The Law and M.A.

Zoran

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I thought of this after reading some of the posts on the To Attack or Not Attack thread.

About once a year or so, our school has a criminal defense lawyer come in to the school to do a seminar about the law and Martial Arts. He goes through what the law says about self-defense and covers some actual SD cases. Followed is a question and answer session with "what if" scenarios. Quite eye opening.

My question is; does anyone else have this at their school? If you do; is the seminar run by a lawyer?
 

Nightingale

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we don't have any kind of official legal thingie, but we are taught that the state of California has self defense laws.

We are told that these laws mean that someone may respond to a threat with appropriate force, and that someone throwing a potshot at you is not a license to kill.

you need to respond with force sufficient to deal with a situation, but not much more.

we are also told that the law tends to give more leeway to women who are attacked by men, but that you really need to consider the size of your attacker and the nature of the attack.

however, appropriate force is already sort of built into the kenpo system... an attack from the front is far more likely to be lethal than an attack from behind... take these two techniques...

fallen cross...rear two hand choke... grab his arms, twist em to break em, then kick him in the stomache/groin/whatever you can reach and get your tail out.

parting wings...front two hand choke... same attack, but from the front, very different, more deadly response... handswords to the throat.

the first technique is gonna break an arm and make him think twice. the second technique, if properly executed, can kill. you're not going to kill someone doing fallen cross unless you really muck it up, but if you do parting wings correctly, you can kill.
 

Michael Billings

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The United Kenpo Systems usually has a speaker at it's annual Fall Training Camp. My personal favorite is Ron Sanchez. He does this for a living, working in law enforcement for over 20 years, but also consults outside the state on officer awareness, safety issues, and legalities.

I go over the laws in Texas several times a year as a new crop of white belts cycle through the school. This is usually fairly informal and I do not have an attorney in for it. Although I have had attornies as students, few of them specialize in Criminal Law and fewer still deal with the Assault/Aggravated Assault/Negligent Homicide/Murder/Capital Murder level of crime and defenses. It would be easy for them to research it, but since I deal with it every day, and since it is fairly clear in the Texas Penal Code, anyone could research it.

What is more difficult to define are the actual "What If" type scenarios. Self-Defense has so many variables - it is sometimes hard to give black and white answers. Most assaults which rise to the level of deadly force, do go to a Grand Jury. They look at the grey area, the what if's and make a determination. Trust me, this is expensive for the person defending themselves, even if they are cleared. Best not to be in the situation if at all possible. Which is what I tell my students.

-Michael
UKS-Texas
 
K

Kirk

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I would think a book about it would sell pretty well!
ESPECIALLY if you put in true accounts (both good and bad
endings) to present some of the "what ifs". (Too bad I don't
have the cash to consult with attornies, and interview people
that have had altercations.)
 
R

Rainman

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Originally posted by Kirk

I would think a book about it would sell pretty well!
ESPECIALLY if you put in true accounts (both good and bad
endings) to present some of the "what ifs". (Too bad I don't
have the cash to consult with attornies, and interview people
that have had altercations.)

:rolleyes:

Commercialism already?

:revenge:
 
S

Sandor

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Zoran,

I posted a Y.A.K.S. announcement a while back for AmericanSelfDefense. It's a great site with plenty of good content on it. Very appropo for this thread (dunno if you have it in your resources but you should consider it as they do a link exchange:)

Peace,
Sandor
 
S

Sandor

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I have a few attorneys, police officers and gov. employees in my student base. Usually during 'street week' (one week a month in our place where everyone is encouraged to wear real clothes to train in) I find that they are more than willing to chime in and give advice on this subject (usually with a disclaimer...!@#! lawyers).

Having been on both sides of the self-defense issue from a 'legal' standpoint I can tell you that I personally feel it is important to be able to effectively communicate what you did to the police, if and when they arrive. You can't go and say 'I did five swords with a helicopter kick to finish the bastard off' when you talk to the police, far better to say 'I was in fear for my life and I kept hitting him until he stopped coming at me'. Again, just my opinion.

What you say, how you say it and how you handle yourself in their presence will go a very long way to keep you butt out of jail. I can't emphasize this point enough. There were plenty of times when I worked as a bouncer that the police would be involved.

This always brings up the fine question 'should I call the police?' after defending myself (at work, or in your personal time. It is a tough issue with all sorts of ramifications either way. I think two very important points that need to be understood by everyone who may have to apply their self defense skills are;

1. What is justice and what happens in a court room can often be two entirely different things.
2. Law enforcement is an after the fact matter(though the 'new' fbi may have a different view I'll stay off the political dogma..).

I don't mean any disrespect to the fine men and women of law enforcement by stating number 2. It is the harsh reality of our world that I have heard a great many of them state all on their own. Thinking 'I can call the cops' in a self defense situation really equates to 'I'll let them know where to pick up my corpse'. I have heard that 'head in the sand' thinking from lots of people over the years and it really scares me to think that people belive it is the right way to handle things during an encounter. A few seconds is all it takes for the flame of life to be extinguished and that is a small fraction of the few minutes it takes to get a response from 911.

If you call the police, or not, I do offer this additional advice; write up some sort of incident report afterwards. It may very well come in handy when they knock on your door.

Just some thoughts...


Peace,

Sandor
 
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Zoran

Zoran

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Great advise from Sandor. Michale Billings is correct when he says self-defense has so many variables. I've been thinking about this and I may be able to break it down to a few categories (I've been working on my site so much, I have categories on the brain:confused: ). Each category would have sub-categories.

Pre-Defense - This would include enviremental awareness, difusing a possible hostile situation, not advertising your a Martial Artist (I must warn you, I'm a black belt...duh, someone get the number of that truck), and anything else that should be done before you actually end up defending yourself physically.

Defense - This would be what you do during an attack. One of the things to consider is what this guy will look like after your done. A broken nose will leave a lot of blood and make great pictures as evidense against you. This is why I like vital targets. For example, a strike to the throat would nullify most attackers with no mess (unless you hit him too hard, then you have a corpse). Basically, take it is far as you need to.

Post-Defense - This is the tricky part. After you successfully defend your self, now what? Do you stick around to admire your handiwork? If there were witnesses, are you going to count on their testimony? Will you involve the police? What do you say to the police? The proper answer to many of these will keep you out of court. Remember, you are the victim. So don't act like the conquerer.

Those are basically the top categories. As I said, there would be many subcategories for each. Another great resource is on Sandor's site titled Things To Consider When Defending Yourself (gee, you would think I'm his agent). The final category would be what happens if you end up in court. Get a loan, and get a good lawyer!! I would call it the "Grab your ankles" category.:D
 

Yari

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Originally posted by Zoran



Pre-Defense - This would include enviremental awareness, difusing a possible hostile situation, not advertising your a Martial Artist (I must warn you, I'm a black belt...duh, someone get the number of that truck), and anything else that should be done before you actually end up defending yourself physically.

Defense - This would be what you do during an attack. One of the things to consider is what this guy will look like after your done. A broken nose will leave a lot of blood and make great pictures as evidense against you. This is why I like vital targets. For example, a strike to the throat would nullify most attackers with no mess (unless you hit him too hard, then you have a corpse). Basically, take it is far as you need to.

Post-Defense - This is the tricky part. After you successfully defend your self, now what? Do you stick around to admire your handiwork? If there were witnesses, are you going to count on their testimony? Will you involve the police? What do you say to the police? The proper answer to many of these will keep you out of court. Remember, you are the victim. So don't act like the conquerer.

I would normally put these up as self defence, but this can help poeple understand the different areas to work with.

But for me it's one whole. The why's and when's and how's should be a natural flow through yourself, and thus by this giving the answers you need.

/Yari
 
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Zoran

Zoran

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Originally posted by Yari



I would normally put these up as self defence, but this can help poeple understand the different areas to work with.

But for me it's one whole. The why's and when's and how's should be a natural flow through yourself, and thus by this giving the answers you need.

/Yari

There is no natural flow when it comes to some of the Laws in the United States.:shrug:
 

Yari

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Originally posted by Zoran



There is no natural flow when it comes to some in the Laws of the United States.:shrug:

This could be true, I'm not from the States.

I'm thinking more of terms of being a whole person, doing 1 thing and not 1000 things.

But I understand that if the world around you isn't "natural", but in many different and oppossing states, you have to be ready for that.

Still I think that as an person I have to react not differntial, but with the same spirit. The answers can be very different to different situations, but based on my way of life.

/Yari
 
M

matthewgreenland

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Hey,

To all those interested. I have some valuable information:

In the State of Washington the law reads:

RCW(Revised Code of Washington): 9A.16.010 - 020

Under the Title of Defense:

"Necessary" means that no reasonably effective alternative to the use of force appeared to exist and that the amount of force used was reasonable to effect the lawful purpose intended. (RCW 9A.16.010 Definitions)
"Deadly Force" means the intentional application of force through the use of firearms or any other means reasonably likely to cause death or serious physical injury. (RCW 9A.16.010 Definitions)

9A.16.020 Use of Force - When lawful
The use, attempt, or offer to use force upon or toward the person of another (another person) is not unlawful in the following cases:

see sections 1-6 RCW Title 9 Washington State Criminal Code (RCW9A.16.010 Definitions/RCW9A.16.020 Use of force - When lawful) -

In summary of one of the more important sections:

(3) - Whenever used by a party about to be injured, or by another lawfully aiding him or her, in preventing or attempting to prevent an offense against his or her person, or a malicious trespass, or other malicious interference with real or personal property lawfully in his or her possession, in case the force is not more than is necessary; (RCW9A.16.020 Use of Force - When lawful)

This material was taken out of the RCW Book - Quoted from Title 9A. Washington State Criminal Code:

Hope this helps all.

Matt
 
C

C.E.Jackson

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Originally posted by Zoran

I thought of this after reading some of the posts on the To Attack or Not Attack thread.

About once a year or so, our school has a criminal defense lawyer come in to the school to do a seminar about the law and Martial Arts. He goes through what the law says about self-defense and covers some actual SD cases. Followed is a question and answer session with "what if" scenarios. Quite eye opening.

My question is; does anyone else have this at their school? If you do; is the seminar run by a lawyer?

YES!!! I have the County Prosecuter come by about once a year.
He covers what he considers "justifyable conflict" and "reasonable response". We go through several scenerios and responses and review several techniques to evaluate when enough is enough. It's a very interesting class and ALL students are required to attend.
 
S

Sandor

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Originally posted by C.E.Jackson



YES!!! I have the County Prosecuter come by about once a year.
He covers what he considers "justifyable conflict" and "reasonable response". We go through several scenerios and responses and review several techniques to evaluate when enough is enough. It's a very interesting class and ALL students are required to attend.

Woah! That is awesome. Now you have me thinking to setup a seminar event with someone from the DA's office. Should be easy enough to set up and everyone can benefit from. Like I said before I am lucky in that many of the professionals in the school are willling to share their thoughts on this subject in class. I never really considered it as a seminar type event but it could be a great way to go with this subject too, especially with the right speakers.

Peace,
Sandor
 

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