By Bradley J. Steiner, American Combato
ONCE again, and perhaps for the ten thousandth time, there is no correlation between combat sports and actual combat. Where sporting contests are concerned, one sometimes hears “threats” by one contestant against another—rudely verbalized “challenges” or promises to do “such-and-such” or “this-and-that”—delivered quite unceremoniously to the opposition fighter.
All in the game.
These people are fighting in a sporting arena—a lawful and legitimate venue. And such “threats” and “promises of destruction” that may pass between the contestants (or perhaps from only one to the other) are not unlawful, and need not be taken as threats of actual harm outside the contest area, at the scheduled time. For some reason fans seem to enjoy listening to this jawing, and take it as a kind of titillation, we suppose. It whets their appetite for the upcoming contest.
That’s sport.
REAL threats are a very, very serious matter. Normally threats are issued by unhinged, impulse-driven half-wits who have a tendency toward violence. There is nothing amusing about such threats.
Unfortunately, many people seem to be reluctant to take threats seriously. Reporting a threat that some clod makes to law enforcement is rarely done. Instead, so long as no actual violence has been initiated, and no threat with any weapon has been made, threats are normally shrugged off. 
My advice to every student, and to you, is: always report any threat that is directed against you or your family to the police. Here’s why…
It is impossible to predict who is and who is not making a threat that he actually intends to carry out. Regardless, there is something very infantile and irrational about someone who, when annoyed or frustrated in some way by someone else, reacts by threatening that individual with violence. Personally, I regard it as insane.
In any case, IF any individual who threatens you undertakes to carry out that threat in the future, and you are unable to neutralize him via police intervention, then you will have no choice but to use necessary force to defend against the individual’s attack. The problem is: what happens when the police show up and law enforcement gets involved?
How the hell can you count on them somehow knowing who the good guy is and who the aggressor is? Truth is, they can’t know.
That is, they can’t know unless…you have one or more police reports on file in which you articulated to a sworn officer your concern over the threat you received.
So much as one, single report will establish the fact that:

a) You were concerned about being threatened by this person here, against whom you just defended yourself. (He made good his threat, obviously.)

b) You tried to get police help. (You are not inclined to violence, and you were not wanting to engage in a fight with this person; you had to defend yourself.)

It can be frustrating certainly if you call the police after being threatened and are told that there is nothing they can do at this point except take your report. FINE! That’s all you need. Be sure to record and keep in a safe place the police report number, the date and time of your call in which you made the report, and the officer’s name with whom you spoke. 
Incidentally, calls to police are recorded, and your call of that date can be subpoenaed to assist you in court, in any legal case.
Now you will have a protective shield to protect yourself when the schlub who attacked you claims that you attacked him (which he almost certainly will insist).
To some, our suggestions and advice will be an unnecessary bother. That’s okay with us. We’re only interested in providing those who want the best possible self-defense instruction and advice with exactly that. So we are only speaking with those people—no one else.
There is so much more to real world self-defense than that which is popular and “in vogue” in the sporting scene. Competitive martial fighting is fine. It’s popular and offers many benefits. But it does not prepare a person realistically and adequately for the myriad of circumstances in which the matter of defending oneself and one’s family can arise.
Most especially today, when the entire society is super-sensitive to anything resembling violence, it is important to know how to handle matters off the mat and outside the training hall.

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