When we study martial arts, we depend on the proper execution of a movement strike or any physical activity within the parameters taught. When we do this, our actions must be free of thought like typing while carrying on a conversation. In doing forms, if you lose track or are thinking of the next step, you will look bad.
The same is true of learning your legal rights of self-defense, some of which can be accomplished while practing your martial arts.
Learning self defense while practicing your martial arts.
RSBD (reality based self-defense) can be practiced just as one would practice the physical attributes of self-defense, and if planned carefully, creating scenarios while training with a partner or partners in performing sets.
When you read articles or try to study the law of self-defense, the method varies depending upon the requirements necessary to protect yourself. In a reality based situation you will not have the time or opportunity to assess all the elements necessary for a perfect legal self defense.
You already have the ability to do this if you can do only one martial arts form and practice it.
When practicing your forms in a martial arts studio you have the advantage of your teacher evaluating your form or other martial arts movements and correcting you. The end result must be the ability to perform without having to think what you are doing now, and more especially, not thinking about your next move.
Many sports and hobbies depend upon the same type of ability.
You can incorporate basic rules of self defense in your martial arts training by creating realistic movements and behavior. Sensei George Mattson has been transcending the step by step performances of Kata, Bankai and even into sparring plus Kumite.
Last Saturday, Sensei Mattson, began teaching about the transition of performing a two person set performed without the usual break down of each movement in the set, which is .normally taught on the white belt level.
For our Uechi practitioners, the set was Kyu Kumite, and for others who are not familiar with this, it is a two person set which attackers and defenders who swap positions on the second set. Thus, the persons performing are given a set of movements which they must use in offensive and defensive mode.
The value of this type of training has great value in learning distancing, defending kicks and punches and timing. The weakness is that in the real world of fighting, one does not stop and wait for next step. If you did that in a reality based situation you would be toast.
Sensei Mattson has been teaching the transition from stopping and repositioning of the performers for some time, both in the HUT in Newton, Massachusetts, and in his teaching seminars through out the world as part of his agenda in the teaching of current Uchi-Ryu.
Getting back to the Saturday class at the HUT, and in the advanced class, Kyu Kumite sets were practiced with increased speed and realistic techniques were incorporated until the drills looked like a vicious street fight, all without anyone getting hurt.
And then, an evolution took place. The performers were asked to create realism based upon an aggressor and a defender.
It was suggested that the aggressor make threats to the defender, with the defender loudly stating that he/she did not want to fight.
Questions reigned from the performers as to what they could do to constitute some assurance of legal right of self-defense.
When would afford one the right to commence a pre-emptive attack?
If the aggressor moved in toward the defender, making or not making utterances how would you establish your right?
Well, if the aggressor moved in, and past your safety, zone you could make your strike in order to protect yourself.
When ever you can act out scenes in your class under different circumstances and discuss the same, you begin to learn legal defense moves like you would your kata.
How can I get away with striking first and not being charged with being the aggressor.
A lot depends on what witnesses may observe. In our scenario, the defender keeps verbal contact by loudly saying that he did not want to fight, but the aggressor menaces and keeps coming.
The avid discussion went to the point of disrupting the momentum of the class.
It was at this point that I realized practicing different types of situations was ideal for incorporating the rules of self defense and still learning and having fun.
I would strongly recommend your attendance at the HUT on Saturday mornings or at any workout or seminar in which sensei Mattson is participating. You can then take with you what you have learned and incorporate it.
I have often posted requirements of conduct in order to create a self defense plea.
Rules do vary in jurisdictions, but the more I have fond differences, the more I find a commonality in the application of the law.
Here are some of the precepts of the law; see if you can create different situations in the dojo and apply them yourself.
A reasonable persons can defend themselves by the use of reasonable and not excessive force.
You will find reasonableness quoted in many laws and statutes; however what constitutes reasonable conduct, without more, is a subjective test which alone can be quite different amongst many of us.
What the law attempts to do is to apply objective tests based on a standard, the latter being subject to testing factors having elements to define them.
In our foregoing example we know that the defender pleaded with the aggressor to stop, and that he did not want to fight.
You might ask whether or not you may be obligated to retreat, which is law in many jurisdictions. This law may be one of the tests applied to create the standard; In our case the menacing offender was close by and threatening. Under these circumstances, it was reasonable for the defender not to turn his back to the aggressor, leaving the defender in harm’s way.
The defender had enough presence of mind to shout and make known his intention not to fight.
This was an important element in making available an equasion of the standard, namely intent, which can be backed up by witnesses.
If the situation warrants a conclusion that no excessive force was used, either in the pre-emptive strike, or in the alternative blocking the aggressors first action and defeating the aggressor, another element of the standard is furnished.
What is reasonable force to subdue depends upon what happened during the fight.
What did the defender do? It is obvious the law would not sanction kicking the ribs of a prone aggressor. Just think about it a minute. You can use common sense on this and you can reason the parameters without being a lawyer.
Let us say in our aforesaid scenario, the aggressor went down from a punch and luckily did not strike his head. Defender put an arm-bar on him and walked him out the door. You are now entitled to plea self-defense. Almost all of you would know what is excessive force and reasonable conduct. It only gets muddled when we don’t have a reference or standard.
I would suggest that you go to your dojo and attempt to create different scenes while practicing defense strategy.
It can be fun and very rewarding to do this, and if you want to run a situation by me I will be glad to answer as time permits.
"The Goddess of Justice is Blind"