Inappropriate Levels of Force

Some martial artists develop the attitude that any aggression against them must be met with an insurmountable counter force.  A simple push on the part of someone results in the martial artist throwing elbows, knees, and opponents in all directions.

This level of retaliation was not warranted in the above scenario.  All that was probably required was for the marital artist to simply step back and then walk away.  There is no reason to use force when none is required.  If the person who pushed no longer represents a threat to you, then you should not be a threat to them.  Of course, things change if the person who pushed remains an imminent threat to you or others.

But even if the above scenario escalates into a further confrontation
it still may not warrant the kind of response many martial artists envision.  Your goal should remain to either escape or to do the least amount of harm to your opponent.  This is clearly a relative term.  If the opponent is simply an inebriated individual who can barely stand, simply putting them on the ground may be sufficient.  If the individual is a steely eyed belligerent with a knife, then a more damaging response is probably necessary (providing your best option, running away, is not possible).

The point here is that you must avoid using unnecessary levels of force in a confrontation.  You are developing the skills to do extraordinary damage to people and you must learn to control these skills so you do not inflict unnecessary injury on generally innocent people.

There is a legal element to this as well. If you harm someone unnecessarily you are likely to be arrested. If you are arrested for such an offense then the local prosecutor will be duty bound to hold you accountable for your actions. If the injury you cause is serious you are likely to do some serious time.

But even if the prosecutor decides not to press charges you may still not escape the legal system. The person you injured, his or her family, or a person who experienced damaged property as a result of your efforts may well sue you. You could have several months or even years of legal issues as the result of a sudden lack of concentration. As a Tensoku Ryu practitioner you must always remember that unnecessary force should be avoided. Always walk away if possible. Always do as little damage as possible if you cannot escape the situation.

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