Personal Protection 101: Know the Laws in Your State, Country, etc.


     Okay it is not just enough to know how to protect yourself or your loved ones but you also need to know the law and the consequences of any actions you might take.  Personal Protection skills start with entering a Training Hall and beginning by participating and learning physical skills to defend yourself.  However you also need to at the very same time start learning the law’s in your state, country on self defense so that you will be able to defend yourself and avoid problems arising with the police or criminal justice system.

     So you need to prepare both physically and mentally, knowing what you can and cannot do to defend yourself.  This is very important because what good will it be to defend yourself and then spend the rest of your life in prison.  We all have families that we want to come home to and spend time with so it is essential that we understand what we can legally do to protect ourselves and when we would be crossing that boundary.

     In Michigan you no longer have a duty to retreat.  That is a relatively new change in our laws.  We do however have to respond in self defense in a manner that would be considered reasonable under the circumstances.  So that means if someone threatens you that you cannot haul off and hit them and then take them down and pound them into submission.  In that case you are probably going to jail for the night and depending on their condition and the legal outcome probably for longer.  In the real world if someone threatens me, points a finger or even pushes me depending on the situation I am probably leaving immediately and then notifying the police and making a report.  There are always situations that might warrant a different action.  Still you get the gist.  If someone were to physically attack me I would attempt to do no more than I needed too stop the altercation and then I would convey that to the first responding officer.  Bottom line I want to go home to my family as that is what is important.  If someone were to come at me with lethal force, etc.  I would respond appropriately as well up to including lethal force in return but not necessarily as my first option.  You see I want to get out of a situation in a manner that will not put me in a deeper legal situation so if I can disarm someone and restrain or run away then that is what I will do.  If you train well then you will potentially have options yet still you may have to respond with lethal force and then articulate what happend and why it was justified self defense.

     Somebody wants my wallet, car or any protperty they can have it.  It is just property and can be replaced and that is what we have insurance for.  If somone wants my life or is placing my family’s life in danger well that is a different story.

     We are blessed in IRT with an in house lawyer and a former law enforcement officer and several current ones that can explain self defense and the legal implication’s effectively!  Seek people out who can do the same for you!  It could really make a great differance in your personal protection skills.

Michigan Memorandum on Self Defense by our resident Attorney at Law:


In the end we must be educated regarding the legal self defense actions that we can take.

Copyright Instinctive Response Training LLC 2008

Brian R. VanCise

Note: This Blog is opinion only and Instinctive Response Training LLC nor Brian R. VanCise is responsible for any third party actions taken.

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About Brian VanCise

Hi my name is Brian R. VanCise and my passion is the Martial Sciences. I have trained almost my entire life in the pursuit of martial excellence and I teach a world class curriculum in Las Vegas, Nevada. Contact us at: 702-326-3622
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2 Responses to Personal Protection 101: Know the Laws in Your State, Country, etc.

  1. Jim says:

    Great, and often overlooked, aspect of self-defense.

    Too many people don’t learn about the legal concerns until they’re trying to explain what they did to a tired, bored beat cop who just may look at the relative damage, and decide who’s getting arrested based on that — unless the person who defended themselves can justify their actions.

  2. Brian VanCise says:

    Hey Jim,

    Glad to have you here and checking out the Blog. Legal issues and knowing what you can and cannot do legally are essential for personal protection skills. You are exactly right in that being able to explain to the first responder is essential. Thanks again for the comment!


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