While I am most known for my studies and resulting work with combat firearms, my immersion in martial arts, notably Karate, began much earlier, and truly, serves as a basis for much of what I teach with firearms today. Karate, real karate is much more than a kick punch system for winning sparring matches and for impressing onlookers. Real karate has always been a civilian system of fighting, and all the spiritual issues associated with it today were added in the twentieth century to make it acceptable for the masses. But if we read the accounts of the original founders, they were hardly the politically correct navel gazers who never threw the first punch idolized in the popular media. The real Miyagi, for example was a very dangerous man, and rightly so.
One concept in real Karate is that of "UKE". 受け
In superficial Karate it is simply to receive an attack and defend it. Thus an Uke is a block to a punch, or a throw to a grab, as examples. But Uke or "receiving" has far deeper meanings if we study. For example, a block or any sort of defense can instantly be turned into a counter attack. And if that is possible, the opponent's attack need not even be blocked. It can be avoided and a counter attack launched. Thus the "block" or the defense is simply not being where the attack is intended.
An attack can be "received" at a subconscious level - much like chess, you see the board before you and you can bet the other man is going to do something. While you may not overtly prepare for it, you have just done so mentally. And maybe position yourself so his attack is snuffed the moment he considers it. You can win a fight without ever having to get physical with this concept.
And an attack can be stopped at conception by preempting it.
Uke can also be, and usually is, a preemptive attack. A fight is about to happen, you know this without a doubt. So before the adversary's attack becomes a reality, you launch your own, defeating him before he is ever in the fight.
If you see parallels here between empty hand work, contact weapons work, firearms work, and even simple strategy and tactics, then you are looking at this correctly. This is what the old masters meant when they said karate was for so much more than just self-defense. What we teach can be said to be "Karate with firearms".