In the Name of Self-Defense – Marc MacYoung

Someone asked me how In the Name of Self-Defense is different than my earlier works.
1) My first book Cheap Shots was a brain dump of a 28 year old thug trying to get out of being that. In a very real sense, it was all the stuff I subconsciously knew, but I didn’t consciously know, much less could articulate. I spent a decade fleshing different aspects of that out.

I’m 54 now and have spent the last 26 years, learning, experiencing, expanding, moving into new realms — including watching how our criminal justice system, the streets and how people think have changed. This is a new brain dump. With more trips into my subconscious, hooking things and dragging them up to the surface. It’s amazing to me the new depth and breath of the subject.

2) There are no physical techniques. It’s all the non-physical stuff about violence people don’t know — or worse yet, think they already know and have mastered.

3)This book is a manual for civilians.

In my previous books, I assumed people were familiar with the Life attitudes and understandings, in bad situations, came from certain socio-economic backgrounds and had certain…. For example, I assumed people had experience dealing with the police and knew how not to get arrested for engaging in illegal violence, much less actual self-defense. Mostly though, I wrote for an audience who understood violence and the consequences of it, were a fact of life.

I don’t make that assumption anymore. Not only for the reader, but to understand the lawyers and the jury are likely never to have spit blood as the price of doing business. Because of this lack of direct experience, people have come to believe many misconceptions about violence. Not super specialized ‘life among criminals’ violence, but the simple fact that sometimes violence is necessary. Then add having to debunk so many lies, misconceptions, marketing and agenda driven ‘education‘ about the horrors of violence.

This book is indeed a manual about the elements the average person is going to encounter if he or she finds oneself in a violent situation. It’s first and foremost about violence dynamics. Then what is self-defense and what isn’t,how to avoid and de-escalate violence, assess when de-escalation isn’t working (including if it will just flat out not work at all), choose the appropriate level of force, how to stay in what I call the ‘Self-Defense Square’ (to keep you from going to prison for defending yourself). What to expect in the legal aftermath and most of all — the most overlooked and ignored aspect of them all — how to articulate that what you did was self-defense and NOT illegal violence.

There are a lot of people in prison for illegal violence (they mistakenly believed what they were doing was self-defense). But there are also a lot of folks who did act in self-defense, but were not able to explain WHY what they did was self-defense.

Why is this important? Because when you claim self-defense, the advice of “Shut up and let your lawyer do the talking, falls on it’s face. By using an affirmative plea (self-defense) you HAVE to talk. You have to ‘prove’ that it was SD. You have to provide enough evidence to show that it was not a crime. Otherwise all you have done by claiming self-defense is confessed to a crime. And that is what the courts or the jury will decide it is, even if it was actually self-defense.

Comment by Erik Kondo

Here is my interpretation of what Marc is saying:

Self-defense can be broken down into 3 stages of Before/During/After a/k/a Prevention/Intervention/Mitigation or via the 5D’s of DECIDE & DETER/DISRUPT & DISENGAGE/DEBRIEF

Initially, Marc’s focus was the physical aspects of Intervention  a/k/a DISRUPT & DISENGAGE. He now sees for the average civilian Self-Defense as:

DECIDE (Education)

1. Explaining what violence really is and is not in order to clear out popular misconceptions and incorrect beliefs.

2. Explaining the Environment of violence in terms of Violence Dynamics.

3. Explaining what Self-Defense really is and is not in order to clear out popular misconceptions and incorrect beliefs.

DETER (deterrence)

4. Identify and Avoid violence

5. De-escalate violence

6. Assessment/critical thinking/decision making & the Trigger to Act


7. Use the appropriate level of force (Just-Right Response) to stay with legal self-defense

8. Over-Enforcement creates a backlash in the form of legal consequences

DEBRIEF (Dealing with the aftermath)

9. Understanding the post self-defense process.

10. Articulating why what you did (your Use of Force) was self-defense.

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