"The Author, it must be remembered, writes from his own standpoint!"
My personal "Interpretive" Lens!

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If you have a question not covered in this blog feel free to send it to me at my email address, i.e. "snow" dot here "covered" dot here "bamboo" AT symbol here "gmail" dot here "com"

"One thing has always been true: That book ... or ... that person who can give me an idea or a new slant on an old idea is my friend." - Louis L'Amour

"Ideally, your self-defense will never get physical. Avoiding the situation and running or talking you way out - either of these is a higher order of strategy than winning a physical battle." - Wise Words of Rory Miller, Facing Violence: Chapter 7: after, subparagraph 7.1:medical

"Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider..." - Francis Bacon

Warning, Caveat and Note: The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books.

Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.

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Is Karate legal for Self-defense?

Maybe the better question is, "Will being a black belt in a martial art be detrimental to a self-defense criminal trial action if I use it or participate in an altercation?"

Vague but good question. I can only say that it may or may not be detrimental to a person who intervenes for defending or self defense if attacked or intervenes to assist another under attack, etc. Rory Miller does remind MA's that most of what we practice is actually "illegal." I assume that because of the nature of karate practice, combative and not sport, that the techniques are kind of brutal in their applications [an understatement yes ... ].

I can only tell you what I think personally and that is if you defend yourself, you find your being prosecuted, and now trying to justify your actions in the manner most appropriate for a self defense defense strategy you might find the Jury thinking that because you are a "professional," as they perceive it from media propaganda, you might find that your MA will get you convicted.

Even in criminal court if you win what would it tell a jury that is deciding your civil suit?

These are questions I would be asking a lawyer who actually specializes in self defense law (force law), etc. because I suspect it is very complicated and convoluted. It is why some professionals like Mr. Miller and Mr. MacYoung will recommend you retain a good force law/self defense lawyer. Especially if you teach as a martial artist self defense.

After all, it also should be a part of your training syllabus, yes? It makes me wonder just how many "self-defense" training systems actually stop to consider this and it also makes me wonder how many assume that their liability insurance will take care of any suits [might be a false sense of security, might]? It also asks, how many are out there that don't know and don't even have insurance to mitigate this type of action?

p.s. I just received a couple of comments from both Rory Miller and Marc MacYoung on this topic. In a nutshell it does not matter for if you can "articulate" your stand in self-defense you will be addressing that aspect or view. "Articulation" seems the most important aspect in you defense and it should be a part of your training and practice, i.e. analyzing situations and coming up with the words and phrases that would "articulate" why you did what you did. Thanks to both Mr. Miller and Mr. MacYoung!


  1. It seems pretty worrying that much of what we are learning is illegal! Do you know what would constitute 'legal self-defence'?

  2. Hi, SueC: Yes, Rory covers it well in the book Facing Violence. It is complex and involves a great deal.

    For instance, your size, strength, age, and gender [gender part I added] effect the self-defense strategy.

  3. I think I'm going to get this book, it sounds like it may provide some missing pieces to the self defence puzzle!