Knowing when and how to use our martial arts skills is really a complex thing. We train to be strong, fast, and effective. We know how to put bad guys down. We’re supposed to be the good guys, right? Unfortunately, not always…
Example #1, as told by my friend, AP: About ten years ago, I worked as a security guard in one of the biggest supermarkets in the city. It was my first job. Because I was already in Arnis then, I always carried my sticks. One night an intruder came and when confronted, he attempted to attack me with a balisong. I hit his head with my stick, ONCE. But that one strike rendered him unconscious. As a result, they suspended me from my job and I almost got jailed.
Example #2, from a yahoo forum: There is this bully that has been tormenting me for a long time, he makes fun of me even in public, picks on me, humiliates me, and everyone one around laughs and join in the bullying. One day I just had enough so I took this guy and beat the SH*#@ out of him. Now people say that am the bad guy. They give me those disgusting looks and say “I can’t believe you did that!” They make me feel like a freak. WHY IS THAT? If you beat up a bully you lose anyway?
Ohhh… I feel bad for them. I would have done the same thing!
But really, what does the law say?
Laws differ from country to country or even from state to state but here’s the basic definition:
- commonly asserted in cases of Homicide, Assault and Battery
- person may use reasonable force when it appears reasonably necessary to prevent an impending injury. A person using force in self-defense should use only so much force as is required to repel the attack.
So for Example#1 above, AP should not have hit the attacker’s head. He should have just hit the arm to remove the weapon and stop the attack.
For the Example #2, he should not have beaten up the bully. He should just have used some reasonable force, like pushing.
I sort of feel bad saying these conclusions. It seems unfair to to the good guys.
But are my conclusions correct?
What’s your opinion on this?
Many discussions of the self defense law are full of legal jargon and hard to understand by non lawyers like me. This one is relatively understandable, click here.