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Things I Worry About

If I had to defend myself against an attacker who does not appear to be very skilled, what do you think I would worry about? I asked my class this tonight.

One person answered that I should worry about his friends. That is correct. I would especially worry about people I might not be able to see. And I would worry about concealed weapons.

But another thing that I would worry about is that the attacker might be faking his apparent lack of skill. What if he is an excellent Karate, Judo, or mixed martial arts expert? What if he is a skilled street fighter? What if he is just pretending to lack skill so that I will underestimate him and lower my guard?

You have to be careful not to underestimate anyone, nor to focus so much on the attacker that you miss his friends, who may join the attack. You have to carefully assess the attacker and the overall situation.

And never forget that the use of Karate techniques is a last resort, for self-defense only. If you are fighting out of anger, that is not self-defense. Self-defense is defending your life and the lives of others. If you can run away, that is good self-defense. If you can end the conflict, that is a win. If you have to use Karate techniques, the attacker could be seriously injured. So could you. You should avoid the use of Karate techniques to the extent possible. If you decide to teach the attacker a lesson, who knows what could happen? His friends could appear or he might pull a concealed weapon. He might even have a disease that you could catch from contact with his blood or bodily fluids.

Karate is something that you should hope not to use. As Mizuho Mutsu (who came to Hawaii in 1933) used to say, a hand is a treasure in the pocket.


Charles C. Goodin