How far are you prepared to go in a real fight to maintain your personal safety? What would you class as appropriate action, if your life, or that of your loved ones, was at risk? Could you take another human beings life in order to preserve your own? These questions pose a very intense moral dilemma.
At first glance of this title you would be forgiven for thinking that the topic of deliberation would, in some way, be connected with a kind of ‘Ultimate Fighting Challenge’. In a diverse way it is. For many, the decision of just how far to go, in a physical encounter, is a personal ‘ultimate challenge’, after all, the consequences can have a catastrophic effect on a persons life.
Anyone involved in martial arts, practices potentially lethal techniques nearly every time they train (although most don’t look at it in that way). Out of the many thousands of people who do train, there is probably only a small percentage of those, who appreciate the mortality of what they are actually doing. From that small group, there is likely to be a smaller percentage still, who have used their skill to precise effect, executing just the right amount of effort, in a real situation, to bring things to a quick and ‘safe’ conclusion.
A question I have offered on many occasion is, ‘Could you take another human being’s life if it appeared to be your only choice?’ More often than not, people reply with a confident ‘Yes’. I must admit that I find this little hard to believe. Some people seem to give the reply as if it were the expected answer, having given the question very little or no thought what- so-ever. Surely, taking anther persons life must be considered the greatest extreme to go to in a fight. Those very same people, who give the impression they possess the moral ability to kill, display expressions of disgust or shock when I tell of some of the incidents I have been involved in and the extremes I have had to go to, in order to secure my well being. This attitude is more than a little contradictory. Forcing a finger into someone’s eye socket. To bite someone’s face, to stamp on someone’s head are all examples of the extremes I have been ‘forced’ to use, dictated to me by the serious circumstances surrounding the incident. In all cases I have felt it justified and totally necessary to execute such methods, for these were not normal rational minded people I have had to deal with, they were all members of a sinister and deplorable element of society. If the proverbial boot were on the other foot as it were, then I have no doubt that it would have been embedded, with ferocious intent, into my own head. A clear case of ‘you or them’. Bear in mind the demeanour of the modern day predator. The nature of this beast is heinous and merciless. The commitment to their cause is relentless and they are prepared to go to sickening extremes to achieve success. As a result of these facts its blatantly obvious that an ‘extreme’ measure of ‘correctional and defensive therapy’ needs to be applied to contain a confrontation against such an assailant. When the hand of violence taps you on the shoulder, then there is little, or no alternatives to survive it’s cruel intrusion into your world. Only very wise and skilled people possess the knowledge and ability to defuse or avoid a violent incident without physical engagement.
You may be thinking that from what you have read, that I advocate violence as the initial remedy to a confrontation. In circumstances, where my perception of the situation leaves me in no doubt, that physical intervention of a violent kind is going to be the only way to bring the matter to a secure end, then I shall employ the degree of violence that I deem necessary. At such times, my past experience and knowledge, accompanied with my skills afford me an unfair advantage over most. I fully understand my abilities, the context of the situation and the psychology of my assailant. Because of this, I can quickly diagnose the problem and bring it to a timely end, with, in most cases, a degree of force ‘reasonable in the circumstances’. But shoving a digit into someone’s eye or stamping on someone’s head is a touch extreme, I hear you say. To the uninitiated I can appreciate your concern. Being given just limited facts about the incidents, its easy to jump to conclusions. Allow me to explain in a little more detail. The ‘finger in the eye’ situation involved an unprovoked attack by fifteen men against myself and five other doormen. The youth in question had already ‘cheap-shotted’ me with a makeshift knuckle duster (in the form of a fist-full of rings). Also it soon became apparent that he was heavily under the influence of drugs. This person was also notorious for executing violence against others. The time I stamped on the head of an ‘enemy’ was the resulting actions of a fight with a person reputed for carrying a knife and the fact that he had threatened, on more than one occasion to ‘stab’ or ‘cut’ me. In the often vulnerable position I found myself (working in a busy club), I could not afford to let the situation fester, a quick resolve would bring the predicament to an end, sooner rather than later. I think it fair to say that in those circumstances, that was another potentially dangerous incident.