Every karatéka must concern himself during his training with the principles of the self-defence law. Owing to the knowledge of the self-defence law, it is possible for a karatéka to judge dangerous situations realistically and to thus react correctly. The self-defence law is subject to the principle of proportionality of the means, i.e. that a physical attack on the person itself or on a third person must be averted in a situation-adequate way by applying immediate compulsion until having finished the attack and that the attacker must be controlled, if possible.
The self-defence law is regulated by the Penal Code (StGB) and the Civil Code of Law (BGB):
32 StGB "Self-defence"
(1) Anybody committing an act, which is imperative by self-defence, does not act illegally.
(2) Self-defence is the defence, which is required, in order to avert from oneself or from any other person a present illegal attack.
33 StGB "Violation of self-defence"
In case the perpetrator violates the limits of self-defence for confusion, fear, or fright, he will not be punished.
34 StGB "Justifying emergency"
Anybody committing an act in a present danger to life, limb, freedom, honour, property, or to any other property, which cannot be averted in another way, in order to avert the danger from oneself of from any other person, does not act illegally, in case the protected interest does not predominate the impaired one essentially considering the conflicting interests, namely the properties concerned and the degree of dangers impending to them. This is applicable only, however, as far as the act is an appropriate means to avert the danger.
§ 227 BGB "Self-defence"
(1) Any act, which is imperative by self-defence, is not illegal.
(2) Self-defence is the defence being required to avert from oneself or from any other person a present illegal attack.
§ 229 BGB "Self-help"
Anybody taking away, destroying, or damaging a thing for the purpose of self-help or anybody arresting an obliged person being suspected of flight for the purpose of self-help or eliminating the resistance of the obliged person against any act which she/he is obliged to suffer, does not act illegally, in case authoritarian help cannot be obtained in time and in case there is the danger without immediate intervention that the realization of the claim would be thwarted or made essentially more difficult.