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United Kingdom Transportation Idle

UK Home Secretary Bans US Martial Arts Expert 440

Big Hairy Ian writes "An American expert in violent self-defense has been excluded from entering the UK by the Home Office. From the article: 'Tim Larkin tried to board a plane from his home in Las Vegas on Tuesday, but was given a UK Border Agency letter saying "his presence here was not conducive to the public good." Mr Larkin, who was due to host seminars, told the BBC the move was a "gross over-reaction." The Home Office said he was subject to an exclusion order. A spokeswoman said: "The home secretary will seek to exclude an individual if she considers that his or her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good." Mr Larkin — who trained as a US Navy Seal — runs a company teaching combat to military and law enforcement clients in the United States.'"
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UK Home Secretary Bans US Martial Arts Expert

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  • UK (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Remember, this is the country where being "anti-social" is a crime. Yes, for real.

    • by SnappyCrunch ( 583594 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:18AM (#39951027) Homepage
      The UK has a different connotation for anti-social than does the US, and in UK law, the term has very specific [] meanings.
      • He could have flown to France and board the train through the Chunnel, nobody would have known.
        You can still buy those tickets with cash.

      • by Hatta ( 162192 )

        Yes, the UK definition is even worse than you'd think. Anti-social to me means anti-society. In the UK, it means "acting in a manner that has "caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household".

        If that were the case in the US, I'd bring the entire US congress to court for antisocial behavior.

  • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:10AM (#39950995)

    This is not the first time someone has been prevented from entering a country. While the US refuses people all the time, we're supposed to get indignant that this person is refused entry to GB?

    I'm sure the mental train wreck in some peoples' minds regarding this is epic.

    However, this is not news.


    • by Fluffeh ( 1273756 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:19AM (#39951037)

      This is not the first time someone has been prevented from entering a country.

      I think the story here isn't that someone got knocked back from entering the UK, but rather the reasons behind it. TFA doesn't mention that he has a criminal record, it doesn't mention anything about hate speech or promoting violence. The guy teaches martial arts and speaks his mind on it. He doesn't come across as someone who will run down the street attacking everyone in sight, he isn't radical and (apart from knowing a lot of martial arts) doesn't seem to be anyone out of the ordinary.

      Having said that, I do sort of agree that this isn't all that newsworthy for /. even though I generally do froth at the mouth at personal freedom abuses - which I do think that this falls into.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2012 @03:36AM (#39951351)

        The only interesting part of this will be how much money he makes when he starts advertising with, "My kung-fu is so lethal they wont even let me into certain countries."

        The nationalistic, "We just dont like violent people" line is, of course, nonsense. The UK is known for being very liberal about letting hateful, violent Imams and such into the country.

      • by JasterBobaMereel ( 1102861 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @03:42AM (#39951385)

        He teaches not self defence but how to attack and injure people deliberately... he was going to talk to areas hit by riots last year to promote his methods

        • by Mannfred ( 2543170 ) <> on Thursday May 10, 2012 @05:50AM (#39951873)
          Vulnerable people who live in less safe areas are the most obvious candidates for self-defence courses, no? I don't see the Queen of England signing up for one of these.
          • by anom ( 809433 )

            Except that self-defense is frowned upon in general in the UK and you are likely to be prosecuted for it.

            • There's nothing illegal about self defence in the UK. But it has to be reasonable. Proportional to the threat. Not vigilante justice.

              Larkin goes way beyond reasonable. He advocates ignoring what the actual threat is, and just "splintering" joints or destroying (killing) people. Just in case. And that's not reasonable in UK law.

          • Self-defence courses are entirely legal in the UK. What this man is advocating is a form of self-defence that involves disproportionate, extreme violence. Under British law, defence has to be proportionate to the threat - you can kill a person who is attempting to kill you, but you don't have the right to kill a person who only slaps you. The British police have warned that these "self-defence" courses are teaching non-legal self-defence, and that the people who use these methods will be prosecuted and like

        • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @07:36AM (#39952291) Homepage

          "Self defence" covers a wide spectrum, from running away shrieking like a little girl, through to crippling your attacker using potentially lethal techniques. Larkin is at the throat-punch-for-great-justice end of the spectrum. That doesn't sit well with a Nanny State which (despite occasional noises to the contrary) de facto wants victims to blubber for help rather than take responsibility for their own safety.

          As to preaching this message in riot hit areas, those very riots demonstrated how inadequate the Nanny Will Protect You plan is when it kicks off big style, and it comes down to decent householders and business owners versus a pack of ferals. In case you're unclear on it, Larkin wasn't planning to teach the ferals, who simply pick up a knife or brick anyway.

      • Inciting violence (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2012 @03:55AM (#39951449)

        He advocated using force against the British police and he asks people to use lethal force despite it being illegal in the UK.

        • Not exactly true if someone is being violent and endangering your life then lethal force is considered reasonable force if it's done on the spur of the moment and in self defence this is something the UK Police would prefer you not to know.
          • by iserlohn ( 49556 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @05:27AM (#39951799) Homepage

            Reasonable force must be proportionate. The position (to kill in self-defence) that this man was advocating was untenable and can be classified as incitement. There is no reason why the UK should let him in, esp. when the US routinely turns away British citizen for infractions such as sending the president an email while drunk.

        • Re:Inciting violence (Score:5, Interesting)

          by History's Coming To ( 1059484 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @07:07AM (#39952165) Journal
          Lethal force is acceptable if it's the minimum force you can reasonably use and killing isn't your primary intention. If somebody started stabbing people in a pub then I could quite probably get away with hitting him over the head with a chair. If he died then that's just unfortunate. If, however, I pinned him down and intentionally strangled him to death then it's not reasonable, the threat is over when he's pinned down and holding on to his throat when he's unconscious is manslaughter (equivalent to a lesser degree of murder, not pre-planned but intentional or avoidable)

          The irony is that good martial arts training makes you less likely to cause somebody serious injury, the level of force you need to defend yourself actually drops. I could (and have) defend myself against somebody bigger than myself, if I hadn't had training then I might be tempted to punch them in the face, which can kill much more easily than people think.
      • He doesn't come across as someone who will run down the street attacking everyone in sight, he isn't radical and (apart from knowing a lot of martial arts) doesn't seem to be anyone out of the ordinary.

        No, but the sort of people who attend his conferences might be.

        (or so they think)

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        The US banned Cat Stevens, apparently because he changed his name to Yusuf Islam and Muslim people of questionable practices are fans of his.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          The U.S. refused entry to Yusuf Islam (the name that Cat Stevens has gone by since 1977) on one occasion for reasons that are unclear (he has since been admitted to the U.S.). The Department of Homeland Security said that he was denied entry because "concerns of ties he may have to potential terrorist-related activities." This could be a result of two things (and is likely the result of these two things coming together). The first, and the one that he subscribes to, is that his name in Arabic is the same as
      • "I think the story here isn't that someone got knocked back from entering the UK, but rather the reasons behind it. "...

        "Having said that, I do sort of agree that this isn't all that newsworthy for /. even though I generally do froth at the mouth at personal freedom abuses - which I do think that this falls into."

        Yes but this happens all the time when its the other way around []. I agree that its just a non-story of a fairly common practice; Only instead of being denied over misunderstood slang that's real meaning is pretty obvious to anyone with half a brain on comments made on social networking, it was instead a guy teaching how to maximise injury on someone as a form of self defence. I don't think either denial was entirely justified, but then its not my career to make these decisions.

      • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @05:08AM (#39951739)

        We had a 17 year old kid banned for life from the US for sending a drunken e-mail to Obama. We've had people turned away from the US for making jokes that weren't to the taste of TSA agents.

        As reasons go, this guy teaching people specifically to kill using hand to hand combat isn't any worse an excuse than those of people being turned away from the US.

        People get turned away all the time, even when I went to Canada once I was threatened with being turned away seemingly for no reason other than the customers officers in question were just complete cocks - I'd done absolutely nothing wrong, no criminal history, not there for work, just there for nothing more than a holiday and they felt like interrogating someone for 3 hours. They eventually just let me through but the fact is customs officers seem to be able to just weild this power randomly and at will whenever they want and for seemingly no valid reason at all.

        This needs to be seen in context, the UK's border agency is under attack right now, it's being used as a political pawn in the run up to the olympics in a battle over whether the government's management of it is competent enough to support the influx we'll see at the Olympics. Had this happened at any other time I doubt very much it would have even made the news. People get this sort of treatment all the time in all countries, it really isn't newsworthy full stop - not even the reason they used.

        • by QQBoss ( 2527196 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @05:45AM (#39951839)

          In the late '80s, I was threatened with being turned away from Canada, and having the RCMP and FBI take turns performing full body cavity searches because, while applying for my 4th work visa in a span of 6 months (at that time, I was required to apply each time I traveled up there for the type of work I did), I was asked if there was anyone who would like me to not enter Canada and I responded "just a frat brother back in the USA who knows I am going to take his ex-GF to dinner when I hop over to the GTA."

          Lessons learned:
          A) don't crack jokes with Canadian immigration officials.
          B) Clear customs and immigration in Toronto (which I mostly did for the next 15 years) and then drive to Ottawa, because Ottawa officials have much bigger sticks up their butts (and the Korean food not far from the Toronto airport is really good).
          C) After calming the situation down, when asked by said immigration official if, because I work at Motorola, I could get her 1950's vintage Motorola console TV repaired at a discount, do not respond with "Are you asking me for a bribe?" nor the 3 or 4 other responses that went across my mind.

          Looking back, I am still kind of surprised I made it to work the next day.

          • by Xest ( 935314 )

            Funnily enough it was Ottawa where I had the problems too and I agree, the officers are Toronto are much friendlier and much more welcoming so I like you do exactly the same now - fly into Toronto, and just drive to Ottawa.

      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        I think the story here isn't that someone got knocked back from entering the UK, but rather the reasons behind it. TFA doesn't mention that he has a criminal record, it doesn't mention anything about hate speech or promoting violence. The guy teaches martial arts and speaks his mind on it

        There is nothing that says he was denied because of being a martial arts "expert" either, like the title indicates.

        If I were to guess, he was blocked because he trains and recruits mercenaries, or has a past of being one, and the nature of what he trained has nothing to do with it. But we'll never know for sure, unless the home office changes policy and talks.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:20AM (#39951041)

      No kidding. This is a guy who was going to go to the UK to teach people how to KILL PEOPLE. (Really, read the article.)

      The US, on the other hand, blocks people from entering the US for planning on having a good time as tourists in the US [].

      Bit of a difference between the two, yes?

      • No kidding. This is a guy who was going to go to the UK to teach people how to KILL PEOPLE. (Really, read the article.)

        Are you sure you're not Kent Brockman?

        "Just miles from your doorstep, hundreds of men are given weapons and trained to kill. The government calls it the Army, but a more alarmist name would be... The Killbot Factory ."

        • Well if they ARE killbots, then we have nothing to fear. All we have to do to defeat them is keep sending human waves until they reach their pre-programmed kill limit and shut down.
    • Turn about is fair play

      I'll see you one aphorism and raise you another.
      "Two wrongs don't make a right."

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:58AM (#39951197)

      Turnabout isn't only fair play, in this particular case the UK was much nicer than the US needs to be:

      The US rules for foreigners, like me, means that in order to legally enter the country I have to accept that the border control can force me to return, without having to site any reason whatsoever. I get to accept all the costs, and there is no appeal process.

      This ex-SEAL actually got the courtesy of a denial well before entering his plane, and he even got a reason for it and enough time to appeal the process if he wanted.

      PS. It is a sad fact that I am posting (for the first time on /.) anonymously, because I'm afraid that even writing this could cause problems for me on future trips to the US.

    • by Hentes ( 2461350 )

      The problem with this eye for an eye approach is that it will be the little guy on both sides to suffer.

  • According to non-mainstream news sources including Benjamin Fulford (a former correspondent for Forbes Magazine) and a U.S. military official known as The Drake, both the U.S. and the U.K. are encountering a co-ordinated effort to remove, forcibly if necessary, corrupt political officials from power in compliance with the law. This effort has a lot of backing from significant numbers of U.S. military personnel, Interpol, the Pentagon, the Agencies, U.S. Marshals... and underground Asian societies.


  • by TheMiddleRoad ( 1153113 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:25AM (#39951075)
  • by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:26AM (#39951077)

    This is the same woman who, upon learning that border control was overloaded and relaxing passport checks for low risk cases at peak time, decided to solve the problem by firing the guy in charge and forcing checks to never be relaxed. Result: planes stacking up in the sky because the queues at border control were too long. Prime Minister summons her and gives her a right ass-kicking and now risk-based enforcement is back on the table.

    It will be tempting for Slashdot posters to over-generalize from this case to try and make sweeping statements about the entire UK or British people (just as it's tempting to do the same about Americans when the US Govt does something retarded). But the core problem in this case really boils down to one woman and her arbitrary and inconsistent management of the borders.

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:36AM (#39951111)

    They've been excluding a lot of people recently for very silly reasons. Apparently someone have been given more power then they have wit to manage and they're basically going power mad. It's one thing if you're excluding people that present a public risk. It's another if the reasons are totally arbitrary.

  • by Beelzebud ( 1361137 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:40AM (#39951119)
    Special Ops training for cops?
    • by Aryden ( 1872756 )
      Who do you think your first responders are to emergency situations which may include "terrorist" instances? In this day and age, special operations could teach a great deal to law enforcement professionals. One might think this a bad thing, but in reality, it is all about handling a situation, situational awareness and achieving your objective with as little bloodshed and collateral damage as possible. These are things that I would like for cops to have.
  • by Chuck Chunder ( 21021 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @03:05AM (#39951229) Homepage Journal
    Who's he kidding? The UK Border Agency would be irrelevant to Chuck Norris.
  • This guy owes the Home Office bureaucrat who made this decision a percentage of his future revenues, because his career is *made*. "LEARN SELF DEFENSE FROM THE MAN JUDGED TOO LETHAL TO ENTER THE UK!"

    • by cheros ( 223479 )

      LOL, I like it. Nice spin. Do you work for a Government? :)

      I think the real definition would be "the man too boneheaded to recognise inflammatory language doesn't exactly help when the target nation already has a riot and hooligan problem".

      I guess he needs this language to sell (marketing is everything), but I can see the point of the authorities as they simply go by what happened the last time he was over. I'd call this an own goal, but as you pointed out, he could turn this one around - clever idea :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2012 @04:37AM (#39951627)

    First, the word SEAL is an abbreviation and is therefore capitalized. Also, Tim Larkin was never a Navy SEAL according to real US Navy SEAL authenticators. He dropped out of BUD/S and therefore never qualified as a SEAL. He's been lying about his service for years.

  • by Builder ( 103701 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @05:17AM (#39951765)

    And the USA bans people from entering because they send tweets about partying. So what ?

    Sovereign nations decide who gets to come in. Nothing new here.

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin