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So your hands and feet are weapons?

If your skill level is such that you can: knock people out, break bones, cripple, choke out, dislocate, rupture,or otherwise inflict harm to another person, the law has a few things to say to you. It had better be in defense of you, your property, another person and it should only be that amount of force necessary to stop the threat. Some examples: a clearly intoxicated person your size grabs your shirt aggressively at a bar and you apply some pressure point technique, joint manipulation or low impact take down. You done good. On the other hand, if you crush his pelvis with a knee strike and then shatter his face with an elbow, you just became the criminal and have also opened yourself up to a civil lawsuit for cash!
Now let's make the guy a "road rage" driver who is sober and a former Cornhusker lineman. Can you beat the...NO, no you can't. You may have to use more force than you did with the drunk, but if you take it past a point necessary to stop the guy's aggression, you have again crossed the line. Which brings up another timely subject---amatuer fight clubs.
If two people have a level skill that makes them more capable than the average guy of injuring someone (high school wrestlers, for instance) and you two agree to fight to see who wins, that may be viewed by the local sheriff as dueling and that can get you arrested too. Best bet, put your ego in your pocket and take it to the training hall.
So, is there some easy way to look at this issue? I think there is. If you are clearly in a defensive situation, do the least damaging thing necessary to both protect yourself and discourage the attacker. And, dont announce that "I'm a black belt, or I know judo", that just gives the other person an excuse to use a weapon.

Richard Warzynski

Black Judo Uniform

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Revised Last 1/09/08