If a fight breaks out between a seasoned martial artist and an average person, then it wouldn’t come as a surprise if the average Joe ends up with a few fractures. But is that so serious that the hands of these pro fighters have to be treated as weapons?
And if so, is it necessary to get these hands registered as fatal weapons?
Well, there is no necessity for professional fighters to register their hands as weapons as there is no such law; thus, the idea is a myth. However, a professional fighter’s hand is as deadly as a weapon and is treated as such in court.
Although there are some legal considerations for those who are trained in martial arts and choose to get indulged in a random street fight, interestingly enough, there is a place in the world where pro fighters have to register themselves by law.
From Where Does the Idea Come From That a Pro Fighter’s Hands Are Registered As Deadly Weapons?
The idea comes from some series of events, if we may say, that have led us to this myth that an expert fighter has to register his hands as deadly weapons.
Here is a brief look at some of these events:
The Second World War
According to some people, the idea of expert fighters registering their hands as weapons came from the American occupation of Japan during World War 2.
So in order to make sure that everything remains under control, all the martial art schools, instructors, and even trained fighters were required to register their martial arts qualifications and file for a special permit before they could teach or get trained in martial arts.
However, this policy was not implemented in America and ceased to exist in Japan when the Americans withdrew from the country.
Opportunists Looking for Payout
This may sound hilarious, but another reason behind the spread of this idea was the cottage industry.
Some young men were very eager to show their superiority and impress other young men. So in order to do that, they thought the best way is to get a license for deadly hands.
It went viral over the internet, and as a result, there were dozens of websites that were more than happy to fulfill the wish of these young men for a price that ranged from $19.99 to $99.99.
The websites were happy to send you a plastic card that awarded a martial arts license to show to your friends, family, and fans.
Boxers or Boasters?
This may sound unkind, and we don’t have any intention of insulting anybody, but we have to accept the simple fact that boxing is a show and what is bigger show a boxer can make than showing off or boasting about the fact that his hands are registered as deadly weapons. Furthermore, those boxers like to mention this while trash-talking their opponents.
It is true that by the nature of professional boxing, many boxers are boasters. Thus there is a very good reason why this myth idea has spread.
There is another quite nice story, according to which Joe Louis, a pro heavyweight boxer, paid some police authorities to register his hands as deadly weapons.
We don’t have any proof regarding this matter, but we can confidently say that even if it is true, it was not a legal registration. It was simply another moment where a boxer was bragging about his hands and boxing qualifications.
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Pro Fighters’ Hands Can Be a Deadly Weapon
It is not so important to know where the idea came from but rather to accept the absolute truth that a professional fighter’s hands can be deadly weapons. Therefore, if a professional fighter will indulge in any fight and causes harm to others, the law will judge him as a deadly weapon.
If you give it a thought, you will find it reasonable because if you pick a rolling pin and hurt someone with it, you will still be judged with assault of deadly weapon.
No one has to register rolling pins as deadly weapons because if the law has to register everything that might be deadly, there will be no time to do anything else. It does not mean, however, that rolling pins cannot serve as deadly weapons.
What Does the State of Texas Say About the Idea of Fighters’ Hands As Deadly Weapons?
Jamual Parks was charged with an assault in the state of Texas in 2015, while having a significant qualification of MMA training to his name.
The assistant attorney of the district told the reporter that Jamual Parks was charged as an MMA fighter, so it made a lot of sense to consider his hands as deadly weapons.
Jamual was found guilty and got imprisoned for six years.
It didn’t matter whether his hands were considered deadly weapons under the law, but it did matter what he had done with those hands.
What Does the US Territory of Guam Have to Say About This Idea?
According to the US territory of Guam, all martial artists are required to register themselves under the government. Even the law states that a martial artist’s hands and feet are considered deadly weapons.
So if you are found guilty, according to the law, it will be automatically treated as a serious offense, and you will be charged accordingly.
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Can You Defend Yourself?
After reading half of the article, you may be wondering, what if I had to defend myself? And self-defense is another fundamental reason behind all the hard work and training. Does it mean that according to the law, you can’t even defend yourself?
Self-defense is acceptable, but it is vital to understand that when you are in a fight or in an inappropriate situation, you should apply the right amount of force to protect yourself or someone else.
Now in the heat of the moment, if you go full samurai on someone, you may end up in court. Even if it can happen that if you use the appropriate and reasonable amount of force, you can still end up in court to discuss some matters and see whether it was an act of self-defense or intentional harm.
Thus, it would be best always to be reasonable about your actions to avoid court.
End the Threat, Not the Person
The key ingredient to avoid all legalities is to end the threat and not the person. By this statement, we mean, for example, if you break someone’s legs or hands in order to take their weapon away or di-weaponize them, then it is justifiable.
Now, if you break someone’s arm or legs or keep on attacking your opponent when they are disarmed or already lying on the ground pleading for mercy, you are going to be guilty for sure.
As soon as the threat is neutralized, you must stop attacking your opponent or defending yourself. Don’t act carelessly in the heat of the moment.
Tips to Stay Away From Trouble for Martial Artists
So, here are some tips for our pro fighters to help them stay away from troubles:
- Be aware of the self-defense law wherever you are.
- Try to avoid any conflict in the street or in general
- Always be reasonable about your actions and try to use the appropriate force
- Stop attacking when the threat is neutralized, do not act in the heat of the moment.
- Do not attack until you feel you are in danger or under attack
- Before attacking, shout out your intentions about attacking your opponent. It is proven that when you talk about attacking, your opponent may reconsider his moves before any situation occurs.
- Many states have a law according to which martial artists can protect themselves by using the appropriate amount of force towards any attackers. Of course, it is not a license to murder, but a martial artist can derive some extra benefits from the law.
- Many states offer full immunity from lawsuits if a martial artist acts in self-defense.
- You can always defend yourself or others when you are in your territory.
- While protecting yourself, be aware that you do not destroy any property of your opponent or anybody else’s because it happens when you are free of guilt, but you can still be charged if you destroy the opponent’s property or anyone else’s property. In this case, you will be obligated to pay for the damages.
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If you are still wondering whether a professional fighter has to register his hands as deadly weapons, then the answer is absolutely not! Though in Guam, you have to register both your hands and feet as deadly weapons when you are a martial artist.
However, this does not mean that you have a license to indulge in any fight since you can be charged with assault with a deadly weapon, even if you don’t have to register your hands as weapons.
The moral of the article is that there is no need to register your hands as deadly weapons, and the entire idea is a myth. Also, there are many ways to avoid any fights and inappropriate situations if you are a martial artist. So, be aware of your surroundings and always stay reasonable when it comes to your actions.
I am a huge fan of both BJJ and MMA. Jiu-jitsu is my biggest passion, and I’ve been training it for more than 5 years. I have recently been promoted to a purple belt. In this blog, I will be giving you tips on how to improve and how to choose the best BJJ equipment!