Article by Emanuel Giordano
Funakoshi Gichin, excerpt from “Okinawa no bugi” (3rd part), January 1914
Motobu Choki, excerpt from “Watashi no Tode-jutsu”, 1932
"there is no first attack in Karate". Unfortunately this phrase is terribly misunderstood, especially by those who literally interpret it and teach based on this misinterpretation. I don't think attacking first is wrong! Anyway, to avoid misunderstanding, let me add that attacking someone without a good cause is not part of the spirit of budo. I also think that the majority of readers already understand that this must be our priority in physical and spiritual training. Therefore, in my personal opinion, "Karate ni senti nashi" is a phrase that must remind us to never hit or hurt anyone without a right reason, and to maintain self-control at all times. When you fight you must do it with determination, otherwise the opponent can seriously injure you. For these reasons, when it is certain that a fight is about to begin, the most important thing is to win! This can be achieved by attacking first! Understanding this hypothesis puts the meaning of the saying in another light, and allows us to understand why attacking first is a necessary tool.