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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Line Six: as the time to strike is when the opportunity presents itself


Strike as in using a part of the body to transfer energy and power from one person into another with the intent to cause damage. Opportunity is one chosen by the person implementing the strike and that opportunity is open for debate. This debate has gone on for as long as there has been hand-to-hand combat. When should a person act in response to a threat and how should they act remaining within the unwritten and written societal self-preservation needs and requirement.

The complexity of all these and other questions, searches and understandings, is the crux of the goku-i when emphasis is on the sixth line. The following perspectives will provide "guidance, not answers," to these beliefs and ideas. Nothing of the goku-i is written in stone; it is a fluid document that is a philosophical guide to balance out the physical with the psychological.


Opportunity does not always mean an opening in another defense to actually strike with intent to injure. Opportunities to those who truly practice the way of the empty hand can be found long before anyone actually comes to blows.

Find the opportunity to strike in a manner that prevents conflict, that is the ultimate goal. A sophisticated defense can prevent the attack thus the attacker never gets the chance to touch you. This is striking before being struck (striking does not have to mean actual striking; striking with words to prevent striking with fists is best). Call it a positive defense utilizing your eyes and ears.

We tend to focus too much on the physical strike when other strikes should also be a part of our repertoire of techniques. The technique of the mind is far more powerful than the arm or leg, foot or hand, elbow or knee. One must be taught from the novice level in the fundamentals that to strike with the mind at the first opportunity is far better than resorting to violence.


To strike is to act. The word strike is merely a symbol or ideology to prompt a person threatened or in danger of damage to "act." To strike first when the opportunity is presented in this instance means having the awareness to perceive a danger, analyze it to make sure the signals and responding assumptions are accurate and then taking action. The action is "avoidance."

It is a premise of a martial system that utilizes the ideology that "Karate ni sente nashi—No first attack in karate," is a critical belief governing the application of any martial system in combat but I also believe the goku-i guides us to a higher level where one can become aware, perceive and act before the physical can be the only option remaining.

We train and practice all our lives to gain the knowledge necessary for survival. To enter into any physical altercation of any level places us directly into harms way. Harm's way can achieve all levels of damage up to and including loss of life. When this occurs you failed to achieve survival and by that loss put others relying on your expertise and abilities to suffer an opening where a strike can be applied.

To achieve the ability to actually "create opportunity" in lieu of waiting for it to present itself is a better and morally noble strategy which fills the survival maxim for both the individual and that individuals tribe, group or societal gathering.

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