Legality of Martial Arts

CB Jones

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Summary- 2 friends went into friends room during party. Random dude was in there with a chick. Tried to punch home owner when asked to get out. Home owners friend stopped the punch and chain punched him back. Guy left went to the cops and got the friend arrested for "jumping him". Ended up settling out of court to save money

But he only has one side of the story...his friends...it is not 1st hand info and he has not verified any facts of the scenario. His friend was charged with a felony which leads me to believe the friend left some vital information out. Chances are his friend was doing more than just defending his friend and helps create the misconception that even though he was only defending someone he was still charged.
 

drop bear

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Maybe I'm just being naive, I don't know, but in nearly fifty years nobody I've ever trained, in fact nobody I actually know, ever had a problem concerning the legalities of self defense. And it's not like I don't get out a lot.

But now I'm curious. Any of you guys know of anyone who had that problem? Maybe I'll ask other guys I know who've been around forever, and in the arts as long or longer than me.

A mate of mine did two years for bouncing a guys head off the ground in a fight.

I think he got done for GBH.

He was working, tried to throw someone out. Got punched, deadlocked the guy and wound up riding him to the ground.

The dude lost some teeth.

Otherwise this was a place I used to work before I basically escaped because it was such a crap hole.

Memories of the night Joel Namoa died at Andergrove Tavern
 
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CB Jones

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What misconceptions did you hear. This would be a great topic worth discussing

The ability to claim self defense can switch from the individuals...isn't accurate

The story of his friend defending his friend but still being charged with a felony...sounds fishy and I'm wiling to bet lacks a lot of facts of the investigation.

That showing retreat is important in claiming self defense.....in stand your ground states, there is no requirement to retreat and not retreating cannot be held against you.

Admitting to training in Martial Arts or having fighting skills hurts your case....no state that I know of penalizes you for fighting skills or training.

Threatening someone with force if they touch you hurts your self defense claim....you can legally use threat of force to defend yourself if you feel in danger

Striking someone 1st hurts your self defense case....you just have to articulate that you were in fear of an imminent attack that you were defending against.

The story about the guy waiting until he was on the ground against multiple attackers before pulling his knife and cutting the guy once on his hand was bad.
-He did not have to wait until he was down before pulling his knife.....in most places, he could have pulled the knife and used it as a threat of force to protect himself from attack.
-The fact that he only cut one guy in the hand is moot.....most places he would have been justified using lethal force with three guys beating on him while he was on the ground.

And just ignoring that self defense laws vary from state to state....instead of advising to know your rights where you live.
 
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drop bear

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The martial arts thing has weight in argument but isn't really a law.
 

CB Jones

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The martial arts thing has weight in argument but isn't really a law.

In the U.S. it doesn't carry any weight as long as the force is proportional.

The story about knocking out a much bigger assailant and claiming no training is silly.


And they really didn't explain proper proportional force very well.
 

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A member of my fraternity did a few years for assault and battery (not sure of the exact charges)...

He was walking home with a full bottle of vodka in his hand. A person he’s had words with many times in the past was walking by and said some very disrespectful things to his girlfriend. He confronted the guy, who punched him. My friend hit him in the head with the vodka bottle, knocking him down and hurting him pretty good, but nothing severe.

Had he stopped there, he most likely would’ve had a good self defense case.

Then he proceeded to repeatedly hit him with the bottle while he was down. The guy ended up with a fractured skull and lost an eye.

Self defense turned into assault and battery. Possibly with a deadly weapon? Again, I don’t know the exact charges nor how much time he served. I know he did at least 2 years and was sued for a lot of money. And honestly, he deserved it. He should’ve walked away initially, and worst case walked away after he dropped the guy. Now he’s a felon and working to pay a pretty big suit after he finished serving time because he couldn’t handle a guy repeatedly saying things to his girlfriend. And she dumped him when he first went in, so how’d that work out for everyone?

No one won that one.
 

Martial D

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The whole urban legend about martial artists hands being considered weapons in terms of legality has been around forever.

It's also some bee ess
 
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Highlander

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Did this happen in KY? I live in TN. The ease to video things now-a-days MAY make me think twice about an outright strike to someone unless they attacked first. A restraint or takedown I would not hesitate. Not very sure how sound that logic is however.
My wife is an attorney and she has often said TN is the patron saint of the counter-suit. That a counter-suit usually carries more clout than who files first. Sad that it has to be that way.
Yeah it happened in KY.
 
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Highlander

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The ability to claim self defense can switch from the individuals...isn't accurate

If you punch me in the face and I defend myself buy pulling a knife start stabbing and slicing you up. Then you pull a gun and shoot me to stop me. Legally you'd be in the right. And that would be self defense switching sides, though it's an extreme


That showing retreat is important in claiming self defense.....in stand your ground states, there is no requirement to retreat and not retreating cannot be held against you.

Stand your ground is definitely a solid point. And yes, you're not legal required to run. But if you can clearly show that you actively tried to avoid the situation you're going to have a stronger legal defense

Admitting to training in Martial Arts or having fighting skills hurts your case....no state that I know of penalizes you for fighting skills or training.

The law won't penalize you. But it gives the other persons lawyer a weapon against you. The jury is who needs to be convinced

Threatening someone with force if they touch you hurts your self defense claim....you can legally use threat of force to defend yourself if you feel in danger

Agreed. But it you threatening someone it could just egg them on.

Striking someone 1st hurts your self defense case....you just have to articulate that you were in fear of an imminent attack that you were defending against.

It does hurt your case though. It doesnt make you wrong and it doesnt mean he wasn't gonna attack. Just makes it harder to prove. Again you have to prove it to a jury

The story about the guy waiting until he was on the ground against multiple attackers before pulling his knife and cutting the guy once on his hand was bad.
-He did not have to wait until he was down before pulling his knife.....in most places, he could have pulled the knife and used it as a threat of force to protect himself from attack.
-The fact that he only cut one guy in the hand is moot.....most places he would have been justified using lethal force with three guys beating on him while he was on the ground.


Cops told the guy that the reason they weren't arresting him is because he didn't immediately pull the knife



And just ignoring that self defense laws vary from state to state....instead of advising to know your rights where you live.

They said more then once that laws vary from state to state and everyone should look up their state laws.
 

CB Jones

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If you punch me in the face and I defend myself buy pulling a knife start stabbing and slicing you up. Then you pull a gun and shoot me to stop me. Legally you'd be in the right. And that would be self defense switching sides, though it's an extreme

No that would be manslaughter. The person committed an assault on someone that ended in a death.

Stand your ground is definitely a solid point. And yes, you're not legal required to run. But if you can clearly show that you actively tried to avoid the situation you're going to have a stronger legal defense

No, in stand your ground states that is moot. Your sole defense rests on was you allowed legally to be there and was it reasonable to feel like you were in danger...that is the sole determining factor in self defense in stand your ground states.

The law won't penalize you. But it gives the other persons lawyer a weapon against you. The jury is who needs to be convinced

Forget civil court....Self Defense is about protecting yourself. And most juries aren't swayed that much by training....that is a small hurdle to get past. It is a myth that it hurts you in court.

Agreed. But it you threatening someone it could just egg them on.

Sure but it might stop them to....but still legally it doesn't hurt you. If anything it shows that you were feeling threatened and warned them.

It does hurt your case though. It doesnt make you wrong and it doesnt mean he wasn't gonna attack. Just makes it harder to prove. Again you have to prove it to a jury

It does not hurt your case. In self defense, what you have to prove is that it was reasonable to believe you were in danger...period. If you can prove that....who struck first is moot.

Cops told the guy that the reason they weren't arresting him is because he didn't immediately pull the knife

Either he is embellishing or misunderstood because that is silly. He is being threatened by multiple attackers and it would be more than reasonable to believe he was in danger of great bodily harm or death which justifies him pulling it.

They said more then once that laws vary from state to state and everyone should look up their state laws.

ok...I must have missed that and apologize.
 

CB Jones

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The word felony is literally not mentioned in that story.

Incorrect....towards the end of the podcast he goes back and clarifies that it was actually a felony but part of his plea changed it to a misdemeanor.
 

CB Jones

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And most juries aren't swayed that much by training....that is a small hurdle to get past. It is a myth that it hurts you in court.

And to clarify....training is mostly moot....as long as the force used was proportional to the threat.
 
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Highlander

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You really enjoy that word lol.:D
I dont disagree with anything you're saying. Atleast not wholly. But I still think these guys gave solid moral and legal advice. Just my opinion of course
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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You really enjoy that word lol.:D
I dont disagree with anything you're saying. Atleast not wholly. But I still think these guys gave solid moral and legal advice. Just my opinion of course
Whether or not they offered solid moral advice is opinion. Whether the legal advice is solid or not is not opinion, it's fact. Not having listened to the podcast, just reading what you both have written here, it seems they were not basing their arguments on research in the laws regarding self defense (in any particular location), but instead hearsay of what they believe to be correct, which is a horrible way to distribute legal advice. If they were going to do a podcast on legality in self defense, and wanted it to be legitimate, they should have a lawyer that specializes in cases like these as a guest speaker.
 

CB Jones

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You really enjoy that word lol.:D
I dont disagree with anything you're saying. Atleast not wholly. But I still think these guys gave solid moral and legal advice. Just my opinion of course

I think they make a good point about controlling yourself and avoiding trouble but should stay away from what is legal.

When it comes to self defense....Keep it simple....

1) Know the requirement of the law....duty to retreat or stand your ground
2) When in danger....do what you need to do to protect yourself......worry about criminal and/or civil problems afterwards.....don't take unnecessary chances.
3) When the threat is ended......STOP.
4) When talking to police...be respectful and explain why you felt you were in danger and your actions....include that once you felt the threat was over you stopped.

P.S. Dont try to hide or lie about your training or skills.........Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus (False in one, false in all)......it will just damage your credibility.

Also just repeating rehearsed legal phrases...."I was just defending myself"....is not gonna work. You want the police to believe your justification explain....what you did and why. You don't have to get technical with names of techniques.....but if you punched the guy say I punched the guy and this is why.
 

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No....that would be Manslaughter or Aggravated Battery
Those would be the charges, yes... depending on what the states penal code calls such acts. But, the self-defense affirmative defense would still exist to be pushed by the defense.

In the example, I agree with you CB on the probable outcome, though. If a person is the initializing attacker, then it shifts the attacker-defender positions as the Defender gets the upper hand but continues the beat-down, and thus becomes the Aggressor... the now-Defender "could" go to the force multiplier and "could" say it was self-defense affirmative defense in court. The problem is that most judges and especially juries tend to see through that sort of thing and land on the initializing attacker because of the "You shouldn't have started it," thing.

If the force multiplier isn't used, and they get their butt beat by the now-Agressor, they may very well end up winning a ivil suit. It's a tricky dang business.

In the above example witht he student being attacked by a machete-wielding idiot.... granted that it sucks that machete boy was able tofile a suit, but I'd put down a pile of money that the student wins that lawsuit.

And I agree with the countersuit philosophy. If a person is sued for some nonsense thing, you have to pushback. Strategically, it gives you many more options to get out of the suit unscathed (except for lawdog fees).

People are all over the place on these legality questions, and for good reason. The law is an imperfect tool with which to deal with this stuff.
 
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