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Destroying the Attacker

I have written about this some, and will write about it more.

But in a nutshell, I do not believe that Karate is completely defensive.  It is defensive in the sense that a Karate student should not be the attacker.  A Karate student should avoid violence and certainly should never start a fight.

However, and this is an important however, my experience with some very skilled Karate people is that once the attacker initiates the attack, whatever form that may take, the Karate person will avoid to the extent possible, but lacking a way to avoid the situation, will switch into "destroy" mode.  In short, the Karate person will take steps to destroy the attacker.  The Karate person will not simply respond to the attack and block each punch, strike or kick.  Simply blocking is usually doomed to failure.  If you let me stand in front of you and attack you, and you just block (with no counterattack), I will eventually hit you.  You would do the same to me.

But if you hit me and I drop you to the ground, then you will have a much harder time trying to hit me again.  Depending on what I do, you might not be able to do anything at all.  Destroying the attacker ends the attack.

We tend to think about Karate as a totally defensive and passive art.  I agree that it is, right up until the point that it isn't.  Then, as a last resort, it can be intensely destructive.

The first part of Karate is learning and practicing defensive techniques.  The second part is learning and practicing to destroy the attacker.  Some people I have met are or were really skilled at the second.  If you attacked them, they would not fight with you -- they would destroy you.  It would be like grabbing a sharp knife by the cutting edge.

That is something I have been thinking about lately.


Charles C. Goodin