I've found myself in a few situations now where I'd have liked to defend myself from minor sorts of attack - a slap or punch, being spat on, that sort of thing. (It just happens a lot in the Grimsby area.) I'm at a point now, after karate and bits of sports and activities, where I easily could defend myself but still don't dare to for fear of the legal ramifications. It's very hard to defend yourself without injuring someone. Even the simple act of tripping someone and pushing them to the ground can easily go wrong and end up fracturing their skull or putting them in a coma, or simply breaking their nose or arm (which'll still place you on the losing side in court, unless they were provably trying to kill you). When I got to thinking about it, I couldn't think of many effective ways to defend that weren't legally very risky - so, for now, I've just become a good diplomat, but I still end up taking the odd punch or shove, which is unpleasant and better avoided (people tend to make assumptions about you when you show up for work with a black eye, even if you tell them it wasn't your fault). My karate dojo taught a lot of horrible things that clearly wouldn't have been legal if actually used (part of the reason I left), and when I asked the sensei what the point was of knowing patently illegal and potentially lethal techniques, he simply replied, "good question. There is that risk. But if it's to defend your family, when the time comes, you'll use it anyway. It's worth it, because it works." That seemed to be the general outlook of most people there: if it protects me and mine, it's worth the legal risks. This is a stupid attitude, in my opinion, and I'm sure they only held it so complacently because none of them had ever been to prison. Thoughts? How would you defend yourself? What would you risk doing, and how would the courts react?