Good post Norm.
Perhaps your martial arts training and intense reading on the subject has made you an UNREASONABLE PERSON in the eyes of the law.
There is always this chance because juries are unpredictable and most of the jurors would have no idea of confrontation/fighting/defensive dynamics.
Here is where an attorney well versed in self defense law is worth his weight in gold if able to present the proper arguments reflecting the reality of what a person develops in the study of martial arts and in his intense reading of defensive dynamics.
I am a firm believer that emotional intelligence, as per Goleman, affects our ability to perceive and respond successfully /appropriately to danger¹s warning signs and to danger itself.
The correct study of martial arts, must include a study of violence dynamics _ plus an in depth study [reading] of various related subjects_
This results in the sharpening of emotional intelligence as it will relate to the ‘reasonableness factor’ _
The really skilled practitioner knows well that danger signs [violence pre-indicators] come to us first through our auto response system, because of the emotionally charged nature of the situation.
Serious danger and low level boundary violations alike create an adrenaline response and accompanying emotions that make it hard to access cognitive information.
Daniel Goleman's wonderfully clear and informational book Emotional Intelligence outlines concepts I discussed at great length here on this forum years back.
The biggest hurdle to overcome in any confrontational situation in the making or already in progress, is the managing one’s emotions. This requires much training and study.
In the context of personal safety and judicious tactical response action, this entails being able to think, analyze a situation and make a reasoned, effective, decisive and appropriate response to dangerous situations almost subconsciously, something only attainable by in depth study and to a certain extent practice hands on via scenarios or visualization, and most certainly by the knowledge of the many ramifications.
This is what we learned at the Lethal force Institute, and Mas Ayoob explains that once one is able to document this ‘learning process’ it will go a long way in a court of law to conform with the reasonable man standard.
This ‘specialized knowledge, includes the ability to reframe the emotion(s) being experienced so that they don¹t prevent us from acting effectively, and reasonably under the circumstances.
For example, transforming fear into anger ¬ an emotion that can fuel action instead of freezing us.
But one further note: being emotionally upset takes away cognitive function space! Being able to feel without flooding leaves us room to keep thinking. We need brain power to create unique, finely tuned reactions that are responsive to the particular situation in front of us.
It means being able to identify someone with good intentions vs. dangerous ones. It also includes the ability to read verbal and non verbal signals to identify whether an assailant is angry, scared, jittery, under the influence of chemicals, mentally unstable, etc.
How successful our chosen game plan will be depends in part on how well matched it is to the specific circumstances we face. This requires in depth study and knowledge we do not get in a typical dojo workout.
Mistakes here will cost dearly in physical, emotional, legal and financial ways.
The tactical aspect of a martial arts study with binary subjects will enhance underlying ‘tooling’ skills and sharpen your ability to find solutions and lead yourself out of the problem, hone your ability to find your own openings and opportunities; create a plan of action; and determine split-second strategies in chaotic situations.
This is what a good defense attorney must be able to argue in support of the reasonable man standard in the given situation with the person under scrutiny for specialized skills/knowledge as pointed by Norm.