With all of this talk about how it is wrong to use violence, what about the use of violence in a self-defense situation? As a Buddhist, I would never want to inflict harm on another being but if someone was attacking me with lethal force or with the intention of raping me, I would do what ever it would take to get myself out of that situation safely.

In my martial arts school, we are taught numerous methods to prevent attacks in the first place and to fight only in self-defense. In self-defense, my instructors teach us to use equal amount of force that our attacker is giving us. If someone comes up to you holding a knife and demands your wallet, just give them your wallet and run. Don't attack them unless they actually attack you. If that same person does move to attack you with that knife even after you give them your wallet, then use the self-defense necessary to get away safely.

We are taught to use enough force to get them down on the ground to give you enough time to get the heck out of there safely. Now for a woman defending herself against a larger and stronger man, we would have to do enough damage to them to give us time to get away. That means hurting them badly because if we don't, they could get angry and attack us more. Or they can out run us and attack us again. There are a lot of self-defense techniques to use that vary from being lethal to an arm-bar submission but in a real-life situation, you will have only seconds to respond. You won't have time to think, "Well I am a Buddhist and if I use this or this technique, it will cause the least bit of harm."

So if ever faced with a situation in defending your life and if the use of self-defense causes severe bodily harm or death in order to save your own life or the life of your child, how does that fit in with being a Buddhist? How does that fit in when you are living by the Precepts and what about the karmic effects? I will be completely honest and this might upset some people but if it meant to save my life or keep myself from being brutally raped, I would do whatever it takes to get away safely and/or my child safely. I wouldn't like it and would never intend to hurt anyone. But if I had to, I guess that is something I would have to live with.

What are your thoughts? What would you do?