Here’s something for you lawyers out there, or you martial artists, or somebody.
I attended the University of South Carolina for exactly one semester, the fall of 1971. On top of my regular classes, I took a free short course in the evenings, not for credit.
It was karate. A friend from the Pee Dee and I took it, and we probably spent more time practicing our moves outside of class than we did studying for any of our academic classes. Or at least, I did. (We never hit a dorm elevator button with our fingers — we always used our feet.) One night, we staged a huge sparring match in the hallway of Bates House, and drew quite a crowd. We were really over the top, leaping into the air, kicking, and generally pretending to be Billy Jack, since that movie was huge that fall.
Amazingly, none of the guys watching us cracked up laughing. I think we actually fooled some of them into thinking we knew what we were doing.
Anyway, the guy who taught the classes — I remember his name as being John Bull Roper, which I thought was a great name for a black belt — used to tell us that in South Carolina, there was something called a “run-to-the-wall” clause in the law.
What that meant, he said, was that if you were an expert at killing with your hands and feet, as we believed him to be, you had to do everything you could to avoid a fight. You had to “run to the wall,” and only when there was nowhere else to retreat to could you defend yourself with your skills.
I forgot about that over the years, until everybody started talking about “stand your ground” laws. Which, of course, would be the opposite thing.
Was there ever such a thing? Anybody remember it? I can’t find it on Google. Maybe I’m remembering the words wrong; I don’t know…