When police come on a scene of violence or a called to one their attitude towards the participants runs the full scope of possibiltys divided by a very thin line.Which side of that line you end up standing on can decide if you go to jail or go home.
Certain requirements need to be met for you to qualify as "the defender".
1 did you try to avoid the confrontation?
2 can anyone verify you tried to avoid the confontation?(not always neccesary but definitely neccesary if his freinds say you were the aggresor)
3 Was the attack sudden and without warning?(squaring up and raising your hands while urging him on is not self defense whether he created the problem or not)
Hard stares obscene gestures smart ass remarks can all be seen as non compliance with the 1st rule .Whether or not your posistion is on the side of the angels you cannot spur someone on to violence by any means and still be seen as being one with the angels.The police don't care that is an issue for lawyers and courts and time and money lots of each.
Legal self defense falls under 3 categories .
1 Defense of life or limb when you are the object of a criminal act.
2 Defense of others when they are the subject of a criminal act.
3 Defense of property due to a criminal act.
VANDALISM and DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY
KIDNAPPING and ABDUCTION
There are more but these are the most likely to occur where your martial skills may be required particularly the last one.
You will notice that rushing to the aid of a buddy who instigated the fight and putting the boots to the other guy is not included.Even if your buddy was the subject of an unprovoked attack doing anything but restraining his attacker could get you into a world of trouble.
I have watched self defense seminars where the instructors demonstrated eye gauges for assaults no more serious than a punch in the mouth or knife defenses where you disarm the attacker then stab him or cut his throat.
In the 1st case you would be charged with undue violence and likely a lawsuit for "permanent and crippling disfurement" and in the 2nd case charged with at the very least 1st degree manslaughter but more likely murder .
If you go to far in any scenario whether your attacker was a scumbag out to rape or rob you or not he can and probably will sue you .
Martial arts is about safety and making a quick escape enter counter retreat.This is why we must train our hands feet arms and legs to be like swords and spears like steel bars and iron clubs.
Grossman popularized the sheepdog metaphor. The idea is that there are sheep-- generally nice and productive but not what one would call hard core. And the...