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#109765 - 02/26/01 01:23 PM Reasonable Amount of Force
Brewer Offline

Registered: 01/15/01
Posts: 468
Loc: Arizona,U.S.
I asked this question of the Head instructor at a police Academy.If an individual was to attack a person and the individual being attacked,did every thing he could to avoid this situation,short of running away. And in the process of having to defend himself,broke his attackers leg.I asked him if this would be considered a resonable amount of force.He said that if the attacker got his leg broken,that it was his problem and that no court of law would see it any other way.I would like to know if anyone out there with knowledge of the law and self defense.Could help me out with any information regarding this type of situation.
Thank You
Your Brother in the Arts

#109766 - 08/06/01 06:56 PM Re: Reasonable Amount of Force
judderman Offline

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 1400
Loc: UK
Unfortunately only the court could decide if the amount of force used was reasonable.
If you can honestly, in the cold light of day, justify your actions beyond "he/she/it shouldn't have messed with me" then you might be ok.
One must also remember that as a martial artist, your skill/ability would also come into question...afterall you are trained to inflict various forms of damage aren't you?
As a proffessional this is the very same problem I face. Not only have I been taught how to defend myself for my work, but I also train in Karate.
Sorry if the answer was so vague..

#109767 - 08/07/01 07:25 PM Re: Reasonable Amount of Force
Bluescaster Offline

Registered: 08/07/01
Posts: 2
Loc: Tallahassee FL USA
As far as use of force in defending one's self, law enforcement personnel are likely going to fall under the standards put forth in the Graham and the Gardner US Supreme Court decisions.

Security personnel and others acting as private citizens are going to be bound by local laws such as 'retreat to the wall', etc.

The bottom line at this time is that no one is legally bound to accept a beating, but what you are allowed to do in order to avoid said beating is restricted.
As far as claiming after the fact that somone else's injuries were the result of self defense, just remember that there will be two sides to the story after the fact, and it would help a lot if your's was the most credible, not just a blanket claim.


"Self defense is Nature's eldest law"

#109768 - 08/28/01 04:44 PM Re: Reasonable Amount of Force
Oldwolf Offline

Registered: 08/27/01
Posts: 71
Loc: Scotland
Police officers are there to enforce the law not interpret it.
the scenario of justifiable force takes no account of the sudden escalation of violence and is an ass. ie the aggresor pushes you so you justifiably push him back, so he pulls a gun and shoots you, so you...bugger it too late.
What about the legitimate preemptive strike, when you felt under threat. Read it and weep I'd rather be judged by twelve than carried by six, on the other hand I'd rather avoid it completely.

[This message has been edited by Oldwolf (edited 08-28-2001).]

#109769 - 07/25/02 02:26 PM Re: Reasonable Amount of Force
NAUMatt Offline

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 68
Loc: Flagstaff, AZ, USA
I have heard quite often that if you are at least 1st dan, you must register yourself with local law enforcement, just as you would any other deadly weapon (i.e., a pistol). That said, I believe your first course of action when it looks as though confrontation is inevitable is to say (hopefully loudly enough for witnesses to hear): "I do not want to fight you." Of course, this also must be displayed in your actions. From there, to retreat would be the best choice. Given no other options, f- him/them up; at least you've covered your bases, and if you have witnesses saying you actively tried to avoid confrontation, that goes a long way in a court of law when trying to assess guilt. Of course, as others said, it is up to the discretion of the courts, and if I know police officers, they may just shoot you on sight or beat you down anyway depending on the damage you did, but that's another story. I have a minor in criminal justice, and that is pretty much what I've learned of the issue.

Hope I helped, Peace and Love

#109770 - 07/25/02 02:30 PM Re: Reasonable Amount of Force
NAUMatt Offline

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 68
Loc: Flagstaff, AZ, USA
In reviewing my post, I hope not to offend any officers on the boards. I know that many law enforcement officials take their job very seriously and are upstanding citizens, it is just unfortunate that none of my friends or I have had the good fortune to run into any of that sort (with one upstanding exception I can personally think of). My education basically reinforced my personal experiences as well, which adds to my bias. Again, though, I know a few do not represent the whole, and no insult was meant.

Peace and Love

#109771 - 08/07/02 01:13 AM Re: Reasonable Amount of Force
Allen_S Offline

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 8
[QUOTE]Originally posted by NAUMatt:
I have heard quite often that if you are at least 1st dan, you must register yourself with local law enforcement, just as you would any other deadly weapon (i.e., a pistol).

This is something that keeps cropping up. Granted, different states have different rules, but I have yet to be shown in writing where a certified martial artist must register themselves. Way too many problems with the whole concept. (e.g., what constitutes a 'certified' black belt?) Does anyone have any first-hand knowledge of such a thing?


#109772 - 08/07/02 02:32 PM Re: Reasonable Amount of Force
NAUMatt Offline

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 68
Loc: Flagstaff, AZ, USA
As with any state law, it will vary from state to state, and I'm sure it does not apply in all states. I'm not even sure if it does in my own. As I said, it's only heresay. As far as being a "certified" blackbelt, in many dojos I have seen one receives a certificate upon completion and passing of a rank-test in front of the masters of one's style. That would be "certified" in my book, but since when have lawmakers ever made sense anyway? [IMG][/IMG]

Peace and Love

(I have some spare time at work, I'll see if I can dig something up on it)

[This message has been edited by NAUMatt (edited 08-07-2002).]

#109773 - 08/08/02 03:29 PM Re: Reasonable Amount of Force
NAUMatt Offline

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 68
Loc: Flagstaff, AZ, USA
Well, I've been digging around, and I didn't find much. I found this link: that in section 7-E states that nunchaku are considered a deadly weapon (this is an AZ site, but I found a few others from other states). However, I also found this one: about a case where a guy said "oh, those are for fighting?" and got off for posession. Gotta love our legal system. No $h|t they're for fighting!

#109774 - 08/08/02 07:54 PM Re: Reasonable Amount of Force
MrVigerous Offline
Former Administrator

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 2498
Loc: UK
I dont know about the US but in the UK you certainly dont have to register yourself with the authorities for attaining a 1st Dan.
The simple reason being i assume that it is
(a)pointless (b)impossible to regulate. This however is not the case in Japan where i believe anyone holding a "legitimate" (so i presume they mean Japanese recognised) 3rd Dan must register by law with the local police.


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