In the broad view, a warrior must uphold the values of his or her society to be of any honorable use. We all depend on one another. The warrior must quell disorder, promote peace, and cultivate character. In practicing the ways of war, one has an obligation to not use them in an illegal or immoral fashion.
Let us now consider fighting tactics. First, we must understand self defense. It goes without saying that one should exercise caution in the use of force. Awareness must have the highest priority.
In self defense, one must be able to read the situation and potential adversary. Pay attention to the neighborhood, your own mental and physical state, as well as the mental state of potential attackers. One can never be too careful. When visiting a new area, stay in well lit areas that seem safe. Also try to find good information on the right places to stay if you are going to be in town for a while.
There are many magazine and internet articles on the uses of makeshift weapons, and endless articles on disarming a mugger. It is important to note that while such magazines are easy to come across, not all of them are realistic, nor are any of them a substitute for actual hands-on defense training. At best, they may be a supplement to such training from a true instructor. The broken rhythm of fighting, the form without form, and the warrior's mindset are difficult to learn without guidance.
However, remember that there is never enough thought given to proper timings. Blend with or break the opponent's energy, rhythm, or attitude. Read the timing and habit of the opponent. This is applied to hand to hand combat, large scale combat, and overall strategy. Study timing and movement well.
In life, stay truthful to yourself and loved ones. Take the most honorable course of action in every situation; your enemy today may become your ally tomorrow. Your best friend can be your worst enemy because he or she knows the most about you. It is in this case you must treat them as honorably as possible. Also remember that what protects and upholds you today may hinder you tomorrow. Watch carefully, ask questions, and do not ever stop learning. This will be your lifelong progress, and contribution.
The author lives in Lake City, South Carolina, where he teaches Wado ryu Karate. Please see for more information.