False Arrest of Victims As libertarians will be well aware, English Common Law confirms the right of Englishmen to use arms in their self-defence. I am one of those who would not accept the legality of purported laws to strip us of this right, but in any case, we have not been stripped of this right, at least in terms of statute law. The 1688 Bill of Rights, which has not been repealed and has been affirmed by higher courts as being a major constitutional law that cannot be impliedly repealed (i.e., can only be repealed by express language clearly repealing it), specifies our right to use weapons in our own defence.
It seems that on the ground the behaviour of the police overrides any Acts of Parliament or even the Common Law. We read today of householders in Melton Mowbray who shot at burglars who had broken into the cottage. The burglars have been arrested for “aggravated burglary”, but the householders have been arrested on suspicion of GBH!
A Conservative minister has indicated that the police should prosecute the burglars, not the householders defending themselves. The burglary was being undertaken around midnight. The house has been burgled several times previously, and none of the men injuried have life-threatening injuries. And the shotgun used was legally held.
On what grounds have the householders been arrested? Self-defence using a weapon, lawful under English Common Law and the Bill of Rights, cannot give rise to charges of GBH. Even if the burglars had been shot dead, no legitimate charges would arise – unless the police had reasonable grounds to suspect that the killings were not in self-defence. That would be for the police to show, and not for the householders to disprove in advance. The bar for proving that minor injuries inflicted by householders in their own homes on burglars in the dead of night were not self-defence must be placed very high indeed. After all, this was a home invasion.
It seems to me the police involved should be sued for false arrest. As far as I know, false arrest is considered by a civil wrong. I would appreciate more information on this point — as far as I am concerned it ought to be one of the more serious crimes.
First off realize that self-defense is an extreme of 'people skills.' Or to misquote Clausewitz "Self-defense is maintaining your boundaries by different means." Self-Defense Let's start with what we're not going to do with this section.
ULTIMATE SELF-DEFENSE SYSTEM
That's because we don't have one. The reason we don't have one is there is no such thing.
We're here to introduce you to the factors you need to consider to ensure your personal safety. With that in mind, we need to tell you this: Self-defense is about what you do, not what some system does for you.
While we're on the subject, self-defense training isn't some psychological aid to build your self-esteem. We're not here to help you empower your dysfunction by using violence. If a situation has gotten to the point of where it is becoming physical, then it's spiraled way out of control ... usually because of emotions.Nor are we going to give you a bunch of half baked, simplistic advice (like carrying your keys between your fingers). We're not going to tell you to carry specific self-defense equipment -- which we conveniently sell at inflated prices. We're not going to show you martial arts techniques you can use to fight off a mugger (most of those will get you killed anyway). We definitely aren't going to tell you that you have the right to go berserk on someone because you feel threatened and call the resulting carnage 'self-defense.'
If you're looking for these things, you've come to the wrong place. This site is for thinking people.
The intent of this hub is to acquaint you with the factors and issues involved in personal defense. The truth is self-defense is a very complex and fluid situation. The reason for this is 'self-defense' extends beyond the physical. What you do before, during and after all determine whether or not it was self-defense. You can get in as much trouble over-defending yourself as you can ineffectively defending yourself.You're best defense is to look at your lifestyle, figure out what kind of threats you are most likely to face, and implement strategies that reduce the chances of them happening. But before you can make informed decisions, you have to know the risk factors and complications.
This hub will introduce you to these issues. We provide this information so you can make informed decisions about the risks you are most likely to face and tailor your actions to be effective against those threats. You are the one who must first assess the degree of threat you face and then decide what are the appropriate tools that work with your comfort level.
An Intro To Self-Defense What IS self-defense? More importantly, what ISN'T self-defense? Where do you cross the line from self-defense into assault? And why is the subject so complicated? On this page, we give a layman's explanation -- not only about what self-defense is, but why it is so easy to cross the line out of self-defense and get yourself arrested.
What Does Self-Defense Mean to You? Self-defense can mean a lot of different things. To make it even worse, it can mean a lot of different things to different people Before you read any further, let's take a look at what you think self-defense is.
Why 'self-defense' isn't cut and dried First, do you know the difference between crime and violence? Second do you realize that what is self-defense in one situation, isn't in another? These are examples of why self-defense isn't a simple issue.
Mental Preparation Believe it or not, stopping an attacker isn't the hardest part of self-defense. Far more insidious is how what you think can interfere with you being able to protect yourself.
A Violent Crime is NOT a Fight! While there are many reasons why a situation may escalate to physical violence, someone intent on committing a crime is NOT there to fight you. Therefore attempting to 'fight' him is extremely dangerous.
Thoughts on the Nature of Violence What is violence? The answers may surprise you.
Economy and Stress Violence Whether it is a depression or a recession, crime goes up in economic hard times. but not just how you might think it does. There is a direct link between the economy and stress violence.
Are Martial Arts Self-Defense? While that is what the school owner will try and tell you, before you sign the contract you might want to consider this.
Fighting is NOT Self-Defense! There are many reasons to fight. And usually they boil down to either to gain or to preserve something. Often these goals are both subjective and non-physical (you can't put self-esteem into a wheelbarrow). Self-defense is only about the protection of your physical body, not your emotional well being. Many people not realizing this, think they are 'defending' themselves when they are in fact, fighting.
Is Your Anger Putting You in Danger? Strong emotions are normal during conflict. Unfortunately anger, is the fastest way to provoke an attack from a violent person. Also, it's the easiest way for you to cross the line from self-defense to attacking.
Assertive vs. Aggressive Like anger, being aggressive can often escalate a situation to physical violence. Whereas being assertive can prevent it. Learn the functional difference between the two and why one will cause and the other will defuse violence.
How NOT to get Shot There are all kinds of half baked theories about gun disarms, but what is seriously lacking is good solid information on how NOT to get shot when the bullets are flying.How To Get Attacked Speaking as a professional who's job it was to tell nasty people "no," we noticed there were people just seemed to be wearing a sign that said "ATTACK ME!" While many will think we're talking about people who project 'victim,' we aren't. The people we're talking about have an innate talent to just piss off violent people. It almost seems like these folks have a checklist of ways to provoke an attack. Believe it or not, there really is a checklist. There are certain behaviors that will get you attacked! This page will help you prevent from running down that list.
Boundaries Before you can enforce your boundaries, you have to know what they are. Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment it is easy to cross the line from being the defender into being an aggressor.
Pyramid of Personal Safety Physical self-defense is -- at best -- damage control. By taking a multi-layered approach to personal safety you greatly decrease your chances of having to engage in physical violence. We've come up with the Pyramid of Personal Safety to help you.
Five Stages of Violent Crime Crime is a process. It takes time to develop. And once you know what a developing crime looks like you can take steps to prevent it (or articulate in court why what you did was necessary). The Five Stages will show you what to look for.
What Needs To Be In Self-Defense Training? Many organizations offer 'self-defense' training. But what they are selling is anything but 'self-defense.' Most of these programs teach either over-the-top responses (which is illegal), a blend of ineffective techniques and bad advice (which is dangerous) or are a sales pitch to get you to join their martial arts program. Before you pay your money for such training you might want to know what needs to be in an effective self-defense program.
Legal Self-defense is a legally defined term. While in different lifestyles the concept of self-defense varies widely, it is this legal standard that your actions will be judged by. Therefore, unless you're not afraid of doing time in prison, it is incumbent on you to meet this legal criteria.
Pride, Fighting, Self-Defense & Self-control The sad truth is many people are willing to do anything for self-defense -- except exercise emotional self-control. This is a categorically bad idea that will put you into violence faster than anything else. IF you don't get mauled, it will have also ruined your claim that it was self-defense
Problem Neighbors Having problems with an irrational, hateful and seemingly insane neighbor? In such cases you'll find yourself wondering "WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PERSON? Is he insane?" The answer is no, not really. Odds are what is happening is you've run across someone who 'lives by the feud.' The problem neighbor page will help you understand what motivates these people, why being 'reasonable' doesn't work and why they won't just go away ... until you handle them correctly.
Repercussions of "Winning" Contrary to what you may think a fight doesn't end with a body hitting the floor. That's usually only the beginning of the repercussions your victory will bring you.
Don't Expect SD Training to Fix Your Self-Esteem Realize that SD training is designed to protect your body, NOT your pride or bolster your sense of self-worth. While it can be an important part of psychological healing, self-defense training alone is not enough. Unfortunately, many people who have been traumatized, instead of seeking professional help attempt to self-medicate with this kind of training.
Violence Comes in Different Flavors Many people don't know what 'self-defense' is because they don't understand there are different kinds of violence. Not only do different kinds of violence have different goals, but your actions have significant influence on whether or not the situation goes physical. If you blindly react to any threat as though it demands you to unleash your self-defense training you are seriously increasing the chances of the situation escalating into the most dangerous kind of violence -- an event you may not survive.
Violence NEVER Solved Anything ... oh yeah? Politically correct thinking would have us believe that any kind of violence is wrong (first off they need to read the section as to what violence really is). Often these people use their pacifism as a self-righteous weapon, especially against those whose job it is to use force to protect others and keep the peace. Anyone who has had to use justifiable force (or currently uses it professionally) has dealt with the scorn and contempt of those who contemptuously proclaim 'violence never solves anything,' as a put down. Marc wrote a blog to rebut this long standing clich?and how to answer when it is being used as an insult instead of wisdom.
Self defense isn't about empowerment, personal gain, winning, revenge or teaching those who have hurt you a lesson. Those are the motivations of an attacker. Self-defense is about effectively ending an attack, quickly and with minimum damage to yourself. A different perspective on self-defense training
In order to understand what "self-defense" is, you must first understand what it is not. "Self-defense" isnot martial arts training. Nor is it fighting. It is not getting in touch with your inner rage and channeling it into attacking someone who scared you. It is not simply mastering a set of physical skills (e.g. becoming a kung fu killer ninja or combat shooting expert). Nor is it something you can take a weekend seminar for and then forget until you need it.
In our definition, self-defense is not a *specialized* skill that you only use in one context. In our definition it is part of a much large set of "life skills."
These are skills, talents and abilities that you will use in a myriad of ways every day of your life. What's more, as they are basic "people skills" using them will improve your quality of life. Use them and you will find yourself in far fewer conflicts, you will be more popular, work will be easier and you will get along with people much, much better.
All "self-defense" is is taking these same skill sets and applying them in a slightly different context. To a large degree, they are the same skills with some slight "tweaks." Properly applied, you will never have to use physical force to protect yourself because you will learn to steer yourself clear from situations where violence is likely.
To give you a slightly different perspective Peyton Quinn, in his excellent bookFreedom from Fear, describes it thusly "Self-defense is the art of dealing with predators -- exploitive , hostile or abusive people. As we have seen they can be found in any sphere of our lives; in the streets, in the office, at home and even in intimate relations. Consequently when I use the term 'self-defense I am not just talking about defending yourself against a person who wants to beat you up, kill, rob or rape you. Even so, do not dismiss the reality that you may be forced to deal with physical violence."
Even though we use 'self-defense' differently than Peyton, the general idea is the same. And that is there is much more to self-defense and personal safety than just physical technique.
Why do we take this approach? Violence is an extreme. What people don't tend to recognize about extremes is that they don't just "happen." It takes time and effort to make such a long journey to this wild place. Putting bluntly, you have to work to get there.
Furthermore, extremes are based in taking normal interactions, over-emphasizing certain elements and intentionally deleting other -- tempering -- influences. What that means is that any extreme is based on that which you already know. It is just taken and blown out of proportion. It is so distorted however, that you may not recognize it as such -- especially the part about tempering influences being left out. There are several common reasons for this failure, the most common ones are anger, emotion or stubbornness on your part. These don't have to be regular states with you either, giving in to them just for a moment can put you on the path towards violence. Lose control of yourself with the wrong person and you will be shot, stabbed, beaten or raped.
The "trick" for avoiding violence is recognizing what it is -- and the path that leads there.
By knowing the elements that are commonly used in this extreme -- and what their normal proportions are -- you will be able to see when they are being blown out of proportion. It takes time to get to an extreme, when you see these elements being distorted -- even by yourself -- you will know you are on the pathway to violence.
Our approach is to acquaint you with these elements so you can recognize this distortion -- and its significance -- early enough that you can extract yourself from a situation without having to resort to physical violence. It is far, far easier to stop, take a deep breath, turn and walk away than it is to physically combat your way out of an attack -- especially if weapons are involved.
Trust us on this one, we have the scars to prove it.
What needs to be included in "self-defense" training In martial arts training you can find depths far beyond the physical. There are many useful skills and attributes one can acquire through their study. Realistically, martial arts are like a large pool, you can go as deep or as shallow as you wish. That means you can safely focus on whatever particular aspect you find most fascinating. Simply stated martial arts can be as deep, rich and fulfilling or as shallow and one-dimensional as you want it to be.
However, in order for self-defense training to be effective, it must be multi-layer.
By this we mean that a wide variety of skill-sets, knowledge, self-awareness and behaviors are involved. Many, that at first glance, might not be obviously related to what you think of as "self-defense." But each adds an important layer onto the whole of the subject, and therefore, your safety. As such you must consciously focus on all of these layers if you wish to be save from violence.
Four tiers of self-defense training The following model was given to us by Justin Kocher, 2nd Dan in Danzan Ryu Jujitsu (Westside DRJ Los Angeles). He developed this summation after many long hours of discussing, researching, training, teaching and wrestling with the problem of communicating the issues involved in self-defense. It is a simple and elegant model for explaining what we mean by "effective self-defense training must be multi-layered."Common sense - Do you even want to go there? (This point includes knowing what behaviors will put you into conflict and moral/ethical issues involved with use of force) What are the standards you must abide by?Diplomatic - Do you need to hit or can you resolve this another way? In short, can you talk, negotiate or trick your way out of it? (This point also includes knowing the legal ramifications of hitting and weighing the repercussions vs. the need of the moment.)Strategic - When and where to hit for maximum results appropriate for the situation (justifiable use of force).Tactical - How to hit (physical application).
As you can see the issues become larger and more complex the further away one gets from just the physical. A critical issue is that many so-called "self-defense" courses/martial arts schools do not address these "higher" level skills because they assume they already are in place. We do not. We have seen countless incidents of violence that could have been avoided if they had been.
First, You cannot focus on only one aspect and expect your "self-defense" to work. For example, physical application is the most basic and simplest skill set. It is also the last ditch, extreme response. If a situation goes physical it generally means you have not applied the other skill sets correctly. You have allowed the situation to develop to an extreme. Unfortunately, physical force is also the most unreliable of responses. And, as you are now in an extreme, if it fails, you are in deep trouble. It is literally jumping out of a plane with only one parachute that has a 50/50 chance of not working..
The multi-layer approach is back-up. To be more specific it is having options that prevent you from ending up in that situation. Including, not going parachute jumping in the first place, but if you do, knowing how to pack your chute so it will open. By having these layers, you have control and influence anywhere along the process. It is also knowing the further down that path you go, the more extreme the danger and the more likely you are to lose control of the situation.
Second, there is commonly an underlying assumption of self-righteousness regarding so-called "self-defense." In fact, some programs go so far to encourage fighting while still others encourage behavior that will commonly lead to violence. To begin with there is a drastic difference between self-defense and fighting and it is a difference that you need to know. Bottom line, it will not be immediately apparent to the responding officer that you are the "victim" who was obviously only defending him/herself against this horrible person. While police will often arrest both parties in a "fight" they are almost guaranteed to arrest the "winner." If you have successfully "defended" yourself, then that means you. Furthermore, your claim of "self-defense" is going to be seriously undermined if you were an equal participant in the problem -- no matter how self-righteous or justified you felt you were. As there are serious legal ramifications to this subject you had better make sure that you weren't part of the problem.
Third, the effects of violence will last a life time. It doesn't matter if you are the victim, the perpetrator or even if you were just defending yourself, exposure to, and participation in violence, will change you. Often, not for the better.
In the long run, these higher levels will give you the coping skills necessary to deal with the changes violence will cause. Your entire life is a long time to justify or self-righteously put the blame on another. It requires more work than many people are capable of doing. In other words, while in the short run self-righteousness and anger can protect you, over time guilt, shame, moral pain and trauma over what you did will eventually creep in.
In the immediate, these levels will help you get through the emotional/adrenaline stressors that come with having to defend yourself. Contrary to popular belief, an overwhelming majority people cannot just "flip an emotional switch" and find *and* apply effective self-defense moves in a crisis. Combat is a traumatic psychic "shift." One, that if you do not have specific training to prepare you for, you might not be able to make in time to defend yourself.
Fourth, they remove doubt. If you have established, external standards by which to judge when you are legally and morally justified to use violence in your defense then you will be able to act with grim, un-conflicted determination towards achieving the goal. This is not an emotional or subjective reaction, it is reacting to a known and identified threat.
The fifth reason relates back to both the second and fourth reasons, but is a distinct enough to be its own reason. The fifth is that by knowing these other issues, you will greatly assist yourself in communicating with the police and defending your actions in a court of law as to "why" you felt it was necessary to use physical force. Violence doesn't happen in a vacuum, legal repercussions are as much of a danger as the physical assault. This is why you need to understand that aspect and how to survive the court battle as well as the violent encounter. If you cannot articulate "why" you felt it necessary to use physical force, the authorities it will turn into a "your word against his". Unfortunately, as he is now "injured" the weight of the argument is on his side. That in the eyes of the law makes you the aggressor (read: the guilty party).
Also never underestimate how an attorney can turn your words against you. You might have been utterly and totally correct in your assessment that physical force was required to protect yourself. However, if you cannot supply "articulatable facts" that list A) his behavior according to established, external standards of "jeopardy" behavior and B) what you did to de-escalate/avoid the altercation, an attorney will twist you around like a pretzel on the stand. He will turn your "self-defense pleas into have you babbling about "well he looked at me mean!" as to why you put his "poor innocent client" in the hospital. After he has ripped your self-defense stance apart, he will make you look like the person who intentionally started the violence.
The sixth reason is that the higher levels instill in you negotiating skills and conflict avoidance. This doesn't mean that you run like a rabbit. It simply means that you have a wider set of tools at your disposal to find ways to resolve potential conflicts and problems without resorting to extreme measures. These are what are known as people skills. The better you become at them, the less likely you are to find yourself in a violent situation. Avoiding violence is the very least these skills can do for you. More realistically they will dramatically improve the quality of your life. At home, work and in your social life, you will achieve more of your goals with less conflict and stress.
Judging a good self-defense program We maintain that the way to judge *effective* self-defense training for the "average person" is that a MAJORITY of the class needs to focus on issues other than the physical. The physical is only one small layer of skill sets.
This is simply not realistic. A point we feel strongly about is that effective self-defense training focuses as much on yourresponsibility for your words/actions and the legal restrictions/repercussions of violence as it does your "right" to hit. A set of standards that you will find missing from much of so-called self-defense training can be found at Brandon Otto's Introduction to Use of Force page.
As stated earlier, apparently most self-defense instruction (at least all the ones we have encountered) assume that these other layers and skill sets are already in place, In doing so, they ignore addressing the issues that lead up to physical violence. Without hesitation or safety warnings, some of these programs teach extreme physical violence and often lethal force. Another common short coming in "self-defense" programs is the assumption that having these skill sets is someone else's responsibility -- and that "somebody" is other than the student. It's up to other people to have all the self-control, empathy and people skills. These classes approach conflict from a very biased, blaming standpoint (i.e. "it is all the other guy's fault and whatever you do is justified"). A very important buzzword to watch for in such programs is "empowerment." A program that is focused on "empowering" someone, many times gives a a "carte blanche" excuse for the behaviors and attitudes that result in conflict and violence.
Simply stated, any program that give you the idea you that you are justified in doing or saying anything you want and that the training will teach you how to fight if someone takes umbrage, isn't teaching self-defense. It is at best encouraging and reinforcing dysfunctional, selfish behavior and at the worst setting you up to get your brains blown into a fine pink mist if you behave that way towards a truly violent and dangerous person..
The issues about behaviors that lead up to violence are of major import and should not be given lip-service or merely a passing nod while rushing off to learn how to hit someone. While it is obvious that you cannot get a full explanation of all the aspects of every level from a two-day seminar, such programs should at least introduce you to the concepts involve. Also they need to be able to give you an indication where to do further research on your own.
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