At the End of a Confrontation

If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in a physical confrontation you will likely now have the skills to defend yourself effectively. Your skills will only improve going forward, affording you additional defensive possibilities that will allow you to overcome an assailant.

But what happens at the end of a conflict?

If the conflict was non-physical, then you will probably simply want to leave the area. You will need to be aware of your potential assailant and any of his or her friends, but extricating yourself from the situation is your best alternative. Escaping is always your best option. If you leave then those with whom you were in conflict are likely to calm down and you may avoid things escalating any further.

If the conflict has become physical then there are many more options to consider. Some of this depends on the opponent, his or her friends, your environment, and additional extenuating circumstances. Here are a few things to consider.

If your assailant has sustained significant injury then you must ensure they get adequate medical attention. If prudent you should immediately initiate first aid procedures and ensure medical help is summoned. If the situation remains hostile then it is not necessary that you initiate this attention, but you cannot simply walk away from an injured person, especially if they are alone somewhere. It may be prudent to leave the scene to prevent further risk of injury to yourself or others, but once clear of immediate danger you or someone else should request medical assistance for any resulting injuries. The injured person’s life may depend upon prompt medical attention.

Even if the other person does not appear to be significantly injured you should recommend that they seek medical evaluation. You should attempt to warn then that some injuries may not be apparent initially and some evaluation may be warranted. You would especially want to make such a notification if you had to strike the person to the head, in the vicinity of a vital organ, or a location that may lead to significant internal bleeding or respiratory impairment

Your opponent may naturally not be willing to listen to you. But if a friend or family member is willing to listen then you should caution them to seek medical assistance for the person in the event he or she experiences any unusual symptoms or behaviors.

If you have sustained any blow to the head or have incurred any other injuries then you should also seek medical attention. Concussive head injuries can be fatal. Internal bleeding and organ damage can be both unnoticed and fatal. If you suffer any nausea, visual problems, hearing problems, imbalance, confused thinking, decreased stamina, lethargy, chronic pain, joint restrictions, unexplained bruising, or other symptoms of injury then you must seek immediate medical attention. In some cases you may have only a matter of hours to live if you do not get appropriate care.

If you have managed to control the person in such a way that they are uninjured but cannot move to attack you, then there are additional scenarios to consider. Does this person have friends that may attack you so that the assailant can be freed? How long can you hold the assailant before they are able to wiggle free? Is the assailant likely to calm down and cease their aggression, or will releasing them simply result in another attempt to attack you? Can you release the assailant and escape before they can attempt to injure you?

Your first response might be to injure the person or render them unconscious so they cannot subsequently attack you, allowing you to then escape the situation. You should understand that if you control a person so they cannot move and then injure them the legal system is likely to view this as a deliberate assault. This gets really serious really quickly if the person subsequently dies or sustains a debilitating injury.

Your best option may be to somehow physically restrain the person until you can summon police assistance. If you have a cell phone this may be a viable option if you can hold the person and use the phone until the police arrive (which is likely to be extremely difficult). If others are nearby then you may be able to get them to call for assistance or help you constrain the attacker until help can be summoned.

If none of that is going to work then you may need to find a way to constrain the assailant’s hands so you can be afforded the opportunity to escape. You may need to utilize Kansetsu Waza to ensure the person is immobilized. Shoe laces or some other cordage may then work as a temporary measure to facilitate an immediate escape. None of this is easy to do; in fact it may be impossible. You will need to assess what you can do with the few resources you may have at hand. You have very limited options as this stage.

If there is a swimming pool, rose bushes, or other objects that can restrain (and perhaps cool off) your opponent, then you may wish to use them to your advantage. But even here you need to be prudent. If you push someone who can’t swim into the deep end of the pool you will need to be prepared to retrieve them. And please don’t push someone down the stairs, over a balcony, or into oncoming traffic. You are likely to regret such actions for a very long time.

If your opponent has hostile friends then you have very few options. Your best option is to get out of there fast. If you have no avenue of escape, then someone is likely to be injured. To protect yourself you may have had to injure one or more persons rather severely. They will need medical assistance – which you or someone you enlist for assistance should summon. You will also want to ensure law enforcement is asked to come to ensure there are no further hostilities. You will want to meet officers as they arrive to provide your version of events. You can expect to be arrested.

Following the conflict you may find it useful to contact a lawyer and your insurance company. If your opponent decides to press charges and seek financial compensation then it will be prudent to have appropriate representation for any subsequent negotiations or legal proceedings. Keep in mind, you may be sued even if you were not the person who was hostile. I know a martial arts instructor who was forced to defend himself, was arrested for assault, placed on probation, sued, and forced to pay damages. It’s a real world out there. Stuff happens and not always in the way that may seem most appropriate.

The morale of this story is of course that it is much harder to get out of a fight than it is to get into one. The realities of a fight are always much more grim than the glorious fantasies we often conjure up about how we will dominate and control an opponent in sweet magnificent victory. Skip that part and simply get away if you can. You’ll suffer much less stress, injury, anxiety, and physical exertion as well as have far fewer legal consequences.

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