Disarm, Disable, Dominate
In a fight, it's not about who is right, it's about who is left.
The great Los Angeles philosopher Rodney King once stated, "Why can't we all just get along?" Well, one reason is because of thugs such as Rodney King. He was a thug his whole life, even until his death, as evidenced by his criminal activity even after he won his multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the LAPD. Having money does not make a good person go bad, and it does not make a bad person change his behavior and become good. Thugs are thugs; they prey on the innocent so the innocent must defend themaelves.
Sometimes people are just looking for trouble. They do not necessarily want to harm you; they just want to have "fun" at your expense. These people will only stop troubling you when it is no longer fun for them. When bothering you becomes painful to them, then their fun is certainly gone. The Germans have a term of a person who needs their attitude corrected. The term is “backpfeifengesight,” which means "face that cries out for a fist in it."
Webster's Dictionary defines self-defense as "The act of defending oneself or something that belongs or relates to oneself." The most important feature of self-defense is defense. As long as no one can hurt you, then you are okay; hurting them is secondary. However, one cannot defend forever, at some point, you must attack.
Some say there are no rules when it comes to self-defense. Like other simplistic statements, this sounds true at first, but is it true. When we fight in organized tournaments, there are rules. Disobey the rules and you lose. When gang members fight on the street, there are rules. Disobey the rules and the other gang members will "discuss" the problem with you. When you are accosted in a parking lot by a mugger, there are also rules.
Street fighting is illegal and street fighters are criminals. So-called street fighters claim their techniques are "real" and "deadly." They claim traditional martial arts techniques are useless on the street because they are ineffective and that there are no rules on the street. However, organized street fights have rules, and breaking them may result in more punishment to a violator than could ever be imposed by a sanctioning martial art organization.
There are criminal and civil laws and personal and societal moral and religious consequences you must face and deal with after the confrontation. If these rules are not on your mind while you are in a self-defense situation, then the aftereffects of your winning the confrontation may be worse than the consequences of your losing the confrontation, even to the point of your being killed.
For a deeply religious, moral person there are fates worse than death. Dishonor and disgrace have driven many warriors to suicide. Is winning a fight at any consequence worth spending the rest of your life in disgrace or prison or being sued for everything you have? These are questions you must ask yourself before a self-defense situation occurs and things you must evaluate during a self-defense situation. You are responsible for your actions, even while being attacked.
Street fighting is not self-defense. Street fighting is when one or more persons agree to fight, either on the street or in some other unauthorized venue. Self-defense is when a person has not agreed to a fight and is merely defending himself or herself from an attack.
Several legitimate organizations conduct full-contact matches. Each has its own rules that help prevent serious injury. All fighters like to fight, and an incurring an injury will interfere with their being able to fight; so, they do not want to be so injured in a fight that they cannot fight again later. Therefore, full-contact matches have rules.
Legitimate fighters have official records of their wins and losses, so any claims they make can be verified. Streetfighter records are kept at the courthouse. Streetfighter claims of prowess are greatly exaggerated so their claims of being a great street fighter are usually a figment of their limited imagination. If they ever had any street fights, they were probably when they beat up drunks or some other practically defenseless person.
Streetfighters claim that ring fighters would never win in a street fight. That may be true if they were to fight by ring rules. If they fight by street fight rules, ring fighters would be tough opponents since they are usually more disciplined and better conditioned than street fighters. Ring fighters would only have to fight in the same manner as they do in the ring, except without their normal restraints. Whereas, if street fighters fighting had to fight under ring rules, would probably lose since they would have to restrain themselves.
Streetfighters like to question ring fighters with "what if" questions, such as "What if I pulled a knife?" My answer would be an "if then" statement, such as "If you pulled a knife, then I would pull my gun." I live in a concealed-carry state so I can and do legally carry a concealed firearm.
Defense, defense, defense
Just as the value of real estate is all about its location, location, location, self-defense is all about defense, defense, defense. You are defending against an attack. You are not fighting to punish the attacker for his or her crimes. You are not taking your frustrations out on the attacker by senselessly beating him or her to a pulp. You are defending yourself against an unprovoked attack by protecting yourself from injury and ensuring that the attacker either stops the attack or is rendered unable to continue the attack. Once that occurs, self-defense ends.
- Jee, J. M. Introduction to Hapkido. Pasadena, California: International Hapkido Association.
- Koga, R. K. and Nelson, J. G. (1971). Police Weaponless Control. Beverly Hills, California: Glenco Press.
- Smith, J. I. (1996). The Way of the Dragon, A Master’s Text.
- Steele, D.E. (1975). Secrets of Modern Knife Fighting. Arvada, Colorado: Phoenix Press.
- Healy Law Offices. [Online]. Available: http://www.healylaw.com/armquote.htm