Monday, May 14, 2012


- difference between assault, fighting and self-protection
- germany invasion of france
- war of aggression = assault
- one way offensive dynamic
- one side has operational objective, the other is just protecting themselves

- wars of the balance of power system in Europe and Cold War
- checks, balances and alliances

- battles between france and germany, U.S. and Soviet Union: both equally committed to the engagement
- rules to the engagement
- war declaration, terms offered afterwards, a business arrangement
- creates a game system
- war contests = fight

- 1940: imagine if france repelled germany
- goal is to stop assault, not reverse it
- this is the context for karate training - offense in response to assault that reestablishes the original condition
- if france pushed to berlin and burned berlin to the ground, they wouldn't be the protectors, they'd be the aggressors (reverse of the original dynamic)

- "karate stops at the border" between germany and france - offense stops when both parties are safe from the other

- in war of aggression, 2 considerations secure victory, surprise and blitzkrieg, not signalling the action and being overwhelmingly offensive
- in war contests, again two considerations dominate, intelligence and strategy, knowledge of the enemy and exploitation of that knowledge
- in war of protection (self-protection), only one quality matters, retaking the offensive from the aggressor
- retaking the offensive can be done straight away through tactics or after a delay using strategy (fabian: delay tactical action until you have secured tactical advantage)

- in karate too this idea of the offensive initiative is the most important consideration in combative self-protection, called sen.
- where sen starts lies at the heart of what karate is and what it isn't
- in assault/self-protection: sen first lies with the aggressor and the defender must retake sen
- in fight/contest: sen is for the taking, can be exchanged multiple times between the contestants and whoever does more damage while they have it wins
- if neither side in either type of conflict can consistently secure sen, the result is a stalemate = war of attrition

- karate is neither war of attrition, nor contest.  it is a commitment to sen for the moral and philosophical purpose of ending violence quickly

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