Karate as an art of self-defense is much more than simply the development of the physical skill required to deal with an assault. Since perpetrators generally choose victims that they perceive as weak or inattentive (i.e. easy targets), the key to self-defense lies in the development of awareness and a confident projection of inner strength. Physical skills are employed only as a last resort. The ultimate goal of self- defense training is that the student carry and project themselves in such a way as to avoid danger and not be chosen as a target by a potential perpetrator.
Because of its focus on the unified development of the mind, body, and spirit, karate is an excellent vehicle for developing the awareness and physical attributes necessary to deal with a potential assailant. The underlying premise is that with superior spirit, strategy, tactics, technique, and targeting, a practitioner can overcome any adversary, regardless of size.
As an art of self-defense, the fundamental combative strategy of Shito-Ryu karate is to utilize distance control, evasive movement, and blocking, to evade the adversary’s attack and, if necessary, respond with powerful strikes targeted precisely to vital targets.
This basic strategy remains the same from beginning through advanced levels of training. The difference between ability levels is the sophistication and technical expertise with which the strategy is executed.