Isn’t there such a thing as a justified escalation? Considering it is entirely possible to simply *beat* someone to death?
Is it still escalation if, before the violence starts, one person pulls a knife and attempts to avoid the fight and gets attacked anyway? On the one hand it is a greater level of force, and on the other hand, the unarmed person had the option to avoid the fight but instead accepted the risk of being stabbed (to death).
My guess is that the law says that you are required to drop the knife, accept the beating, and hope that the person crazy or skilled enough to attack a knife wielder bare handed, will stop beating you before you die.