' part maybe its the intent that a thrusting kick gives the aggresive manner in which it is used and the explosion of power that can be generated by that motion? Just a thought.
 

Michael Stinson

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Indeed...

So...are the feet used to knock away attackers, or can they initiate an attack likewise. And also, why now, what about them makes them 'fiery' for this element training?

Keep in mind it is not so much the kick itself that is fiery. It is more of when you use the kick in relation to the timing and intent of the ukes attack and your own connection/feeling to said intent.

Example: The uke approaches you from your left side casually. As he approaches something in his demeanor changes...a tightening of his breath, a twitch of his eyes, an imperceptable change in his stride, etc...something in you says DANGER. The very moment his brain sends an impulse to his arm to shoot out and attack you your body is connected to his and sinks in, rotates your spine and hip and launches out your heel into his hip catching his timing perfectly to send him flying back or down to the ground.

The kicks by themselves can be used in whatever element you find yourself in based on the nature of your emotional response, timing, distancing, etc.

In the drill I mentioned above the students are encouraged to throw their kicks towards the person that they feel is just about to attack. Its great fun to see the kick land right as the pad holder starts to make his noise...and to see the look of surprise that they were shut down the moment their brain said go (or even better the moment JUST before the moment)!
 

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In the drill I mentioned above the students are encouraged to throw their kicks towards the person that they feel is just about to attack. Its great fun to see the kick land right as the pad holder starts to make his noise...and to see the look of surprise that they were shut down the moment their brain said go (or even better the moment JUST before the moment)!
Do you discuss the legal ramifications of this type of response? In terms of the average bystander's knowledge of martial arts (read, none) this makes you look like the aggressor.
 

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Do you discuss the legal ramifications of this type of response? In terms of the average bystander's knowledge of martial arts (read, none) this makes you look like the aggressor.

Never thought about that Kreth but yes because "IF" you initiate the attack by "predetermining" (spelling) the intent of action then yes you are the agressor. I doubt many judges have done the Sakki test maybe after the Human weapon episode airs they might consider that but doubt it so yes I would suggest measured intial response. Sorry about the mini rant.
 

Michael Stinson

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Do you discuss the legal ramifications of this type of response? In terms of the average bystander's knowledge of martial arts (read, none) this makes you look like the aggressor.

Kreth,

Very simply yes. We spend a great deal of time discussing the legal ramifications of any self defense application be it from a strike first perspective or from a more 'defensive' perspective. Hand positioning, body positioning, what you say during the altercation, as well as what you say after the altercation to the arriving officer etc. More importantly we not only discuss descalation...but we actually practice it during our scenarios. The ukes do not always attack...they decide whether or not they have been de-escalated and respond accordingly at times.

Quite truthfully the average bystander, once the situation begins and the adrenal stress occurs, is not going to be sure/remember exactly what they saw the majority of the time. I have experienced this first hand in both scenario based training as well as real life altercations.

The question here had to do with the 'fiery' application of this technique and was answered from that perspective. In the actual classroom we go into many details as to the hows, whys, and ramifications of any response.
 

Kreth

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The question here had to do with the 'fiery' application of this technique and was answered from that perspective. In the actual classroom we go into many details as to the hows, whys, and ramifications of any response.
I'm not saying I disagree with the application. I've used this type of approach myself, when appropriate. I was just curious if you also discussed the legal side of things.
 
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ToShinDoKa

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Thanks Mr. Stinson,

Now it makes sense. :) I've also noticed, how Mr. Stinson mentioned, that the 'kiai' don't actually sound like an aggressor, but makes it seem like (which it should be) the defender's trying to stop the aggression and neutralize the confrontation the best way possible. (i.e. "STOP IT! BACK OFF! HEY! WHOAH! NO! STAY DOWN...well maybe not that one, :) ). I know, specifically during many of my criminal justice courses, we went over what's considered an 'assault' compared to battery or the combination of.

Many people associate assault as being physical, but legally it's not. That's actual the 'battery' part. Since 'most' people threaten in some fashion (verbal or non-), assault and battery are assumed to be the same. Of course, when considering the 'legal' definition, assault refers only to the threat or 'perceived' threat of violence. This definition changes according to where you are in the world, but in England, Wales, and the U.S. it stands as the primary interpretation. So even 'before' they take a swing, one has the right to 'reasonably' defend themselves if they 'honestly' feel threatened, and I'm sure that's something to be debated in court...but I tend to remember the old adage when thinking about acting to protect myself and loved ones: "It's better to be judged by twelve, than carried by six." :)

Thanks again for the responses, all,

-Scott
 

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Thanks Mr. Stinson,

Now it makes sense. :) I've also noticed, how Mr. Stinson mentioned, that the 'kiai' don't actually sound like an aggressor, but makes it seem like (which it should be) the defender's trying to stop the aggression and neutralize the confrontation the best way possible. (i.e. "STOP IT! BACK OFF! HEY! WHOAH! NO! STAY DOWN...well maybe not that one, :) ). I know, specifically during many of my criminal justice courses, we went over what's considered an 'assault' compared to battery or the combination of.

Many people associate assault as being physical, but legally it's not. That's actual the 'battery' part. Since 'most' people threaten in some fashion (verbal or non-), assault and battery are assumed to be the same. Of course, when considering the 'legal' definition, assault refers only to the threat or 'perceived' threat of violence. This definition changes according to where you are in the world, but in England, Wales, and the U.S. it stands as the primary interpretation. So even 'before' they take a swing, one has the right to 'reasonably' defend themselves if they 'honestly' feel threatened, and I'm sure that's something to be debated in court...but I tend to remember the old adage when thinking about acting to protect myself and loved ones: "It's better to be judged by twelve, than carried by six." :)

Thanks again for the responses, all,

-Scott
Some very dangerous presumptions here...

First, you have defined the difference between assault (putting someone in fear of a battery) and battery (the actual offensive touching) pretty well, but in reality, they are often part of the same criminal offense once they're codified into laws. Simply yelling "Stop!" doesn't change a move, in this case a kick, into a defensive action, either. Use of force is complicated, but the general rule is that you must use no more force than is reasonably necessary to protect yourself. So, in the scenario described -- you launch a kick at someone you perceived was about to attack or assault you. WHY? What told you that this was going to happen, and, equally important, what told you that you needed to use that force, rather than simply looking at them and telling them to stop (remember, we're not dealing with an actual visible attack yet in the scenario)? How was it reasonable for you to kick this guy over rather than walk away, or do something else?

It's great to spout out the bravado line about being tried by twelve -- but the truth is that you may be facing a loss of your freedom, very significant impact on your finances (it can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend yourself, even if you weren't wrong!), and years of disruption to your life while it winds it's way through the court system.

Learn to articulate exactly why you took an action. Given the scenario presented here, what exactly cued you into this person? Were they approaching you from a blind spot? Had they changed their pace? Their breathing? Clenched a fist, or hidden a hand from your view, as if to obtain a weapon? How was your response a measured & reasonable response to the threat? Compare these two fictional statements:

As I was walking down the street, I was suddenly afraid that this guy was going to attack me, so I kicked him.

As I was walking down the street, this guy picked up his pace, and came towards me from over my left shoulder. This caught my attention, and I heard his breath catch suddenly, and he was close enough to grab me from the sound of his breath, and I was sure he was about to attack me! I threw a kick, pushing him away from so that I had enough room to get away if he came at me again!

They both can describe the same event -- but which one makes it much clearer that the person making the statement was acting in fear of imminent attack?

And this is something that can be done in the excellent exercise described; instead of simply kicking, take the time at points in the exercise (especially if they catch the "attacker" by surprise!) to identify the cues, and articulate why they kicked.

The second point is that many attacks are done with little warning; in reality, muggers and other attackers don't always make their demand or warn you before they attack. Some do -- but others have decided it's a lot easier to get away from someone, or control someone, who's already down & out, and they'll simply attack first.
 

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I'm not saying I disagree with the application. I've used this type of approach myself, when appropriate. I was just curious if you also discussed the legal side of things.

Kreth,

Cool...I really didn't take your question as a disagreement. If it sounded that way it was because I replied in somewhat of a hurry between appointments ;) I feel your question and point is an important one in discussing this type of training.
 
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ToShinDoKa

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Some very dangerous presumptions here...

First, you have defined the difference between assault (putting someone in fear of a battery) and battery (the actual offensive touching) pretty well, but in reality, they are often part of the same criminal offense once they're codified into laws. Simply yelling "Stop!" doesn't change a move, in this case a kick, into a defensive action, either. Use of force is complicated, but the general rule is that you must use no more force than is reasonably necessary to protect yourself. So, in the scenario described -- you launch a kick at someone you perceived was about to attack or assault you. WHY? What told you that this was going to happen, and, equally important, what told you that you needed to use that force, rather than simply looking at them and telling them to stop (remember, we're not dealing with an actual visible attack yet in the scenario)? How was it reasonable for you to kick this guy over rather than walk away, or do something else?

It's great to spout out the bravado line about being tried by twelve -- but the truth is that you may be facing a loss of your freedom, very significant impact on your finances (it can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend yourself, even if you weren't wrong!), and years of disruption to your life while it winds it's way through the court system.

Learn to articulate exactly why you took an action. Given the scenario presented here, what exactly cued you into this person? Were they approaching you from a blind spot? Had they changed their pace? Their breathing? Clenched a fist, or hidden a hand from your view, as if to obtain a weapon? How was your response a measured & reasonable response to the threat? Compare these two fictional statements:

As I was walking down the street, I was suddenly afraid that this guy was going to attack me, so I kicked him.

As I was walking down the street, this guy picked up his pace, and came towards me from over my left shoulder. This caught my attention, and I heard his breath catch suddenly, and he was close enough to grab me from the sound of his breath, and I was sure he was about to attack me! I threw a kick, pushing him away from so that I had enough room to get away if he came at me again!

They both can describe the same event -- but which one makes it much clearer that the person making the statement was acting in fear of imminent attack?

And this is something that can be done in the excellent exercise described; instead of simply kicking, take the time at points in the exercise (especially if they catch the "attacker" by surprise!) to identify the cues, and articulate why they kicked.

The second point is that many attacks are done with little warning; in reality, muggers and other attackers don't always make their demand or warn you before they attack. Some do -- but others have decided it's a lot easier to get away from someone, or control someone, who's already down & out, and they'll simply attack first.

Just as I said, on the part of assault and battery, that's something that can be debated in the court room, but different states have different rules, something on my Long Distance curriculum sheet from Hombu I'm supposed to figure out and apply for my home town.

As far as the situation goes on preemptive attacking. We learn there are different stages of threat in To-Shin Do.

White: Friendly, calm phase. May be in a fairly secure environment, with people you know. You're aware, 'always' (yudan nashi), but don't perceivably have much to worry about.

Yellow: You're slightly more aware and cautious. Whether it be heightening anxiety in the voice, or someone's obliviously backing up into you and don't realize you're there, OR running up behind you breathing heavily (in your example).

Orange: Whoah, now things are getting scary. We're to a point where it's borderline assault. The voice is raised in an aggressive tone 'saying aggressive things' and distance and personally space is being unnecessarily violated. Now the hands are up, NOT IN A FIGHTING KAMAE, but in a warding off type letting the potential aggressor know "Let's calm down, it's really not worth it, I was wrong, let's stop it here, etc.."

and finally...

Red: Now the assault has started. The aggressor is now threatening you verbally or touching you or getting ready to swing, etc.. Here's where I was taught the preemptive responses start! We've come to the reasonable conclusion that there's no way out of this, I can't run, or I'm protecting someone and I can't run because they can't get away, now we take preemptive action. Not when they're right behind us breathing. As a student of criminal law, and my grandmother being a recently retired criminal attourney, at this phase, it's MORE than recommended to defend yourself.

Perhaps my post led you to believe I meant a person casually walking by, close, and panting, but the thing about it is, I am taught to remain 'aware' not 'paranoid'. :) But then again, sometimes things don't go in that order, that is, they skip from white to red without one noticing, and perhaps another element would be of use...like water.

-Scott
 

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Just as I said, on the part of assault and battery, that's something that can be debated in the court room, but different states have different rules, something on my Long Distance curriculum sheet from Hombu I'm supposed to figure out and apply for my home town.

As far as the situation goes on preemptive attacking. We learn there are different stages of threat in To-Shin Do.

White: Friendly, calm phase. May be in a fairly secure environment, with people you know. You're aware, 'always' (yudan nashi), but don't perceivably have much to worry about.

Yellow: You're slightly more aware and cautious. Whether it be heightening anxiety in the voice, or someone's obliviously backing up into you and don't realize you're there, OR running up behind you breathing heavily (in your example).

Orange: Whoah, now things are getting scary. We're to a point where it's borderline assault. The voice is raised in an aggressive tone 'saying aggressive things' and distance and personally space is being unnecessarily violated. Now the hands are up, NOT IN A FIGHTING KAMAE, but in a warding off type letting the potential aggressor know "Let's calm down, it's really not worth it, I was wrong, let's stop it here, etc.."

and finally...

Red: Now the assault has started. The aggressor is now threatening you verbally or touching you or getting ready to swing, etc.. Here's where I was taught the preemptive responses start! We've come to the reasonable conclusion that there's no way out of this, I can't run, or I'm protecting someone and I can't run because they can't get away, now we take preemptive action. Not when they're right behind us breathing. As a student of criminal law, and my grandmother being a recently retired criminal attourney, at this phase, it's MORE than recommended to defend yourself.

Perhaps my post led you to believe I meant a person casually walking by, close, and panting, but the thing about it is, I am taught to remain 'aware' not 'paranoid'. :) But then again, sometimes things don't go in that order, that is, they skip from white to red without one noticing, and perhaps another element would be of use...like water.

-Scott
That's just a slight adaptation of Cooper's Color Code for awareness. (I'm having a deja vu moment here.)

It's not what I was talking about. You're not "pre-emptive" if the attack has started; you may be acting instead of reacting because you perceived the situation and are ahead of the OODA loop or whichever model of action/reaction you want to use, but it's not pre-emptive because, by definition, pre-emption takes place BEFORE something happens. And to pre-emptively defend yourself, you need to very clearly articulate WHY you acted.

And articulation is what I was talking about. I deliberately didn't get into "was the attack real or not." I'm presuming whatever triggered the reaction was accurately percieved. But if you preemptively attack someone to deter their attack -- you have to be able to articulate just exactly why you did it, in a way that a lay person (like, say, a skeptical cop or prosecutor) will understand. You can rely on your own training, education, and experience... but you have to put it out in words that make it clear that what you did was reasonable and appropriate. Even a cop on duty has to do this, and we tend to have a little greater latitude in acting preemptively than an ordinary citizen.
 
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ToShinDoKa

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Honestly, I don't see what you're getting at. If I do what you're saying, then it's not in the curriculum as preemptive striking, but as attacking people unnecessarily. When preemptive little means: (definition provided by dictionary.com) "taken as a measure against something possible, anticipated, or feared; preventive; deterrent." I'm not sure if I what you're trying to imply. I know your question, though. How would I justify preemptive striking? We preemptive according to this definition is a deterrent or defense against a perceived or feared threat. When the guy is backing up, about to bump into me, I preemptively put up my hands, so as to keep him from tripping over me or running into something or someone less yielding.

If some guy is panting heavily running behind me, I'd personally preemptively (that means to deter the situation of my blocking his path of running or whatever he's breathing about) move out of the way, or shy to one side of the sidewalk to let him pass. There's a clear line between preemptive and initial attacking. When I've practiced against strikes, (the hook for example), I realize that if it is allowed to gain speed, I will be hard pressed to slow it down, so I'll 'deter' that impact or strike power, by moving forward, and hindering it from ever venturing forward, as it begins. Why, because before said point, there's no perceived attack. When someone prepares to strike or close in on you, it qualifies as a non-verbal threat or 'assault' and therefore justifies a reasonable defense.

Notice, in Mr. Stinson's drill, he wasn't promoting running up to the targets, though they surrounded him, and kicking them randomly. No, it takes the attacker to raise his voice and get rowdy and in the case of the drill, clearly violating personal space, most likely after some attempts to tell the aggressor, "Hey! Back off, pal!" The justification is in the situation. You can't really, or at least I can't, be preemptive about stopping the person from freedom of speech, and the ability to be where they're allowed to be. But the thing is, when the individual violates your person or personal space 'unduly' (that is, not shoved in an elevator or on a subway) the call for defense is more than appropriate, I think.

I mean, you said it's not preemptive if the attack's started. But the attack hasn't started, the threat has. There has to be a perceived threat for preemptive action. Otherwise, it'd be like if the U.S. military forces were dispatched to go to China and start fighting because China may be a threat in a few years. Yeah, O.K., that's not preemptive, that's paranoid and violent. ;) :stoplurk:

Perhaps a better term, or at least a complimentary term for this defense would be connectivity. Staying alert, and as they begin their physical assault, or their aggression takes is at its height, nip it in the bud and stop it before it actually can deliver a blow.

As far as the model used for the different stages of alertness...no one ever claimed is was new. Dave Lowry wrote a good article in BB Mag called "Nothing New Under the Sun," or was it "Reinventing the Wheel"...can't remember. The 'point' is, is that the strength of the ninja comes not from creating an environment, but manipulating what's already there, mastering one's surroundings. Cooper's Code is just another tool, of course spawning from an older one, of course. The thing is, can you take the best of the best, and make yourself stronger with it. This is how I've read the ninja to be...powerful because they could use just about anything to accomplish their goal. Cooper's Color Code is but another tool in the bottomless bag of ninja tools for 'winning' and 'success'.

:ninja:
-Scott
 

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I believe (and please correct me if I am wrong) that the point is that even though YOU may have perceived the preattack indicators other potential witnesses may not have. You need to be able to clearly explain why you felt that your actions in this situation were what any reasonable person would have done based on the threat that you perceived.

In order to do this we need to clearly understand and be able to state what some of these indications were in language that anyone can relate to and understand.

The suggestion of stopping during the drill I proposed to point out and recognize what a person is reacting to is a good one and one that we actually do utilize during such drills.

Anytime you are forced to defend yourself in ANY manner you need to be able to do the above....but it is particular important if there may be any confusion as to who actually 'started' the fight. As I mentioned before many witnesses are easily confused (led) so even if the situation is clear as day to you (which it probably won't be) they may have 'seen' something different.

I recently attended RMCat and during that we did some adrenal firearm scenarios. During one of my scenarios all of the witnesses 'remembered' something occuring when we discussed it afterwards. I myself then 'remembered' that "yea...thats what happened". Upon reviewing it with Peyton and the other attacker it was NOT what happened at all.

I am fairly certain we are all on the same page here even if we may be using somewhat different language to get there (a perfect example of what we are talking about to begin with *wink*).
 
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ToShinDoKa

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OK, I think I understand it now. I know how I'd do it personally (that is explain it) but I find the placement of the question to be an interesting one.

From what I've learned as far as in 'my' state, is that reasonable defense (defined as force capable of doing the same or one step above damage to an attacker) is legal if due to the circumstances one cannot safely flee. Now when I say safely flee, it does not mean into the middle of traffic, or the jeopardizing of other bystanders' lives by pushing through or leading a violent aggressor towards them, but where you can get away without endangering others. You can even legally defend a third party when someone is unjustly using physical force against them under the same limitations.

Now it takes control on the martial artist's part to know what he can and can't do. I've seen An-Shu's curriculum, as well as demos from other To-Shin Do instructors, that demonstrate subtle techniques of defense. Something like a small foot sweep, or wrist lock to neutralize the initial force, and an attempt to let them go and run away or continue to try to 'talk' the situation down.

During the initial questioning an explanation of what you remember would be the most useful. Most likely the authorities will be involved if you're successful and can't flee, so this should give you an opportunity to think about what happened without other's input. It's probably best to try to write it down on paper before you're confronted with other's opinions on the matter. Officers tend to come to their own conclusions after two or more separate stories have been given. The first thing though, is that fighting in public is usually illegal, and both parties will most likely be arrested. At least that's what my county sheriff dep. friend said.

IN COURT this would most likely depend on the skill of your lawyer...that is, in CIVIL court. In criminal court, your deposition should help, as well as your actions during your defense. If you disengage after the attacker's been neutralized, then at least everyone will have seen that. Granted, they may think you may have tried to flee the scene of the crime, but that coupled with the kiai should help your case.

Deadly force in my state is on a similar line. This can likewise be explained in court. Number one, not fleeing the scene too far, because once the assailants dead...he's dead...he's not chasing you. Though you'd probably by the center of attention, contacting the authorities (which is probably already happening if there's witnesses) would by your first step. Once again, civil court is a WHOLE OTHER MONSTER :) and your lawyers play on words will decide if you've violated anyone's civil rights though you may be criminally not-guilty.

Sorry for the long post, but I love the idea of this being considered.

I am a little worried as far as the rules go, though. Mainly because I just don't see how all this pertains to my original inquiry (that is about using leg techniques, specifically in the fire element level). Otherwise, I am anxious to here other's input.

-Scott
 
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