Speed is the absolute essence of any form of combat,
from a fencing match to the Six-Day War. (Absence of speed is what history will probably decide caused us to lose in Vietnam.) Napoleon said, “I may lose a battle but I will never lose a minute.” Personal defense speeds this up. We must say, “I may lose this fight, but I will not lose this second!”Apparently overwhelming strength is of no importance
if it is not brought to bear before it is preempted. In our Old West it was said, “Do unto others as they would do unto you, but do it first.” Amen.
Here again this essay deals purely with defense, and neither law nor morality justifies our flattening someone just because we think he might attack us. However, on the very instant that we know that our assailant intends us serious physical harm, we must work just as fast as we can. If he has shot at us, we must hit him before he can shoot again. If he is holding us by threat of force, we have the edge of reaction time over him.
The stake in personal defense is your life. You cannot afford to play by sporting rules. Be fast, not fair. Be “offside” on the play. No referee will call it back.
The perfect fight is one that is over before the loser really understands what is going on. The perfect defense is a counterattack that succeeds before the assailant discovers that he has bitten off more than he can chew.
Therefore, if you are attacked, retaliate instantly. Be sudden.
Speed is your salvation.