“The pusher was bending down to pull out a pistol from a boot holster he would have used before any of the unconscious crowd could even begin to know what happened.”
Appropriate preemption is a rare thing because it requires a measure of clarity that some people imagine as “mind reading.” Not so. It is the clear and lucid reading of intention which makes itself available with regular practice of good budo, especially Aiki Budo where your practice partners know how to attack without telegraphing as do beginners and the unskilled.
Morihei, Gozo, Koichi, Seiichi and Morihiro had it. Most of the others fake it and that poorly.
Preemption is one of the epitomes of budo skill that separate the true budoka from children.
The thug, the bully and the idiot does not preempt. He merely initiates aggression. This is the pathology we are trying to heal in the species.
In order for true preemption to become available the protector must have a clear and unmitigated knowingness of the attackers intention to attack. Then be able to discern, evaluate, decide and act in less than two seconds.
The following is true recounting of something that happened:
A budoka had a job as a waiter in a large restaurant. Whilst serving a table he casually sauntered up to one male person and delivered a knockout strike. A furor ensued and as it turned out he was arrested and charged, and needless to say lost his job.