One can make a moral case on every point Kevin just said, as well as the tactical case for caution, which he has plainly stated, but the larger strategic martial case needs to be laid out as well.
If some one attacks you, physically, verbally politically -- in any way whatever, really -- it is most preeminently important to understand WHY
that attack has occurred and whether you are a target or a collateral impact -- because it should radically change the strategic dynamic that necessarily follows, whatever the hurt
. And if you have no clear strategy -- that IS a strategy -- just not a terribly good one...
Only in the "Why" will you discover who is an actual enemy, who is a actual friend, who your natural allies are and who your enemies' natural allies are -- and who is neutral, and more importantly (as the wag once said) -- who are they neutral FOR....
Remember, if you survived an initial attack -- it may be the rest of the tribe that comes calling after one asserts too quick or too forcefully or unwisely one's inalienable "rights."
A mother's estranged sons,
sometimes come with guns.
Ooh look -- a pithy rhyme
Not so sure I really am going to take time to consider WHY in a physical attack, but again, I suppose it is all relative to the situation.
I think discussing it in terms of OODA is warranted here to provide a framework and I suppose how much time you spend or can afford to spend in the OO process of a physical attack is probably very (or shoudl be) minimal.
However, I suppose that in the DA process you need to consider how much force you need to use or is appropriate maybe..and may be situationally dependent.
One concern I have concerning the practice of aikido is that we are OOers for the most part. We tend to like to work in the OO side of the house as long as possible as it is part of our philosophical make up to understand as much as possible about the situation before deciding how to act.
Ironically though, our Waza is really based around spontaneous and correct action given an attack and in a way, it should become second nature to respond appropriately given a situation.
However, I think that again, that we need to be careful when we approach conflict...especially a physical one in which the attack may occur, we may not have time to Orient much on what is going on, and may have to actually take Action on very limited information.
I personally hope that through my practice that I have developed as much skill as possible that my "instincts" will guide me and take over until I can gain an orientation to what is going on and then re-enter the loop with more information...making a better choice.
The key here I think is that the process is not necessarily linear or sequential..and this is the real rub I have with Martial Art practices...we practice in a linear fashion WRT OODA.
We line up, bow, have a huge amount of information provided, then we practice accordingly within a fairly predictable pattern of practice!
Carrying this forward to the street this linear O-O-D-A habit can cause us a great deal of problems.
Anyway, don't mean to get too far in left field on this, but I agree, WHY is important for sure...we just need to make sure that we understand that WHY may not arrive in a sequential or linear fashion as the situation unfolds!