According to the BBC and his own website, popular American self-defense instructor, Tim Larkin has been banned from entering the UK. Larkin was preparing to board a UK bound plane from Vegas on Tuesday, when he was given a letter from a UK Border Agency. The letter indicated “his presence here was no conducive to the public good.”
Larkin is the subject of an exclusion order issued by the Home Office. According to a spokesman, “The home secretary will seek to exclude an individual if she considers that his or her presence is not conducive to the public good.”
Larkin, who was scheduled to deliver the keynote speech at the Martial Arts Show in Birmingham and host a seminar in Tottenham, told BBC that banning him from entering the UK was a “gross over-reaction”. Larkin told BBC Radio 4 that he believed he was being excluded based on his criticism of Britian’s self-defense laws.
Although previously affiliated with Jerry Pedersen’s Scientific Combat Reactionary System (S.C.A.R.S.), Larkin now teaches his own system dubbed, “Target Focus Training”. He is a well-known, albeit somewhat controversial figure in the self-defense community. A peruse through some of the popular self-defense related forums reveals that much of the controversy stems from Larkin’s background as a Navy SEAL and the claim that S.C.A.R.S. was the official hand-to-hand combat system of the SEALs.
So what’s so different from what Larkin teaches and what other self-defense instructors teach? Larkin claims there was “nothing outrageous” about his views on self-defense.
Larkin said, “This is not being a vigilante. You are sitting in your house and you’re being attacked, or you’re attacked out in the street…There’s an awful lot of martial arts and self defense being taught there right now that gives no instruction on [how to hurt] the human body. There are those rare, rare black swan occasions – like the riots – where law-abiding citizens are put in situations where they are facing grievous bodily harm and they hesitate because they are afraid of being prosecuted. That is a very real thing.”
I agree with Larkin’s contention that people should be taught to inflict severe injury using their body’s natural weapons, hands, feet, knees, elbows, head, etc. What else would you do if faced with a deadly threat while unarmed? If to prevent the imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to yourself or another person, you would be justified in shooting an assailant, why would you not be justified in breaking his neck or gouging out his eye? Deadly force is deadly force whether it’s shooting an attacker, thrusting a pen into his throat, or running him over with a vehicle.
The obvious caveat is that in addition to teaching someone how to use deadly force, you must teach them under what circumstances the use of such force would be justified. Without a clear understanding of the laws governing the use of deadly force, you may defeat your attacker only to spend the rest of your life behind bars.
I don’t believe that the mere fact that an instructor teaches empty handed deadly force techniques should preclude them from entering a particular country. What are your thoughts?