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Goal. Each type of combat has a goal. In competition, the goal is to defeat the opponent under the established rules, using permitted techniques. In fighting, the goal is defeat the opponent using any technique permitted by the unwritten rules, but, since the rules are not enforced, an opponent may use any technique he or she wants to use. In self-defense, the goal of the attacker is to seriously injure or kill the victim, and the goal of the victim is to defend against the attack and stop the attacker from attacking or to convince the attacker to stop attacking. The purpose of warfare is to kill as many of the enemy and destroy as much of the enemy’s infrastructure as necessary to achieve its compliance, surrender, or defeat.
Legal Techniques. Each type of combat has “legal” methods and permitted techniques that may be used to “win.” In competition, these methods and techniques are clearly defined. The methods and techniques permitted are designed to protect the opponents from serious injury while still allowing for the determination of a winner. In a fight, the permitted methods and techniques used are those that allow a combatant to “beat” the opponent. Since there is no enforcement of the rules, illegal techniques may be used. A win occurs when the opponent is unable or unwilling to continue the fight. The techniques used may or may not be deadly, but either way, the risk of serious injury or death is always present. In self-defense, the attacker will use any way possible to seriously injure, incapacitate, or kill the victim; the attacker has no legal limitations. However, the victim is legally bound to use only the amount of force necessarily to stop the attack. The victim is not legally permitted to attack the attacker after the attack has ceased. In warfare, there are commonly accepted methods and techniques that may be used, such as shooting or bombing, but some methods are almost universally condemned, such as nerve gas and torture.