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When Is Enough, Enough?

I was speaking to one of the adult black belts in our dojo recently. He described a fight he witnessed. In a nutshell, he saw a martial artists on top of a young man. The young man had apparently attacked him and the martial artist was letting him have it pretty good. Bam, bam, punches, kicks, knees.... Bam, bam, bam!

People were telling the martial artist to let the young man go. Finally, the martial artist got off and stepped back. The young man sprung to his feet and immediately tried to kick the martial artist. It appeared that the young man was unhurt, despite the severe pounding he had taken.

As it turned out, the young man was on ice.

My friend, Professor Kimo Ferreira always says to watch our for the 3 D's: attackers that are drunk, drugged, or deranged. Things that work on a normal person might not work on an attacker that is drunk, drugged, or deranged.

It is possible that the young man was in fact injured -- he just could not feel it. He might feel it later, but was still ready and able to fight.

Another friend of mine mentioned that if you knock someone out, they will often attack as soon as they regain consciousness. They are not aware of the passage of time. To them, the fight is still on. But if you break their arm or leg, then they will have a harder time attacking.

I am not suggesting that we should break people's bones. But if they are drunk, drugged, or deranged, we have to recognize that it will take a lot to stop them. Just ask the police. How many police officers does it take to restraint a drugged up person, especially if the police are trying not to injure him?

When is enough, enough? It depends on the attacker. We must examine the techniques used in Karate in light of this.


Charles C. Goodin