Bringing the Text to Life
The best defense is a good offense.
This simple maxim is ingrained in Western kids almost from day one. Head on, flat out, face-to-face confrontation has been the most popular form of combat for centuries. The Roman Empire gave us gladiators - two men armed to the teeth facing each other across an enclosed coliseum. (One of Christianity's most publicized triumphs in the ancient world was won in the amphitheaters, where it closed down the brutalities and cruelties of these gladiatorial games). Medieval combatants came up with jousting - two opponents mounted on enormous steeds, rushing straight towards each other with long pointed lances. In the 18th century European battles were fought by lining up all the soldiers in neat rows, their weapons pointed directly at the tidy rows of the opposing army across the battlefield from them.
In contrast, Eastern forms of self-defense, the various "martial arts, " have been considered mysterious and almost magical by uncomprehending Westerners....