The Preemptive Strike: Proactive Self-Defense 1

“To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”
General George Washington

Those who study karate are familiar with the expression “there is no first strike in karate”. To them, the expression represents the philosophical basis of the martial arts. Taken literally, it refers to the principle that karate practitioners should never initiate or escalate a confrontation, nor should they use their skills other than in self-defense. The philosophical underpinnings of this expression run much deeper than one might expect, holding great relevance for both martial artists and non-martial artists alike.

In the medical profession, health care providers take a proactive approach to treating illness through the use of preventative medicine and early intervention. Unfortunately, this philosophy is not as readily accepted regarding matters of personal defense. The martial artist however, sees preemptive action as an essential part of an effective self-defense capability.

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