Martial Arts the Law and You #3

Posted: August 24, 2016 by kentcma in Uncategorized

So a quick recap, first off we posed some questions to see what you know and how you think about the law on violence, we covered initial methods to help stop you getting arrested and about how the ‘scene’ is assessed by Police so you can be aware of useful evidence. We looked at the ‘Essential 10’ in respect of your Perceived threat level and a bit on responses to them ‘after the fact’. We then looked at a few ideas of how to help put your point across, firstly in a way to help the cause and secondly a few ways that won’t.

So to finish these 3 articles off I want to think about how to apply the information, and how you could possibly change actions or outcomes. Is it you that’s starting the fight? Can it be diffused? Do I need to act first as I am in fear? Don’t ponder it too much unless you think it’s useful, discard it if it’s not BUT one day if the worst happens it may just help…

Bringing order to chaos: a couple of strategies that could help and were actually part of the Police training program back in the  day, firstly a teaching model based on ‘reflection’;

What? … actions did I take? … was the response of others? … were the consequences?

So what? … was going through my mind as I acted? … did I base my actions on? … other knowledge can I bring to the situation?

Now what? … do I need to do in order to get this resolved?

Rolfe et al.’s (2001) reflective model

This is a simple way to sort out what happened and to reason it through, witnesses, essential 10 points, actions and reactions, reasons, possible defences even admitting you are at fault! If you get arrested a solicitor should ALWAYS be sought prior to saying anything that could incriminate you!!

Remember You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something you later rely on in court. Anything you say may be given in evidence’. So think carefully about spouting off a load of rubbish as they will write it down, later on if you change your story in interview it’s going to look a little bit like you made it all up… just be advised by the solicitor or police station rep.

The next is something called Bataris box. Think this over as it may help you in several ways, one stop you getting in the shit to start with by stopping situational escalation, then how to deal with the people around you after the Police arrive, it will help in interview and in court. Once when I was 12years old I rode a motor bike on some scrub land with a mate on the back. It was messing about and the mate pushed me to bump start it, unfortunately we went off the land onto a rough bit of road (still part of the highway under road traffic law…) it started and he jumped on just as a Police car cut across and took us to the Police station (it was in 1978 so not formally arrested) parents were called as they were more friendly then. My parents and I were apologetic and just got told off, his were irate and verbal, he got done for something or a fine I forget what. They failed the ‘attitude test’ where as we passed it! Again this is useful in all sorts of ways not just this example.


Ok so remember this is not about seeing a group of guys in front of you and getting out a note pad to list attributes then work out what to do! We started retrospectively; it’s gone wrong how do I correctly justify my actions in the eyes of the law? It was a method to help you get away from that need and to be able to think in advance, at home on the sofa or at training. It was to show just how grey the situation may look at the time and then how black and white you will be judged later, to give you the mind-set to be able to do what was needed WITHOUT dropping you deep in it with a Judge. Remember as I said before Cops these days vary, some are jumped up arrogant vindictive twats, others are worse, some however are actually decent human beings there to help the general public and uphold the law in the ‘without fear or favour’ in the way we agreed to when joining up. I have seen/heard officers that would deliberately wind people up outside a pub or club near to the end of a shift just for the overtime and to make their arrest stats look good! I won’t get into what’s in the public interest or waste of time, money and resources…

So if you have been interested in these articles at all you may have some little scenarios in your mind. No one can tell you what you should do when it comes to a violent confrontation, there have been times way before the Police where I have stood up to 5 plus guys in the street when there was no fucking way I would back down regardless of if I won lost or even died in the process. Times I defused something and shook someone’s hand, even bought them a drink that I had wanted to kick the crap out of 5 minutes before. There is a very fine line between starting it and pre-empting it! Most people that have trained in a reality based system have had proper conflict, I would say in the past I started many a fight, some I successfully pre-empted and some I just reacted when someone else started. When I say I started it I mean they were seriously out of order and it may or may not have gone further, however back then it must have hurt my ego so I went first! Several times it was to protect a friend or even someone I didn’t know from a big bad bully that didn’t get the right lesson at school. A lot of these times I was lucky and ‘got away with it’ rightly or wrongly.

So now we have an idea about conflict resolution, possible factors that you can use that show you reasoned out your choice to use violence or how you tried to avoid it. We covered a couple of strategies that can help bring order to chaos so to end I wanted to touch on why I mentioned thinking it through on the sofa then discarding it. For years I was taught hundreds of techniques to grade and to be able to be ‘worthy to teach’, this included Judo, Karate Kyokushin and Shotokan, Jujitsu and several others to a lesser level, more recently some Muay Thai and BJJ. If I look back 90% of the techniques were of no use to me, do I need 10 different ways to throw someone over my hip, do I need Yoko Geri Kekomi and Keage, do I need a thousand ways to submit someone on the ground transitioning through them like a whirlwind? Yes to grade and get ‘recognition’ and make money for some, not for self-protection though. Yes all martial arts are horses for courses, all that stuff develops stances, movement, posture etc… but it is overfilling your tool box to the point where you need a Snap On roll cab as big as a house. Someone says can I borrow a 10mm spanner and youre like ‘…shit where was that again…?’ I could have learnt one ‘stance’ a handful of strikes and defences, pressure tested and repeated and been far better at reality stuff! I still sometimes automatically flinch response a Gedan Barai to a low round kick FFS…

Mushin in Japanese martial arts has two characters or Kanji, Mu meaning negation and Shin meaning heart, mind, spirit or feeling. (Shortened from Zen Mushin No Shin ‘the mind without mind’) Generally meaning for us in this article the mind is clear, aware, not fixed or occupied on anything specific, has no fear or emotion derived from events, not inhibited in any way and therefore able to react more quickly and more efficiently.

I am in no way any sort of expert on Zen but I would liken this to when I was a serving officer; you could get a call at any time to deal with situations that were a fine hinge from life or death. To deal with scary people, killers (only once in my service) knife wielding maniacs (twice from memory) massive fights of 100 travellers at a hotel where you are first through the door (again that’s was just once) and others too many to list. By dealing with that level of conflict, violence and the sort of people that are involved in it you gain experience, you learn to control fear, think more clearly about a set of rules or laws, about the options you have which range from just being there to make them think oh shit I gotta stop all the way to calling in firearms as its too dangerous. How can martial artists or people wanting self-protection gain this clarity of mind or disposition to weight up the facts in an instant, unfettered by fear or adrenal dump? Pressure training; lots of it, varied and progressive. If it’s all the same each time you will just get used to it and it’s a new comfort zone. If you don’t feel some adrenaline beforehand in anticipation or during it as it’s a bit out of control its not going to be much better than a bit of sparring.



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