Re: Aikido And The Law
Bodhi describes the law of Oregon as being pretty similar to most western states anyway. Where it starts to get grey is in the area of matching force and reasonable. It isn't as cut and dried as an assailant only using bare hands locking the victim into only a bare-handed defense. Obviously it depends on your state and her laws, but if the situation is such that you must escalate to save yourself, you are permitted to do so. Being assaulted by someone who is '"cranked" out of his head and outweighs you by 100 pounds doesn't mean that you must absolutely respond barehanded. Multiple bare-handed assailants, or assailants doing a home invasion robbery don't get the advantage of a bare hand response. You may use whatever force is necessary to protect yourself. The rub is in the word necessary.
One of the best places to find out what your own statutes really mean is in the jury instructions that every judge has on the bench. They are published by the judicial council of each U.S. state and interpret the law as it is written for jurors. Almost every variation of the theme can be found in the jury instructions and may provide you with the guidance you need.
If you are truly worried about legal problems, check out what your laws actually say. You can find out the information you need on the 'net and then you won't have to rely on urban myths.