Questions Regarding Use of Force

Questions about use of force come up so often, which is why I find myself talking about it so much.  Last night, we were drilling some knife disarms in the Kali class and I made a short point about stabbing someone after a disarm.  I see a lot of students immediately following up with a deadly force maneuver using the weapon as soon as they acquire it.  The response to my cautionary comment was a common one: this guy just threatened me with a weapon and I am going to stab him.  I’ll grant you that your attacker does not give one hoot in Hell about your rights when he pulls a weapon on you.  I’ll grant you that the art often includes a very aggressive follow-up that would be appropriate for war.  Nevertheless, I must ask some serious questions that must be framed within the proper context: outside of a war zone or hostile territory.  I ask them because I want you to think about them from the vantage point of those whose duty it is to enforce the law of the land.


What would a reasonable person do? 

What does your local law say about self-defense?  Better yet, how is it interpreted—have you spoken with an attorney?  What force are you authorized to use after you have disarmed an assailant and/or gained the advantage?

What is the thought process for any follow-up?  Have you considered your options with the acquisition of an assailant’s edged weapon: stab him, slash him, throw down the weapon, run, strike him, hold him at knifepoint and call the authorities, etc.   

If you choose to use force after a disarm, shouldn’t you be able to articulate why?  Are the powers that be going to be interested in those kinds of details?

When might it be appropriate to stab him, i.e. use deadly force?


1 Comment

  1. good timing…

    a friend of mine was recently riding Marta to the airport obviously unarmed and with his luggage. at one of the stops he heard a woman scream and some guy (purse snatcher) gets on his train. majority of people unass the AO except for the purse snatcher, bystander, my friend and a lil ole lady.

    the bystander pulls a knife & the purse snatcher has his knife out…

    doors close…

    the round begins

    my friend watches these two guys slice and dice until the next stop. maybe 5mins?

    question for the masses…what do you do? assist or do nothing?

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