When is self-defense the answer?

I have Google alerts set up on topics ranging from self-defense to the hottest spring sandal trends. I was going through them to see if I could find any gems and I came by a somewhat unsettling post on Yahoo Answers. If you’re not familiar with that sight, here is the rundown. Basically, if you have a question, you can post it on Yahoo Answers and the wonderful users of the World Wide Web can submit answers to your question. I came across this question: What is the best self-defense that’s not purely on defensive maneuvers?” The person who posted the question also posted more details and said,

“I guess I’m kinda looking for something that teaches yousomething like setting your opponent up, grabbing his arm, and forcing it out of socket . . . kinda gruesome but after all the bull **** I take from kids around school, there’s a lot I’m willing to do to inflict some pain on certain people.”

This post made me think it is a good time to revisit two topics: what self-defense is really about and respecting each other as people. Self-defense is about protecting your physical safety when you think it’s threatened. It’s not about teaching someone a lesson and it’s definitely not about revenge. Whether you agree with it or not, there are certain truths in society. One of them is that a person can stand at an acceptably distance, say really mean things to you, and you are not actually allowed to beat them up. That is what we call assault. If you think your physical safety is threatened, that is a completely story and it is why self-defense exists.

This person’s post also made me think about how we treat each other. I am a firm believer that people are basically good but there are a few bad apples thrown in the mix. However, sometimes even the best of people can cave into something like peer pressure and maybe treat someone else poorly or bully them. The person who asked this question has been bullied, probably pretty severely to make him seek out that kind of information. It is so important that we respect each other’s humanity and their dignity and hopefully that will reduce the number of people who feel like fighting is the only option.

One Comment

  1. There is a lot of work that needs to be done in schools to stop bullying. My daughter is a school psychologist. Bullying is a serious issue in schools. Not talked about as much as it should be.

    I think that studying martial arts will help with the one’s confidence. If you are confident you don’t need to resort to violence to feel better.

    The person asking the question brings up a good point. It is not just enough to learn technique. Knowing how to move to set up an opponent is as important as the technique. Knowing how/where to move to not get hit may be more important. Most martial arts training that I have seen neglect this type of footwork.

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