It really shows the theorists from the realists.

English Law:-
• Common Assault, contrary to section 39 Criminal Justice Act
i. An offence of common assault is committed when a person either assaults another person or commits a battery.
ii. An assault is committed when a person intentionally or recklessly causes another to apprehend the immediate infliction of unlawful force
iii. A battery is committed when a person intentionally and recklessly applies unlawful force to another

'Reasonable Force'
A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances for the purposes of:
• self-defence; or
• defence of another; or
• defence of property; or
• prevention of crime; or
• lawful arrest.

“ I felt in fear of my safety, and had to strike my aggressor 1st as I believed I was about to be attacked”



All of your quote is perfectly correct but, unfortunately for those of the forgoing pre-emptive striking persuasion there is the small matter of witnesses, CCTV recordings, cameras in mobile phones, micro digital cameras etc, etc.

Its all very well and good saying "I felt in fear of my safety, and had to strike my aggressor 1st as I believed I was about to be attacked", video recordings from CCTV are silent, mobile phones are notorious for not picking up dialogue when in video mode and witnesses are not predisposed to support the person who struck first. Your assertion might have had some credence in times gone by, but the weight of evidence in this day and age is somewhat more than ever going to be stacked against you.

I personally would ALWAYS be (and have been successful being) a witness for the prosecution when this type of altercation has ensued. It tends to lend extra credence to my testimony when I am asked if I know anything about MA, and I can reply "Yes I have over 30 years experience". I couldn't care less if one of the protagonists is a martial artist or not, or even if they both are. The person who strikes the first blow is in my opinion beneath contempt, yes I know you are accurate in your quote of UK law, but it makes no difference to my view of the matter.

Also someone mentioned the subject of "personal space". No such thing exists, it is an abstract concept, nobody owns the space surrounding them. The Brits are notorious at being standoffish whilst the Latin cultures are known to accept and even encourage a greater closeness in communications between individuals. So what are you intending to do, whack an Italian or Spaniard just because they get too close in your comfort zone? How do you feel about a Portuguese? The reason I ask is that I have some friends from those countries and in the normal course of conversation they tend to get very close and animated, which could easily lead to mistakes being made. If someone is unknowing about these facts costly mistakes can be made, particularly if you do not speak their language or understand the accent.

Please don't quote the old "I'd rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6" routine. Its so old its got whiskers on. Oh, I just might be one of the 12!!!

edited to fix quote

Edited by MattJ (01/12/07 09:52 PM)