Say the words self defense and many persons think of a strong muscled man taking on a group of mean looking guys intent on physically destroying him. This is a very good scene for a movie but self defense is far more than the drama we see on television or at the movies. Self defense is the use of force to protect one’s person and property from injury. On the face of it, this is a very reasonable position to adopt, but the law will take issue with anyone who applies more than reasonable force.
Let’s look at this scenario. A thief is trying to enter a home whilst the occupant is inside. He gains entry and begins to collect items putting them into a large bag he has brought with him. Both hands are occupied. He doesn’t know that the homeowner is present and watching him from a hidden location with a loaded gun in his hands. The homeowner cocks his gun and shouts to the thief to put his hands in the air because he has a loaded gun which he will use as he is a trained marksman. The thief complies and puts his hands in the air. The homeowner’s wife has already dialed the police who quickly arrives on the scene and arrests the thief. Now this is considered reasonable force.
Picture the same scene with a different ending. The homeowner instead of shouting at the thief and telling him to put his hands in the air, shoots him. This homeowner may find himself in trouble with the law. No doubt he was defending his property and possibly his own life, but there are questions as to whether the force he used to restrain the thief was reasonable or unreasonable.
Self defense should take you out of trouble rather than put you in it. Therefore as you apply self defense do it wisely. A good self defense class can teach you not only self defense techniques and tactics but also the required mindset for effective use and the legal implications of improper use. When you select a self defense class, select one in which the instructors will provide a complete approach to self defense rather than a piecemeal approach which just focuses on showy techniques and improper applications.
Self defense is not just about countering an attack. It’s also about avoiding attacks. Self defense transforms potential victims from soft and easy targets to difficult and hard targets. Simple techniques such as avoiding dark and lonely places, walking assertively and using your voice to prevent an attack are important strategies for frustrating would-be attackers and prevent an attack.
In a violent world there are many advantages to learning self defense. Protecting life and property is undoubtedly the primary reason for learning and practicing self defense. There are other benefits however such as gaining physical fitness, developing a tougher mental attitude and a positive forward looking attitude. Self defense is more than just applying a system of martial arts moves and showy techniques. It is a serious, no nonsense approach to living which seeks to eliminate or reduce the effect of violent attacks on persons who would otherwise have become victims. Properly assessing the threat and applying the appropriate level of resistance is very important to effective self defense.
The odds of you being a victim of a violent crime this year is 1 in 48. Learn how to protect and defense yourself and loved ones so you don’t become a statistic. For more information on Self Defense visit www.protectionandselfdefense.com/sdfree.html.
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