Self-Defence & the Law (diary entry)

law self defence15.01.20


My Kingham Hill School Self-Protection course today was mainly a soft skills lesson. Again, due to mock exams I did not have a large attendance. I decided to treat this lesson as I would regular private clients and allowed them to ask me questions.


We discussed some basic martial arts history to dispel a few misconceptions about self-defence systems. After this our main focus was on self-defence and the law. We discussed proportionality, pre-emption and the UK Criminal Law Act 1967 3 (1). We looked at three controversial cases and I explained why each was legally defensible. The story of Tony Martin was used to describe instances where self-defence could not be used as a legal defence despite obvious sympathy for the convicted man. The tragedy of Jean Charles de Menezes was used to illustrate the justification for lethal force by police officers despite the fact that the person who was killed turned out to be innocent. On the other side, a known criminal who ended up serving 20 years for murder, was acquitted of murdering a plain clothes police officer when it was proven he had mistook the man for an assassin.  The discussion moved onto the use of weapons. I explained the dangers of carrying weapons for self-defence both from a legal point of view and from statistical point of view. From here we looked at incidental weapons.


The lesson finished with some hard skill revision on target familiarisation and the use of the fence for pre-emptive striking.



UK Self-Defence Law by Leigh Simms

Understanding Reasonable Force by Mark Dawes

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