Lead the attacker’s mind
If attacked, you might physically injure the attacker but this is merely a short term solution. What if the attacker comes back carrying a shotgun and is accompanied by ten friends? Influencing the attacker and not merely responding to him has many applications. It is better to talk your way out of a physical confrontation, and perhaps even make a friend in the process. Too often, the novice is pushed and has no tools to deal with the situation other than pushing back. In most cases, this accomplishes little.
On a basic level, pain, which has limitations in application because it is interpretive from one individual to the next, is still an effective way to redirect an attacker’s mind. Imagine you walk in the dark one night to get a glass of cold water from your refrigerator and stub your toe. Ouch! You hop up and down, perhaps exclaiming this or that. Are you still thinking about your thirst or the cool glass of water? No! It is the same with the attacker. Pain can override the attacker’s motivation for attacking you. Creating temporary pain by use of a wrist technique, for example, allows you to redirect an attacker.’s attention and take control the situation without permanently injuring the attacker. This is a beneficial skill to have.
There are many other ways to lead the attacker’s mind. Block every punch or kick while smiling. The attacker will most likely give up. Start joking or acting very strange in order to redirect your attacker.’s mind. Maybe you can get an attacker to see you as a real person, not just as an ATM machine.
Consider a punch coming toward your face. Block it by forcing it to the side; the attacker will feel this and may then launch another before the first punch is even finished. If you recognize that punch as a threat only to a specific space where your head is and simply move your head out of the way, the attacker will take longer to realize the miss, since his body did just what was asked of it.
Kuzushi is a way to lead the attacker. Create a situation where the attacker is off-balance and his mind will switch to keeping balance, attempting not to fall down instead of thinking of attacking you. Kuzushi is used to move the attacker where you want him to be.