"The Author, it must be remembered, writes from his own standpoint!"
My personal "Interpretive" Lens!

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"One thing has always been true: That book ... or ... that person who can give me an idea or a new slant on an old idea is my friend." - Louis L'Amour

"Ideally, your self-defense will never get physical. Avoiding the situation and running or talking you way out - either of these is a higher order of strategy than winning a physical battle." - Wise Words of Rory Miller, Facing Violence: Chapter 7: after, subparagraph 7.1:medical

"Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider..." - Francis Bacon

Warning, Caveat and Note: The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books.

Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.

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To Fight or Not To Fight, that is the Question?

I can provide theories on self defense as it relates to possible legal issues but I am not an expert. I can tell you that the line between self preservation/protection/defense is fluid and tricky yet I am not an expert. I can only express my particular view at any one moment knowing as that moment leaves like a breeze blowing a leaf along it will change.

Iain Abernathy wrote a post on power and impact with a quote from Funakoshi, Gichin Sensei as follows, "When there are no avenues of escape or one is caught even before any attempt to escape can be made, then for the first time the use of self-defense techniques should be considered. Even at times like these, do not show any intention of attacking, but first let the attacker become careless. At that time attack him concentrating one's whole strength in one blow to a vital point and in the moment of surprise, escape and seek shelter and help.” 

It occurred to me when reading the quote that Funakoshi Sensei seemed to understand the ramifications of self defense vs. fighting. He seems to be saying that for it to remain morally upright a karate-ka must not fight unless not other option is available yet at the end he still stresses escape and seek help.

In avoidance hopefully one will not get hit or fight or have to protect themselves physically. If physical altercation is unavoidable and you must use your ability then, so it seems somewhat, that he advocates proper force to stop the fight so you can immediately run/escape/tactfully retreat to safety and seek help, etc.

Maybe those older karate-ka, in a time long ago, had more sense and sensibility than most martial systems today give them credit for other than lip service in a self serving manner.


  1. Hi Charles, people often remark that traditional karate teaches nothing about true self-defence yet quotes like this from Funakoshi show that these masters of karate knew EXACTLY what they were talking about and we still have a lot to learn from them. This post has provided great clarity to the fighting/self defence debate. Thank you.