Often I am reading or hearing about how one can use karate for self defense so I did a bit of research where I came across "Objective Standard" which calls for the Jury to be instructed to view the occurrence in question through the eyes of the "ordinary man." In other words, jurors must compare the defendant's acts with the acts of a hypothetical "reasonable person" under the same or similar circumstances.
A reasonable person objective is to denote a hypothetical person in society who exercises average care, skill, and judgment in conduct, etc. It represents a standard which a jury will use, as instructed by the court, to measure the conduct of an individual to determine if self defense is applicable.
I am not a lawyer or attorney or a judge or a prosecutor or a police person so this is just my thoughts and mine alone. I believe that if you are a karate-ka of any experience that a reasonable person will not view you or your actions in the same light as a normal person with no apparent skills of fighting or combat or defensive nature.
This is what California would use if they feel you warrant prosecution and I suspect that in most cases if they didn't feel it you would not be facing it and they believe their chances of conviction are pretty darn good.
I can envision how they will use MMA clips and other common ads on karate and martial systems to promote the brutality resulting from its practice and use. I feel that the normal and reasonable person would see it much like the movies depictions as violent and brutal and intended for combative stuff and not self defense.
I guess it is just lucky that 90% of us will never have to encounter violence, use karate to defend ourselves and then find we stepped across the line between defense and confrontational/aggressive/fighting.
I recently commented on karate being a self defense art where I tried to convey that it is not taught today as a self defense form but rather a "fighting" form or system. The title self defense in most cases is more a feel good about what your doing that is violent and brutal and call it self defense cause you ain't never going to have to use it in real life so why bother with semantics, etc.
I failed to express that is most dojo I have witnessed, participated in, etc. the Sensei promotes a very aggressive response vs. teaching the appropriate response that reaches a "must stop now" point to remain within the definition of self defense in the local in which you live.
I taught karate. I taught what I believed at the time was self defense or self defense techniques. I had no clue what real violence was or how one would defend against it and violent persons. I understand although not consciously that what I taught was combative and fighting but self defense, NOT. I thank God that no one I taught had to actually use it for defense cause I suspect they would have ended up in jail along side the other person.
A reasonable person definition will also be different for each jury, each juror and each case in court. I suspect because of the ambiquety of the law that there is no one definitive definition that will suffice. In the end, each time, it comes down to the unique aspect and experience of the juror and hopefully they are not of a nature where any violence to them is "wrong" for that might put someone in a position where they were defending but suffered a rendering of guilty because the reasonable person on the jury says, "no excuses, you hurt that person unreasonably."
I suspect prosecutors count on that aspect to get convictions which are politically a good thing for them, at a cost they can live with yet ... you ... not sure about that one.