Karate is not self-defense. Karate is a tactical dueling system only.He has frequently given me the impression that he really does think that Shotokan (the system he practices) sums up what "karate" is, and that it is less a real-world self-defense system than a sporting contest with a historical connection to mano-a-mano macho contests. I, on the other hand, enter a practice session with an acute focus on the problem of keeping my pale tuchus alive and unharmed in the event of a violent assault, and think that karate--specifically RyuTe--is an excellent "life protection" art. Be that as it may, I rather liked what he had to say in this post. Herewith, a short quote:
I avoid violence. I, like most others who have practiced fighting arts or have been in the military, am well aware that when violence starts, so does chaos. And in the chaos, anything can happen. No matter which of you is the master and which is the fool, either one can step on a banana peel and end up injured severely or dead.
Those who engage in violence when ANY other option is available roll the dice that they will not be killed. Good luck to those people. I prefer to de-escalate and avoid violence unless I judge it to be absolutely necessary.
Self-defense is not about winning fights – it is about using strategy and decision making to avoid them completely.