"1. It's your duty to disable an assailant so that they can not do it to you again. Even in the movies they always come back. Even if they reach out of the grave.?!."
I disagree partially (it depends on your definition of disable ... which from 1a) I can see you think of it as something entirely different that I do).
Disable your assailant? If you can get away with a simple knee strike to the gut and then outrun him take it (that of course is a HUGE if, but it is just an example). Unless there are some mitigating circumstances (for example, you would be abandoning your wife and child... then you must stay and fight, BUT note that this gives you much more legal power to stay and fight). But if you are sticking around to fight when you have a good chance (*) to flee then, in my view, you are being foolish and you will ultimately get what is coming to you:
a) his buddies will stumble upon the fight and pummel you.
b) the police will stumble upon the fight and arrest you both and you my fine martial artist friends will get the worse of it if you have caused serious damage to the assailant unless there are witnesses available to back up your claims that it was all in self defense.
c) you will eventually fall victim to the fortunes (luck) of battle.
Is it fair that the law turns on those who defend themselves? Nope, but it happens ... and it happens a lot.
"1a. As Tom Powers puts it: "Unless you finish them off completely (disable not kill someone, I hope he meant) and get out of there you are asking for trouble."
If my opponent cannot pursue me, in my view, this qualifies as finished off completely. He is no longer of any threat. Again, unless there are mitigating circumstances.
If you have to stay and fight ... stay and fight, and keep hitting your attacker with your most powerful blows, but the ultimate goal of self defense is to survive preferably without taking any long lasting damage. Of course, what actions to take that will bring you to that goal vary from situation to situation, but in many cases this means strike (usually several times of course) and flee.
My very first instructor once told me: "Your odds of defending yourself go up the more brutal you are willing to be. Imagine trying to defend yourself with just a slap? Then imagine that you are willing to not just slap but punch? Then imagine you are willing to kick too? And then imagine that you are willing to choke somebody out? And then imagine you are willing to put your attackers head into a concrete wall?"
There is no denying the truth of the quote, but the more brutal you are willing to be the more likely you leave yourself open to both civil and criminal charges. It is so very easy to say that it is no big deal to lose everything you have or to go to jail for a year or two .... when it isn't happening to you. Give me a call when (I hope never) this happens to you, and let me know how much fun it is. It is kind of like a real fight... everybody thinks they can win a real fight ... no problem, piece of cake ... then the real thing happens and as Van puts it so often their precious black belt is good for nothing more than lowering their casket into the ground. My suggestion: be somewhat mindful of the legal consequences of your actions. The repercussions are no walk in the park.
P.s. - and please note I didn't say ANYTHING about "cowering under your bed". This is not about cowardice. Do not misunderstand the message ... fleeing is not cowardice. If given the chance to flee a battle before it starts I will take. Period. Unless there are mitigating circumstances.
(*) "Good chance". There is the problem. It can be difficult to evaluate your odds of escape in the middle of a fight.
P.p.s. - I also didn't say anything about "giving him a bruise to the leg". One to three very hard shots to prone or semi-prone leg will do a lot more than a simple bruise. If you hit with the heel you will split the muscle and cause some serious muscle damage. You could even cause damage to the bone, possible a fracture ... unlikely but possibly a break. If you go for the knees, the damage will be even worse, but likely longer lasting. Now could he come after you legally for breaking his leg? Of course, but it is much more legally defensible that kicking him in the face and knocking out a few teeth (permanent disfigurement = big bucks).
And just to clarify a few other things that could be misunderstood.
The "strike and flee" solution doesn't always present itself. As a tough guess I would say it might show up between 25%-33% of the time ... but I might be being optimistic. Therefore, your primary goal is to fully disable. You should send blow after withering blow onto your opponent in the goal of knocking him senseless or knock him out. I, and others, have said this repeatedly and my two previous posts *certainly* should not be taken as withdrawing that opinion.
However, we were talking about when the person goes down. You do not want to grapple with him. You do not want to go down after him. And at least, in my view, and especially not in front of witnesses you don't want to beat him like a dog. If his is down you have an excellent chance to use the "strike and flee" solution.
[This message has been edited by Jason Bernard (edited 07-08-99).]