Self-Defense at Pahuyuth School Berlin

While Pahuyuth was designed for survival in lawless environments (e.g. war zones), most of us enjoy the benefits of a constitutional state in which powers to protect citizens are regulated and limited by law and order:

The protection of the individual is the task of the state.

In other words, the protection of rights against violation is in principle the task of the State. Contrary to this principle, self-protection by interference with foreign rights may be permissible if the protection of the state is not timely or cannot be obtained. Especially when self-protection is legally permitted.

As mediators of a traditional martial art and preservers of cultural heritage and customs, we see it as our responsibility to help our students to deal with their fighting knowledge in a healthy and righteous manner.

Self-defence within the framework of the law is therefore not understood as an independent Pahuyuth discipline, but as interdisciplinary competence and valuable basic attitude, which we convey to all our students. In doing so we put great emphasis on a strict legal conformity and interpretation, which we understand as an indispensable basis for a truly realistic self-defense.

German Criminal Code – Section 32 – Self-defence

(1) A person who commits an act in self-defence does not act unlawfully.

(2) Self-defence means any defensive action that is necessary to avert an imminent unlawful attack on oneself or another.

Extract from the Criminal Code of the Federal Republic of Germany – when it comes to the subject of “self-defence”, current laws have top priority at the Pahuyuth School in Berlin.

Ancient fighting knowledge

What we consider as “realistic self-defense”:

The terms “realistic self-defence” or “effective self-defence” are often used to advertise self-defence courses and seminars, in which techniques are imparted which aim to damage the presumed attacker as severely as possible by massive counter-attacks, thus rendering him harmless.

The reality, however, is that such behavior is almost always and almost anywhere illegal and often ends in (lawful) counterclaims, investigations and criminal proceedings against the original victim – this reality is often concealed in favor of marketing. However it can have far-reaching and extremely real consequences for uneducated users.

For an experienced martial artist it is usually relatively easy to answer attacks of any kind appropriately and to fight one or more opponents with ease – but fighting is not self-defense! For this reason, we have established three basic rules for a truly realistic and effective self-defense.

Warriors in law – Three rules for a successful self-defense:

  1. Self-defence only begins when you can not avoid an illegal attack.
  2. Self-defence ends when the illegal attack has been averted.
  3. Always act according to the laws of the country you are in!

Remember: Vigilante justice is not self-defence, but a criminal offense!

Principle: The protection of rights against violation is basically the task of the state, deviating from this principle, self-protection through interference in foreign rights can be permissible if the protection of the state is not timely or not attainable. Especially when self-protection is especially permitted.

(to be examined in unlawfulness)

I. Self defence situation

1. attack on legal property

under attack is any violation of legally protected individual goods or interests threatened by a human act

2. present

An attack is present when it is imminent, in progress or ongoing. (No permanent danger!!)

3. unlawful

The attack is unlawful if the attacker is not justified on his part or the victim is not obliged to tolerate it.

II. Act of self-defence

1. necessity

A defensive action is required that can effectively and definitively repel the attack in the gentlest way possible with the mildest means available, without the attacker having to accept the risk of an insufficient defensive action.

a) Suitability

It is sufficient that the defensive action at least makes the attack in its concrete form more difficult.

(b) Means of mitigation

Among several equally effective options, the one which causes the least damage shall be chosen.

2. Necessity

(a) Exceptionally, the right of self-defence is subject to restrictions.

This is the case if:

– in the case of innocent assailants or a personal relationship with the assailant
– Negligent provocation of the attack 

Then the “three-step model” is applied:

(1) First take evasive action/recourse to third party assistance, this is not possible
(2) Proportionate protection, is this not possible
(3) Proportionate defence.

b) Exceptionally, the right of self-defence is not given.

This is the case with:

– a flagrant disproportion between the consequences of the defence and the threat of injury
Minor attacks (only a proportional defence is allowed there)
Intentional provocation

An intentional provocation is committed by anyone who purposefully challenges an attack in the sense of the dolus directus 1st degree by unlawful conduct in order to be able to injure the opponent under the guise of the externally given objective situation of self-defence. (A german textbook case from criminal law on this is the provocation case of self-defence)

III. Subjective justification element

Will to defend
The perpetrator must counter the attack with the will to defend, i.e. have the intention in the sense of a purposeful will to repel the attack or at least to mitigate it.

Legitimate Self-Defense 101

In the summer of 2017, a spontaneous crash course was held at the Pahuyuth School in Berlin on the subject of “self-defence within the framework of the law”. The videos have English subtitles, that can be turned on in the settings.

Competent self-defence

More Self-defense

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