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Last Resort

Once when I was giving a lecture to my class, I asked when Karate techniques should be used. One child said, "only as a last resort." Another child agreed.

Then I asked a third child if that was right. He also agreed. I then asked him what "last resort" means. He had no idea!

We have to be careful to make sure that our students understand what we are saying. Memorizing "last resort" won't help if the student does not know what it means.

I explained that Karate techniques should only be used when there is no other way out -- when you have tried to avoid the conflict by every other means possible. Using Karate is the last thing you want to do, not the first or even the second.

The saying "Karate ni sente nashi" roughly means that "there is no first attack in Karate." This goes hand in hand with the idea of use as a last resort. Karate is not used to attack first, nor is it used to counter -- unless it is unavoidable.


Charles C. Goodin