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Before the attack lies intent, upon which I can move with impunity.
This has to do with the physiology of the human body and its interaction with the mind.
There is a moment before I am attacked when I am able to move and my attacker is unable to do anything about it. I have a small window of opportunity between the time when the decision to attack is reached and when the attack is launched. Thought to action is not instantaneous. There is a slight lag while the signals from the brain are transmitted throughout the body to the muscles required to execute the attack.
I call this time interval the intent. Move on the intent. Sounds easy; but how do I determine when the intent is? There is no intellectual way of making this determination. The ability to sense the intent comes only through training. As I continue to train I begin to feel the intent viscerally. If I can banish fear from my mind, move without forethought and acquire mindbody I will be able to make use of the interval and not be there when the attack arrives. This ability requires many years of practice to develop to a point where I can sense the intent with any regularity.