If you are in a situation where you can't avoid physical confrontation then you have some crucial decisions to make.
- ♦ Will you make the first move? Sometimes a pre-emptive strike will finish the confrontation before it begins. Of course witnesses may only see your strike and not be aware of the foregoing interaction.
- ♦ How much force can you employ? Disproportionate force may well see you explaining your actions to a magistrate.
- ♦ Was there any time in the altercation that you could have stopped fighting and escaped the situation? 'Self defence' as a legal defence is debatable if you didn't need to continue the affray.
- ♦ When does self defence cross the line to become retaliation? Once your opponent is defenceless you have to back off.
- ♦ Did you really need to use a devastating technique to end the fight, especially if your opponent was defenceless at the time? A stomp on the ankle of your downed opponent may well be justified to allow you to run away but a kick to the head is a different ball game.
Here is an interesting take on self defence from Bas Rutten.