When most people think of Karate, they immediately think of punching and kicking. These are some of the more visible aspects that an onlooker will see and recognize. What most people don't realize is that Karatedo teaches many concepts beyond the fighting techniques, and arguably one of the most important concepts is non-violence. This may seem counter-intuitive at first glance, but if you view this from the perspective of self-defense, learning to avoid and not engage in violence is a very effective way to protect yourself. Learning how to fight and defend yourself provides you with options. A peaceful solution is always still the preferred option. It is only as a last resort that we engage in combat as a solution.
This view is supported by many of the great Karate masters throughout history. They showed the restraint and long term wisdom that has protected the lives of generations of students to follow.
"The essence of karate is nonviolence. To subdue an attacker without fighting is the highest skill." - Funakoshi Gichin, Founder of Shotokan Karate
"Do not strike others, and do not allow others to strike you. The goal is peace without incident." - Miyagi Chojun, Founder of Goju-Ryu Karate
"Karatedo is a lifetime study" - Mabuni Kenwa, Founder of Shito-Ryu Karate
(Karatedo requires a long term mindset)
I will leave you with a poem by Yasuhiro Konishi, Founder of Shindo Jinen Ryu Karate-jutsu
Not to hit someone
Neither to be defeated
But to avoid trouble.