Your Krav Maga training is a tool that is meant to protect you and your loved ones should the need arise. Unfortunately, violence is an ever-present threat in today’s environment — whether you’re just going to the grocery store or you have a job that takes you directly into harm’s path. If you do have to use your training to protect a third party, there are likely defense laws that will help protect you from legal proceedings under certain circumstances.
A Quick Disclaimer
In this post, we’re going to be talking about some fairly common defense laws, but every state or municipality may have their own statutes that can be very different. While this is practical advice, it is not legal advice, and it is up to you to know and understand the laws in your jurisdiction. Failure to do so could have drastic consequences.
In order to be protected under defense laws when acting to protect a third party, there are a few conditions that must be met. While it may be time to act, as with any use of force, you will need to act with good judgement. Keep these factors in mind:
- Do you believe there is a legitimate threat to the health or life of a third party? This is the linchpin to the justification of your use of force. Ideally, the victim will ask for help, but if they don’t, you can prompt the victim by asking, “Do you need help?” This gives them the opportunity to ask for aid, but may also escalate the situation further.
- Is an intervention, especially using force, necessary? You must exercise your best judgement about whether a situation is threatening or merely uncomfortable. Pay attention to the visible and auditory cues of the involved parties and any people around them. If you decide it is, use your training to act quickly and decisively.
- Are you using the appropriate amount of force? While some jurisdictions do not make the distinction, others take into account the results of your intervention. Remember, your primary goal is to stop the action so that the threatening situation is over. If the aggressor is done fighting after getting a broken nose, there is no reason to continue. Let him go. Your goal is protection not punishment.
- Did you report the action to the appropriate authorities? Threatening situations often include criminal activity. Contact the authorities and wait with the victim if possible. This provides each of you with a corroborating witness and gives the victim an opportunity to seek defense under laws meant to protect them from further harm and harassment.
Train Your Judgement
You’ll notice that many of the conditions that affect defense laws rely heavily on judgement. That, is where Krav Maga’s real-world training comes into play, as you will learn how to recognize threats and neutralize them efficiently. When you use good judgement, your perception of threat and actions to confront it can form the basis of an affirmative defense should you be brought into court for either civil or criminal proceedings — even if it turns out there was no threat truly present. Of course, should that happen, the best judgement you can make is to seek out a competent attorney.
Train For The World You Live In
By choosing dynamic training that focuses on the conditions you will encounter on the street, you give yourself and those around you a better chance of surviving violent situations. If you’re ready to learn effective defense techniques that work well with self defense laws, enroll in training at a Krav Maga Worldwide location or affiliate today.