Okay, this is basically an email to a fellow mapper which I thought might make an interesting discussion topic for a few 'round here. It's way too long for the General Discussion forum. Please repost wherever appropriate, as necessary, mods but I figured here'd be good. It starts mid conversation, in response to other emails but I'm sure you can catch up relatively easy and I think it makes some stand alone points. Anyway, enjoy or ignore at your own discretion ====================================================== You are standing at a platform, waiting for the London train to Essex (actually I dunno where the hell trains go in the UK). A pair of heavy set youths stand midway along and notice you, they've obviously been drinking and are raucous. Conspiratorily they approach you, one slapping the other on the shoulder and stepping more quickly towards you, leaving his friend a little further behind and whom seems to be adjusting something at the back of his belt. He puffs his chest and holds a level stare toward you as his friend dawdles a few steps back, also carefully watching you, stops three feet from you and opens his mouth, speaking in an affrontish manner, "Oi. You got the time?" Remaining fairly calm, you warily keep both eyes firmly on the pair of them as you lift your watch-arm upwards. You barely get halfway through the movement when the nearer of the two interrupts you. "Got a cigarette?" The second however, you notice is also holding a level stare with you. You've kept your eyes on him, perhaps expecting a weapon of some kind to be pulled from the rear of his jacket, where his hands had remained suspiciously. "What the **** are you lookin' at boss?" he demands of you. His friend, not standing more than two feet from you immediately joins in. "You staring at my friend? Now that's not nice." You have been being assaulted since the pair initially approached you. Psychological Intimidation resides at level 1 of the Force Continuum, where the equivalent LEO response is Officer Presence. Were you an off-duty LEO you would be perfectly within your boundaries by presenting your identification and thus arresting the activities therein. In fact, in the commission of duty you may step one level higher than that presented and instruct them to settle down or move on. Even without such employment, one is authorized under the Crimes Act (Section 458 in Victoria) to arrest the Summary Offence of assault to which they are being subject/witness. (Section 426a of) The Crimes Act also authorizes that reasonable and proportionate force may be used to effect such an arrest, but that the arrest may not continue once the (Summary) offence is no longer being committed. These are exceedingly important distinctions to remain holistic. Force Continuum, lawful arrest, proper conduct. Don't leave home without them. My own coinage of the term "determined responsibility" arises from a psychological standpoint early in the preceedings of potential assaults, and the kind of increased breadth of action which may be available to MA'ists. Example: You're out at night, walking from where you parked the car to a pub/venue at an inner city suburb. Although the backstreets tend to be dark and quiet, the main roads are filled with the neon lights of hotels and late night cafe's and sporadic groups of people make their way to various clubs and supper dates. Three rough looking men cross a park as you pass, apparently drunk, violent and looking for trouble. They harass young people and couples as they make their way through and seem to have a single minded purpose of dominating others. They are definitely the wrong choice to be in authority although others are a little intimidated to challenge this determination. So you size up: what are my responsibilities? Firstly to myself. Secondly to those people apparent. Thirdly to the law and its officers in my region. The correct response should be one of unanymity. An important examination for MA'ists is their own philosophy. This is similar in nature to the potential of self-righteousness which may be associated with the fundamentalist-religious. One should ask themselves, 'could my own philosophy make me the criminal here?' When approaching trouble with a view to altering circumstances a distinction becomes necessary: what's going on in the first place? Who's really being victimised (it's not always the one who looks less stressed, reverse psychology and feigning innocence is all the rage on the street)? It's all well and good to hold a sense of tradition for the Samurai days of old however an active philosophy should be contemporary and take modern law enforcement measures into account. The strict adherance of medieval days may be markedly manipulable in an age of telemarketing and teenage worldwide communication. Yet at the same time the strict adherance of accurate tradition may become the very epitome of independant thought in an age of competitive behavior and misdirection. And then there is the issue of those whom disagree with you (no matter what you do). Those whom will always disagree with you. What kind of self defence manoeuvres are prudent these days? We all know the arm-locks and joint manipulation prevailant to martial arts. These are arguably at level 4 of the Force Continuum (hard open-hand). It's not a hard stretch to envision their use where someone has laid their hands upon you in a violent or threatening manner. This may even be where you are already gently guiding them away from someone else they are assaulting, with an arm. So what about before physical touch has made its appearance but tension is high? An effective MA strategy might be to draw out the potential attackers, forcing their hand as it were. Once again the examination must ascertain as to, 'whether or not I am the criminal here.' This is something even an ethical Police Officer would consider, it's a question of, 'what am I actually doing here?' Joint locks are an excellent assertion, however against a determined attacker require some kind of softening blow to become an effective technique. This could arguably raise the stakes of self defence to level 5 of the Force Continuum for no more than a more capable assailant, a potentially dangerous legal position, certainly a compromising social one. And the finishing blows taught in many MA schools completing the manoeuvre may conceivably ascribe Potentially Lethal Force (but not Justifiable Homocide) to your actions upon detailed examination. It is in this area of self defence where Westminster and Constitutional justice systems depart each other primarily. Hence we have our concerns as a couple of Westminster MA'ists. All told our justice systems seem predisposed to a less complicated array of manoeuvres in physical conflicts than martial art forms. It is better to be a boxer or a kickboxer when you really have to cut loose to survive a confrontation relatively unscathed than an Aikido Shihan. The unaware majority generally find all concept of conflict animalistic at any rate, even as they victimise each other routinely. Its study is both a paradoxial curiosity and a frightening confrontation for them, where social heirarchies have more self-contradiction than effort undertaking. But then these youthful views are simply the way to deal with something which may pass closely by, however in which one has no personal interest. Not everybody gets into academic history as a pastime yet they will accept the word of an expert where it is comfortably presented. At least in my own region here is where self defence differs so greatly from the dojo. Not in technique applicability for its effectiveness, but its appropriatness within the world we live in today. Joint locks can be levelled where an assailant is already committing an attack and are fairly automatic. However where your interference is utterly required to something an abusive individual is already doing to something/someone else it is unfortunate that one must expect to be struck for the immediate limitations they enjoy. Not an attractive prospect in some circumstances. A new strategy: cat and mouse, could work out worse again. You may begin to look like a rival thug competing for territory as another victimises passers-by. You may distract an abusive individual from his entertainment and land yourself in the same regard rather than as much trouble. Most of the time abusive people just tend to run everything in the real world and the only people who interfere with them are trying to make "friends." Or are police. Hell it's that way right from the schoolyard. What's the socially acceptable response by example? Take offence, walk up and punch them in the face. The simple life. No MA "death-blows" as the public will generally regard any actual technique and all the invulnerability of a cartoon character is thoroughly expected. MA'ist means you can be 50kg and have the physical strength and stamina of someone 100kg just standing there. It is magic and you are a superbeing. In fact it is the assailant who deserves public sympathy (and could very well get it). Basically it helps for that fatherly appearance if you're a 120kg mountain of muscle when you're going to interfere with abusive activities. Gives a nice, visual reason why everybody else couldn't do a thing. It also helps with the imposed restrictions placed on that sort of behavior, it's fairly unlikely your attacker is going to be a relative physical match that you would have to disable quickly in order to survive any serious aggression. And doing so is so much easier to do casually anyway. It looks good, pleasing to the eye. Plus, most importantly: lawful self defence facility is set up that way. It assumes assailants will respond in a certain fashion to varying challenges and they do not. Sometimes they even wear $1000 worth of clothes and jewelry. Regularly they are armed and almost always they enjoy overwhelming advantages. Otherwise they'd never do the things they do so arrogantly. What I'd like to do is examine specific techniques/manoeuvres more directly with the Force Continuum/lawful procession in mind. And keeping a wary eye on the moods of social acceptability.