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#185019 - 09/10/05 12:44 PM I think I lost my temper......
Eric4444 Offline

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 430
.....and made a very bad decision. As a martial artist, I've always felt that if you get into a physical fight, no matter the outcome you yourself has lost, you've failed. I think that it is your duty to not upset someone enough they wish to fight you, or if you do, to be able to talk them down. Martial arts should only be used in situations you can't talk. Such as being jumped on a street, mugged, or any attack in that matter. However I went against all my beliefs last night.
I left the movies with my fiance around 9p.m. I told her to wait infront of theatre and I will drive the car up, since it was raining. When I drove up I saw a group of 3 males around her, about the same age we are. I immediatley got out of my car and started walking over. I new I would have to be careful because these didn't look like the kind of people you want to upset. As I got closer I could hear my fiance telling them to leave her alone, she tried to walk off and one slammed her against the building and said "Want to feel what it's like to get *censored* by a real man." He then shoved one of his hands underneath her skirt. Well at that I lost all senses and ran at them in full speed. They realized I was there when the guy who grapped her fell on his back with blood pouring from his nose.
I started shouting very loudly at the other two telling them to get out of here, one of them tried advancing and I swept his leg, he got up and bolted with the other one. The first guy was just getting up now with a broken nose and kicked him in the stomach and told him that I better never see him again.
That felt extremely good at the time. However now, I feel that it was the wrong thing to do. Was it? Should I have asked them to leave us alone, and walked back into the theatre where there were other people and called the police. I feel as if I failed as martial artist.
To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill." ~ Sun Tzu ~

#185020 - 09/10/05 01:04 PM Re: I think I lost my temper...... [Re: Eric4444]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6666
Loc: Amherst, MA
I can only speak as a female that has been in bad spots before: ask your girlfriend if she thought the behaviour was appropriate. I am sure she won't fault you. You both got home, and had the luxury to wonder whether or not you used excessive force. Consider yourself lucky that you have the opportunity to consider your loss of control.

Honestly though, that is the kind of response I would want from someone with me. Heck, it was one of the major reasons I said 'yes' to a Ranger trained Army officer!

Edited by harlan (09/10/05 01:15 PM)

#185021 - 09/10/05 03:06 PM Re: I think I lost my temper...... [Re: Eric4444]
McSensei Offline

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 1069
Loc: Kent, England
We could all very easily take the moral high ground and say you should have escorted your fiance into the theatre and called the police.
What would that actually achieve.
Short answer, nothing.
What is more, is that you would have then spent an age questioning your actions and asking yourself if you acted like a coward. This is sometimes referred to as the black dog. The feeling that you should have acted physically, there and then and protected your loved one, but did not.
This feeling is a millstone to carry around your neck and is not easy to get over. It can also lead to you doubting yourself and from there an easy journey into depression.
Take it from someone who knows. You did the right thing both morally and legally. (you were preventing a sexual assault)
The only thing I would have done different is that I would not have let his accomplices off so lightly.

#185022 - 09/10/05 03:09 PM Re: I think I lost my temper...... [Re: Eric4444]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
The moment he touched your fiance, it was aggravated assault and it is your right (and possibly responsibility) to defend her.

Unusual as this response may seem, coming from me, I don't think you were out of line at all. In the UK you'd have been well within your legal rights doing what you did, as long as you thought you were using reasonable force at the time. Things are always clearer in hindsight but in times of danger we don't have the luxury of contemplation.

The fact is that you and your fiancee were attacked first. You are well within your rights to defend yourself and your fiance if an attack has already begun (and usually before it has happened if you are certain it is going to happen based on criteria which would hold up in court).

If you'd kept on beating them after they stopped fighting back or advancing and didn't leave the scene as soon as possible, that would have been assault or disturbing the peace. Because you did leave and didn't get into a "fight" you are on solid ground legally for self defense.

Only thing you did wrong is you didn't call the police afterwards. You should have called the police, it saves them the hassle of finding you and it might keep some rapists off the street.

Believe me, you're the first person I've ever said "you did the right thing" to on this forum. (There you go, I'm not a sappy pacifist. Within the correct legal framework (following avoidance, VSD, nonviolent measures, etc), physical self defense is a viable final option.) This is a situation where you and your fiance were in genuine danger and you managed to stay focused on protecting yourself and her without getting into a "fight". This is both smart and courageous and shows a great deal of wisdom and self control. I'm sure your instructors would be proud of the way you reacted.

This could be a case study of how to correctly respond to a self defense situation and I would not mind retelling it anecdotally if I ever end up teaching self defense classes. This is almost a text-book description of proper self defense.
Self Defense
(Website by Marc MacYoung, not me)

#185023 - 09/10/05 03:25 PM Re: I think I lost my temper...... [Re: Leo_E_49]
funstick5000 Offline

Registered: 07/16/05
Posts: 759
Loc: West Yorkshire, England
to me you did the right thing. no doubt about it.
Go seek the advise of a qualified instructor.

#185024 - 09/10/05 03:40 PM Re: I think I lost my temper...... [Re: Leo_E_49]
kenposan Offline

Registered: 08/23/01
Posts: 633
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
This is the second time in as many days that I have agreed with LEO (he just beats me to the response!). It sounds like you did the right thing to me; your gf was for all intents and purposes attacked. You had a right to respond to protect her. It's not like the three guys were just being verbal and you "went off". One guy had his hands on her.
The angry man will defeat himself in battle, as well as in life. -Samurai maxim

#185025 - 09/10/05 03:45 PM Re: I think I lost my temper...... [Re: kenposan]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California

he just beats me to the response

Yet another sign that I spend too much time on these forums.
Self Defense
(Website by Marc MacYoung, not me)

#185026 - 09/10/05 03:47 PM Re: I think I lost my temper...... [Re: funstick5000]
PierrePressure Offline

Registered: 07/02/05
Posts: 173
Dude, you did the right thing. If I was your fiance, and you hadn't done that for me, I don't think I would marry you . But aside from personal feelings, really, you DID do the right thing. Like someone else said, had you kept going purely out of rage even after they had surrendered/run away, then I would tell you you went too far, and you should have let the police handle it after you had taught them a lesson. But no, this was self-defense. Don't waste another moment of thought on it.
"If life gives you lemons, you blow those lemons to bits with your laser cannon!" - Brak

#185027 - 09/10/05 03:47 PM Re: I think I lost my temper...... [Re: Eric4444]
Prometej Offline

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 255
Loc: Croatia
Right thing. You haven`t failed your MA. You would make any normal sensei proud for not doing too much or too less.
Staying silent is the smartest thing to say

#185028 - 09/10/05 04:20 PM Re: I think I lost my temper...... [Re: Eric4444]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
This is why we train.

Keep this in mind:
You have the right to defend yourself & others so long as your response is REASONABLE & uses only that force which is NECESSARY to eliminate the immediate threat. Any use of force beyond that which is REASONABLE & NECESSARY is, by definition, an assault/battery.

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