There are many, many levels of violence. As quoted, "... violence comes in many degrees and forms." The next quote is very important to all the martial artist who read my blog, "What many martial artist DO NOT REALIZE is that FIGHTING is a VERY SMALL SLICE of all the possible ways violence occurs."
When I speak of karate in a fight what I am saying very loosely and with lots or wiggle room is what I call the school yard scuffle. This SYS is tantamount to the little skirmishes you encounter arguing with someone after school and maybe throwing a few wild powerless punches. Do not take it beyond that meaning under any circumstances.
I have come to understand a lot lately, last few years, regarding fighting-self defense-legal issues-violence, etc. that tells me I practice the art of karate for the love of the art. I am trying to develop the mind and spirit inherent in ancient traditions of martial systems. I am trying to cultivate the attributes that go with such a goal and discipline. But, to do that completely I need to understand the more combative aspects of karate and other martial systems which includes fully understanding violence, self defense, fighting, sparring, drilling, sport, etc. for failure to do this leaves one half of the art out in the wind.
Understanding all this along with what you practice as well as your overall goals can and will keep you out of trouble, out of the hospital, out of court and out of jail not to lessen the psychological repercussions you will meet and have to deal with for the rest of your life.
When I say fight, keep it in its perspective and very narrow meaning. The most important thing to REMEMBER, FIGHTING IS ILLEGAL! This warrants repeating:
Let me make one more quote, "A simple strategy of blocking and shooting your elbow as you run can get you out of all kinds of trouble. ... An overwhelming amount of violence could be avoided if someone simply overrides ego, apologizes, and walks away."
If you get nothing else from your training and practice; from this and other martial blogs, these two quotes say it all and well. Make the distinction and remain within this small window for training and practice. If you go outside to play with the animals then make sure you know violence, fighting, self defense, self defense law, and a whole lot more cause it means lots!
Last: Does your practice and training cover this and other important topics in training? If you have self defense on the ad, dojo wall, dojo window, etc. you may want to consider all of this: see links on right side of blog :-)
Sutrisno, Tristan, MacYoung, Marc and Gordon, Dianna. "Becoming a Complete Martial Artist: Error Detection in Self Defense and the Martial Arts." Lyons Press. Connecticut. 2005.