Registering yourself as a lethal weapon is often believed to be a requirement for individuals trained in martial arts or professional fighting. While a high level of physical skills and advanced abilities in this field can render a person more likely to injure severe or fatal consequences, this registration process is not a requirement but may be considered for various reasons.
You can register yourself as a lethal weapon, but it is not a necessary step in studying martial arts or professional fighting, and it is not a requirement by law. Although it is a primarily misunderstood practice, there are specific situations where registration may be requested.
Understanding this myth’s origin and the exceptional circumstances for registering a person as a lethal weapon will explain why it is not widely practiced as many people think. Read further to find out who is legally able to register a professional fighter as a lethal weapon, the reasons why it happens, and what you need to know if you practice martial arts or professional fighting with regards to this practice.
When Must Someone Be Registered as a Lethal Weapon?
A court of law must determine the requirements for registering a professional fighter as a lethal weapon, and only in certain circumstances. For example, if a martial artist or fighter physically attacks someone else as the aggressor, they can severely or fatally injure one or more people as a result.
In some court cases, the criminal charges may be a misdemeanor despite severe damage to the victim. A judge may consider the fighter a lethal weapon in such cases, increasing the charges’ severity to a felony.
This consideration by a judge or court of law is rare and usually done in situations where the professional fighter acted aggressively and without reason. In cases where physical fighting is a result of self-defense, this process does not apply. It is expected that all professional martial artists and fighters use their abilities in ways that are not dangerous or intended to harm anyone unless they must defend themselves.
How Registration as a Lethal Weapon Became Widely Believed
There is no specific department within the U.S. Government or legal entity regulating martial arts or similar fighting styles.
The belief that all professional fighters must go through this registration process is a myth that has given some unscrupulous individuals the idea that they could “recruit” newly trained fighters to register them for a fee. While it may seem convincing, due to how long this myth has circulated over many years, it does not have any legal or professional bearing unless a judge approves it.
The History of the Myth
The myth of registering boxers and martial artists are deadly weapons stems from several sources: one in the mid-1900s, when it was briefly illegal to practice martial arts originating from Japan, following the war.
Another source of this myth stems from publicity stunts by several famous boxers who claimed to have been “officially” registered with the police as lethal weapons. Many of these officers were not the police, which was later discovered, and the registration process paraded in public was nothing more than a means to gain attention.
Anyone who offers a certificate or card declaring registration as a lethal weapon is not only practicing unethically but misleading fighters and students in this field as well. It is essential to recognize this as a scam and that it can be offered by individuals claiming to be certified trainers and professionals in the field.
If your trainer or instructor provides this service, it should call into question their legitimacy for practicing in the area of martial arts or professional fighting.
The Importance of Using Adequate vs. Excessive Force
Professional fighters must use their training with the vital force they need when faced with a dangerous situation. For example, if two or three people attack a black belt martial artist, they have the right to use their skills to defend themselves. Self-defense will likely result in injuries, some of which may be severe.
If the assailants experience a broken limb or fall, and they are unable to continue fighting, then the professional fighter must stop and contact the police.
Causing further injuries after this point could result in assault charges, or worse if the result is severe or fatal. Professional fighters are justified in using force to defend themselves, though only within the necessary means to avoid injury and disable their attacker.
When they disable the assailants, mitigating the next steps by contacting emergency services is essential. The process of taking these critical steps indicates their intentions were not to injury or harm, only to stop the attack.
The Duty of Trained Professional Fighters
While professional fighters such as boxers and martial artists can acquire extensive skills to help them in potential dangerous events, they must also respect and understand the power of their strength and training when faced with these difficult situations.
Furthermore, while belt ranking is a respected system to indicate skill level in martial arts, it does not demonstrate the individual’s natural abilities. For example, a black-belt level fighter or someone with an advanced belt may have achieved all the requirements to earn the level, though may not possess the same talent, strength, and speed as a fighter with a lower belt ranking.
While no legal or government agency regulates the field of martial arts and boxing, many schools and professionals respect a specific code of conduct and ethics, which they use in their training programs. Many students take an interest in martial arts and boxing to improve fitness, skills, and their ability to fight professionally or as a way to defend themselves.
Guard Against False Claims and Ensure Your Training Is Ethical
If you are offered a certificate or card by someone claiming to be authorized to “register” you as a lethal weapon, take the following steps:
- Document any information they provide and note their name, training experience, where they instruct or train
- Explain to the instructor that this practice is not legitimate, and refrain from training with them. They are using incorrect information and using it unethically.
- If your school or training style (martial arts, MMA, boxing, etc.) reports to an organization that regulates their staff and behavior, report this offer of “registration” quickly.
- Let other students and peers know about this tactic and that it has no legitimacy. Education about this fraudulent practice should not be tolerated and will damage the school and the community’s trust.
Professional training in martial arts, boxing, BJJ, and MMA is a popular way to learn valuable fighting skills, increase strength and exceptional fitness. In the long-term, amateur and professional fighters become involved in communities of trainers, students, and professionals who share their passion for fighting.
For this reason, it is vital to ensure that the instructors and senior professionals in the schools and greater community of these sports do not spread inaccurate and false information.
The legendary belief that requires professional fighters to register themselves as a dangerous, lethal weapon is primarily the hype of publicity stunts and false claims that have survived over many years. Not only has this false belief become exaggerated, but it’s also something many people expect they must do once they become a trained fighter and often fall prey to illegitimate schemes.
Professional fighting and martial arts are fantastic sports that require a significant amount of dedication, commitment, and training. It is also essential with legitimate, reputable instructors and schools that practice ethically.