See our comprehensive library of Martial Arts School Insurance Information and Interviews.

Imagine an adult brown belt asking you this question in class. “I live in a gated community. Sometimes, I see these two teenage kids walking down the street at night. They have hoodies on and clearly do not live here. I think they’re casing cars. I don’t want to call the cops and get accused of profiling or anything. What should I do?”

What would you tell him to do?

[HDquiz quiz = “453”]

Choose your answer, click Finish and then scroll down for more.

Let’s go over the options:

Every option but 911 increases the liability to your student. If he follows them, confronts them, or gets a neighbor to help him scare them off, he is opening a massive legal nightmare.

If he confronts them and they turn and attack, his life has just changed. Why?

  1. When the dust has settled, the kids will have a lawyer that may take the case for free. You’ll need a lawyer who may take every dime you have.
  2. Their attorney will say that the adult attacked the kids for no reason. Guess what? It’s two witnesses against one. How do you prove they are lying? Without a witness, you can’t.
  3. They are minors. Assault on a Minor is a serious charge. If one of them is seriously injured by your student, the situation ramps up legally and the costs skyrocket.

You may be thinking, “That’s nuts. They attacked him. He was just defending himself.” Because you approached them, the attorney will probably argue that you “provoked” them. In playground terms, “You started it” and the legal fees to prove otherwise can run well into six-figures and years of massive stress.

The reason I’m taking the time to write this is to help you understand that you are not a self-defense expert unless you understand self-defense law in your state.

That’s why we have designated Cobra-Defense as the Official Self-Defense System of the Martial Arts Teachers’ Association. Cobra is law enforcement based. It’s not technique or military based.

Check out Cobra at

In the meantime, read and re-read The Law of Self-Defense.

Please comment below and share this.