Monday, 12 October 2009

Counter Attacking or Pre-Emptive Striking

Street fights are something that most do not want to be involved in. Im sure most have heard of the incident last week in which a very patient martial artist took a lot of abuse from a thug for more than long enough before flooring him! If you have not, check it out here at the Urban Samurai website. (It is the top video, but the bottom one is also worth watching) The question is though, how much abuse should one take before deciding that it is justified to defend oneself physically.

Principle No: 1
Some people believe in the principle that one should only defend themselves once a physical attack has been made by there opponent. In other words, they can be shouted out, swore at, and even spat at, but are not justified to defend themselves until an actual technique is thrown at them.

Principle No: 2
Then there others who state that the pre emptive principle is necessary, meaning that if you are 100% sure that you know you are about to be attacked, be it with a punch, a weapon or by having your opponents buddies creep up behind you with the intent on doing some damage, then you are justified to retaliate there and then. You pre-empt your opponents attack by performing one of your own.

There are good and bad points with both principles here.

The first one definitely labels the person defending the attack in the self defence group. They have physically been attacked and have defended and countered, striking back just enough to stop there opponent/s in there tracks without unnecessarily hurting them. This is the good part in the sense that they have defended themselves all legally and above board. However, the bad thing here is that it does not usually work out so easily. The block and counter approach is a very basic form of training self defence techniques and against a real opponent, when adrenaline is pumping, weapons are probably lingering, and multiple opponents are in most cases waiting, it is very hard, if not impossible to counter your opponents attack/s, without coming out of the situation unharmed. Even if one has performed realistic self defence training, there is always a big chance that one will not come out, the way they went in. Because of this, it is always better to pre-empt the attack and get in there first, so as to be better off.

Here is a situation involving pre-emptive principles. You have pre empted your opponents attack. He was swearing at you, calling you every bad name under the sun and you where sure he was about to get physical, in which you struck him first, cleanly and solidly. He went down and you moved on, however, later in the day, you get a knock on the door. It is the police who have come to arrest you for grievous bodily harm (GBH). Now, you are in more trouble than you started in. You say to the police that you were sure that he was going to attack you and you attacked first, acting in self defence. However, how can anyone be completely sure that an attack was going to be made. Taking the video at Urban Samurai for instance. The thug was rude and stupid, but was the victim actually ever going to be attacked? Maybe the thug was all hot air and no action and the victim could have easily just walked away.

It seems to be a no win situation. Either you attack first, but possibly face bad consequences later, or you wait until an attack is made, but maybe it could be too late then to defend adequaltly, in which you could end up being hurt.

What do you do? Comments and opinions are more than welcome on this topic below.


Marks
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2 comments:

Elias said...

I've heard a saying, "Better to be tried by twelve than carried by six." I think that's got more to do with a use of force 'continuum' than it has to do with counter attacking or pre-emptive striking.

Personally, I prefer pre-emptive striking; but like anything it all depends on the context and situation. Kick him in the nuts, I say.

TheMartialArtsReporter said...

I agree with Elias. It always depends
on the context, situation etc.
And we haven't even started to look
at our subconscious mind that controls
over 80 percent of our decisions anyway.
There might never be a conclusive
approach to this one, except be true
to yourself.

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