The term “Self Defense” is something that has bothered me for a long time. In a literal sense, the term is fundamentally flawed. You see when people discuss “self defense” scenarios, they are not talking about sporting events like mixed martial arts or boxing, nor are they referring to a shoving match at the local pub. When people think “self defense” they think of dealing with situations where their life, or the lives of others, are in danger, in the face of an asocial criminal.
Before I go any further, I’d like to address the difference between a “social conflict”, and an asocially violent assault. A social conflict is the type of thing that happens when two people argue over something, and it escalates to violence. These are the situations that we all gathered to watch in the schoolyard, yelling “Fight!” and encouraging the participant that we liked.
An asocially violent spin on the school yard scenario might be a student who had been made an outcast or bullied coming into school heavily armed and opening fire on all in his path, something that we’ve seen in the news far too often in the past decade. In those situations, no one wants to watch, no one is excited, or otherwise interested in hanging around. Asocial violence, violence that happens outside of any agreed upon code or law, is something that is repulsive to us as human beings.