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Options to defend yourself

Discussion in 'Education & Training' started by gallogiro, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. gallogiro

    gallogiro Willamette Valley Active Member

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    So, a couple days ago I started a thread about Martial Arts and I thought I'd share why I was looking into it and what are my other options.

    This weekend I attended a rather large family party and a guy there decided to pick a fight. Some words were exchanged and he shoved me, I quartered and got ready and the guy said "let's go outside" and he stormed out. I wasn't about to back down, but when he left I wasn't going to chase him either. I figured if he really wanted to get physical he would of just done it. Plus, I didn't want to look like a jerk at the party so I got my wife and kids and left. Nobody likes the guy, he was not personally invited but was there because he is dating one of the girls and he got booted from the party for starting trouble.

    This got me thinking about getting some training, hence my question regarding Martial Arts. I still want to sign up for training but what about other forms of defending myself (aside from handgun) and how legal or illegal is it? For example, knives, collapsible batons, tasers, etc?

    This guy has a significant physical advantage over me. I am 5'7" 195lbs and he's probably 6'2" and easily 250lbs (he's a big dude). He lives in town so I'll see him again eventually. I highly doubt I will get in a fist fight with the guy, my wife has known him since high school and has used his size to push people around but backs down when fought back. All bark, no bite!

    So, what if I have another encounter with someone much lager than I, could I legally draw a knife, a baton, or taser? Or do I have to wait till my face is beaten half way to a pulp to say It was self defense?
     
  2. MarkSBG

    MarkSBG Beaverton Oregon Well-Known Member

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    If you draw a knife during or before a fist fight, you will likely go to jail unless you can convince a jury that you feared for your life. Simliar conditions exist with a baton or any type of club.

    My understanding is that you can use an equal level of force to defend yourself. That doesn't mean fists can only be defended with fists, but judgment is required for each situation. For example, if I am confronted by one guy (without visible weapons) who says he is going to kick my rear, there isn't a whole lot I can do other than try to escape or defend myself with my hands. Now if there were 8 of them (without visible weapons) that said the same thing and I was with my wife and young kids, I would feel justified in drawing my pistol. The difference is that the first situation sounds and feels like a fist fight, while the second could easily turn into getting beat to death.

    If you would have followed that guy outside, gotten yourself on the losing side of a fist fight, pulled a knife, and stabbed the guy, I would have no problem convicting you if placed on a jury...
     
  3. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

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    Kick him in the nuts

    but seriously
    I think oregon has a law now where if someone beats up on someone they will serve serious jail time not sure though look up measure 11

    had he had beat you up he would be looking at 7 years in prison my cousin's son is spending time in prison for beating up someone.

    had you followed him out and beat him up its possible you could be facing a prison sentence a friend of mine got into a fight at a Gym the other guy started it and shoved my friend who then sent the guy to the hospital later the cops show up at his house and arrest him. since there were plenty of witnesses noting the other guy did start the fight, he did not serve any jail time and charges were dropped
     
  4. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    Greetings! First I applaud you for taking the high road and leaving the fight behind. This is not Hollywood, and there is no shame in avoiding a fight in the real world. The bully gained nothing, and you LOST nothing.

    Second, getting personal defense training of all kinds is invaluable, both in dealing with defending yourself, AND in avoiding fights. The confidence that good training gives you IS SEEN by an opponent whether they realize it or not. Standing your ground with inner strength and confidence in your training can make even a stupid opponent back down---they know in their bones if not in their intellect that this snake should not be stepped on!

    IMHO old-fashioned Judo (Ju-Jitsu) is the most useful of all self-defense trainings. If you later have the time add a pursuitof Aikido to add physical poetry to those skills. Western Boxing is tempting but in a real street fight there is no referee to keep it off of the floor! Bare knuckle boxing usually means broken knuckles to disable you in the middle of a fight, and even worse, getting cut on an opponents tooth gives horrible bacterial infections that can lose you the whole hand.

    Use of knives is very dangerous physically and legally. Unless you have training a knife can easily be used against you. Brandishing a knife will NOT necessarily make an opponent back off---plenty of people out there are just too crazy or drunk or drugged-up to know reason or fear.

    Consider that any implement you employ will need to be powerful enough to stop or evade a fight. Also, anything that you use will need to be defended in court, or at least explained to the first officer on the scene. You certainly SHOULD NOT let anybody hit you, ever, for that will likely put you on the ground where they are quite likely to kick you into paralysis or death.

    I recommend a good spray device to keep distance between yourself and an adversary. These WILL shut them down if they are deluded enough to advance upon you. Pepper spray works great if you get a good quality distance delivery device. TWO percent solutions are perfectly adequate and can be fired farther. Ten percent is useless overkill but has become the rage as each brand competes against the other. There are many brands but the hightest price ones really are better than the flood of cheapies on the market. Mace and Sabre Red are most often carried by law enforcement, I think. I carry the Mace Pepper Gun daily---read my review in the "non-firearm weapons" thread of this messageboard.

    Confidence in one's training and tools create a curious sense of calm in a dangerous situation....................elsullo
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
  5. MarkSBG

    MarkSBG Beaverton Oregon Well-Known Member

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    +1!
     
  6. gallogiro

    gallogiro Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Thanks guys, great advice! Elsullo, thank you, I felt like I did the right thing. Like I said, not many people there like the guy, so when this happened about 5 of my wifes cousins stood up behind me. I just thought this could get ugly, it's best if I just leave. At first I thought it was a sissy move to leave and I didn't want to, but I had to listen that voice in my head (and the one outside, aka wife). However, the more I think about it the better I feel about difusing the situation.

    So to recap, pulling out a knife or a baton is probably not the best idea unless it's life threatening. Pepper spray could be justifiable. What about using a taser? Is that borderline?
     
  7. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    Tazers ARE legal for civilian use and carry without any permit. Most of the time they work well and nobody has a heart failure. Thick or leather jackets are a barrier. But if you use it without being in serious fear for your health, and without sympathetic witnesses to testify to that fact, you risk arrest and lawsuit for aggravated assault!

    On the other hand, there's the old saying, "Better to be tried by twelve, than carried by six!".....................elsullo
     
  8. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

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    flamethrowers have gotten bad press in the past, but once you hose just one single person down in a high pressure cloud of flame, the word gets out.
     
  9. Muddman

    Muddman Aloha Member

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    Kimber imports these pepper spray units, got the smaller one for my Sister didn't see the larger unit at that time. Kind of unique and gives you some range.

    http://www.pepperblaster.com/
     
  10. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I also would like to applaud you for being a bigger man. Being a man is doing what's right, not what you want to do. AND!!! Especially in front of your kids. What would that teach them?

    Most weapons will only get you in trouble, and most likely sent to jail...Fast.
    Unless that person has a sizable advantage, which he did. I would still not do it.
    If it comes down to it pepper spray works great, but makes sure the guy is definelty being overly aggressive, or you get charged with assault.
    Also a good hard kick to the nuts will drop pretty much anyone no matter how big they are. I would go with both. Spray then when he can't see try to kick a nut through his throat.

    2nd martial arts is one of the best decisions someone can take, give you confidence, different but effective options, great exercise, and great for the family too.
    One of the best I've heard of is Krav Maga. It's a no frills kick your butt training. And most important teaches you weapons defense, knives, guns, whatever.
    I've been wanting to do it for a while, but I have no funds.

    Good luck. And thanks for being another responsible gun owner.
     
  11. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Gladstone, OR Member

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    I could not aggree more with these statements. As an individual who is always overmatched agility wise due to an obvious disability, I always stand my ground with confidence if there is no easy escape (wich can be difficult with my disability). The looks in the bullies eyes when I don't back down is usually one of fear of the unknown. They think I should be shaking in my boots, but see me calmly standing my ground and talking reasonably and lawfully and have usually always backed down. I don't use my obvious disability as a reason/excuse to escalate situations, but neither do I allow myself to be taken advantage of because of it. I will always flee if possible (but my wheelchair has proven itself to not be faster than an enraged bad guy who is not thinking straight), or if that option is not available, the lack of fear in a well trained individuals eyes, tells others they might not come out of this encounter the way they first imagined when instigating it. And, they don't.

    I also commend you for avoiding the fight.

    Many times, by remaining in, or seeking a public place with lots of witnesses, one can avoid what might happen otherwise.
     
  12. Bend

    Bend Central OR Member

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  13. BlvdKing

    BlvdKing Almost Boring Member

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    Go with self defense or any martial arts training. If you level up on an unarmed person you are then considered the threat and they have justification to use lethal force when you may not be prepared to. Plus if you have pockets full of "weapons" you could be considered looking for a fight. Just use good common sense and put yourself in a jurors shoes with a defense attorney tearing you apart before doing something that you will regret.
     
  14. Karma

    Karma the woods in Oregon Active Member

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    You made the right decision. You have the right to defend yourself when confronted with force, however, if you would have followed him outside you would be a willful participant and it is no longer self defense. Generally, I believe you are able to use equal force as has been mentioned. You can't escalate a fist fight by bringing out a knife or club. You can also find yourself charged with assault with a deadly weapon or even worse charges. Also remember that ANYTIME you engage another person you could face criminal and/or civil issues.

    Training to be able to handle and avoid these situations is a great idea. It is always good to be able to defend yourself and your family if needed. I believe that the confidence gained from knowing you can handle any situation is a huge benefit as was mentioned. Many times, that confidence will keep you from being a target to begin with. It also makes it easier to walk away from a fight knowing deep down that you have nothing to prove and could have easily handled the situation.

    There are many different ways to go depending on what you are looking for. Traditional martial arts can be great, but you have to watch out that you don't pick one that is predominantly a sport. It is also very important in my humble opinion to pick one that deals with all ranges of fighting. My advice is to be as well rounded as possible.

    Krav Maga was mentioned by someone else and it is a great self defense system to know. It is a Israeli fighting system. It is down and dirty and relates very well to anything you would find on the street. It is a well proven system. The only downside is that depending on where you live, it may be hard to find someone to teach you. It isn't on every street corner like Karate schools, although it is starting to pop up in more places as people learn about it.

    It is very important to learn all ranges of fighting. Remember first off that most fights end up on the ground, so it is very important to know some form of ground fighting system. Brazilian Jujitsu isn't a bad way to go. You learn how to control people on the ground and it uses leverage instead of strength. You can choke out or leverage a much bigger attacker into a nasty joint lock.

    The second point is that it is important to learn how to wrestle or perhaps judo so you can control where the fight takes place. For example there is a time and place to use everything. In some fights, the ground may be the last place you want to be. For a example you may have multiple attackers. In such a situation you want to be able to defend being take down to the ground. In other situations you may want to be able to take an opponent down and wrestling and judo both are great examples of what would work well there.

    It is very important to know good stand up techniques. Boxing is actually good in my opinion, but knowing how to use your feet is a definite plus. Muay Thai is not a bad way to go. It deals with long range and close distance strikes. It can be very devastating and is not extremely difficult to become proficient at. It makes good use of knees and elbows.

    I hope this helps. Anytime you can walk away, you are far ahead. Whenever you are in a fight, you are in danger of facing criminal and civil issues. Sometimes it isn't possible to just walk away.
     
  15. TonsOfOregonBrass

    TonsOfOregonBrass Sandy, OR Active Member

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    This is a tough one, and one i have thought about a lot. I carry a pistol 24/7. if someone is unarmed but intent on causing me harm, even if there is not a disparity of force. the fact that i have a weapon means i cannot get into a fist fight or physical altercation with them. all i can do is apologize profusely and hope that the situation deescalates. However if the attacker persists, i don't see another option besides trying to retreat. But if retreating isn't an option or isn't safe, i would draw my weapon. And command them to the ground while i contact the police. (establish yourself as the victim) and if the attacker continues i would be forced to fire to stop the threat. you will most likely be arrested and tried, but if the attacker gets a hold of you and you have a weapon it will be used against you. and if they do not stop when you have pulled a weapon there is intent to cause harm no matter the situation.

    It is a tough situation and i don't think there is a right answer. you may go to jail for a long time, you might be let go with out grand jury indictment. All i know is if that happens i will be following these rules of self defense shootings.

    1. Call 9-1-1. Ask for an ambulance and police. Asking for an ambulance first then police shows the human side of you.

    2. Tell the operator "I shot a man that was trying to hurt me". The key words are shot (not killed, off'ed, smoked, etc), man (not a teenager, child, mo-fo, etc).

    3. Give your location and describe yourself. Most likely your description will be relayed to the first responding police officer. It would be to your advantage if the officer has an idea of who is the "good guy".

    4. Do not answer the operator's questions for details. You are being recorded so you have to be brief. Say that you are really busy right now but you are willing to stay on the line until police arrive.

    5. Speak clearly. This projects the image of being in control and not panic.

    6. Do not have your pistol in your hand when the officer arrives. Holster it when you see the car approach. Keep your hands visible from this point forward.

    7. Give the officer a brief non-emotional description of the events. Give enough to make the initial police report. He/she needs basic information to decide if you are free to leave, getting a free ride to the police station for more questions, or getting the handcuffs.

    8. Avoid giving out too much information. Your emotions will come out and may work against you. Say that you are trying your hardest not to throw up right now and would rather answer questions later. Police officers who have been involved in a shooting will sympathize with this. If you did #7 well, this should not be a problem.

    9. Others. Don't argue with witnesses. Don't act aggressively even if you're angry. Move slowly.
     
  16. gallogiro

    gallogiro Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Thanks Karma, I think Krav Maga or Kajukenbo sound like good self defense training.

    Tons of Oregon Brass, that is a great list. Number 2 made laugh, (I smoked a mo-fo).
     
  17. stompah

    stompah Renton, WA New Member

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    I am 6'2" 300lbs. I would have chased after him, slammed and locked the door.

    You did the right thing 100%. Could have gone as far as calling police to report that he challenged you to a fight and has done so before to other people. This way he couldn't wait for you outside then jump you.


    As for the person who brings this guy around they need to be avoided. I have no problem asking friends or family if a certain person will be there if they are a trouble maker. I have no intentions for going to jail because I won a fight with a guy who picked it.

    Oh don't kick for the nuts. Its a small target that you may miss or be blocked. Then you struck first. Better to back up slowly. Or have a bigger guy like me around to pick him up and show him the door.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2009
  18. Karma

    Karma the woods in Oregon Active Member

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    I have been involved with a good few martial arts, as well as other fighting styles over the last 15 years or so. One of them was Kenpo. One of the things that I liked from Kenpo, is the positions they taught to take when confronted. One of the positions I was taught was to stand with your legs a little less than shoulder width apart, with one leg slightly behind the other for stability. Put your hands up, with palms facing the person in a manner as if to say, "I don't want any trouble". Keep a even and non-threatening voice. Hopefully you can talk your way out of the situation. If that doesn't work, your hands and body are in a good "ready" position to defend and strike a offense from. It is basically a modified fighting stance, yet is seen as non-threatening. Just a idea. It seems to work well.

    Krav Maga is a good option for street fighting. I have absolutely no experience with Kajukenbo, so I can't speak to it's effectiveness. It looks like like it is based on Kenpo, as well as other styles that are integrated. It looks like a pretty good art. Kenpo has a lot of useful things in my opinion. Good luck in whatever you select. I am sure you will get more out of it than you imagine, both physically and mentally.
     
  19. spider

    spider Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    Filipino Stick Fighting AKA Eskrima, it works with freaking pencils and sharpies too. Its just a fluid motion of striks, stabs and swings. You just gotta teach your arms these things, then add say a broom stick that you kicked in half and you got yourself a human ka bob. You can whack somebody on a forearm so hard that they'd think they broke their arm. I heard of a dojo in beaverton coming soon, but not sure, but you should really look into this. I'm going to Cambodia for 30 days and will be studying Pradal serey for 2 weeks. Which I know is not enough time, but will be very fun and maybe help me lose a couple pounds. But Pradal Serey is a form of Muay Thai, that focuses on elbow strikes and grappel holds where you can knee the sh&% out of somebody's neck and face. I mean both of these styles of fighting were used in war, so why not try?
     
  20. spider

    spider Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    Or you can be like bruce lee and anticipate his punch before he throws it.