Timing in Traditional Martial Arts

If we liken a fight to a dance, the attacker is leading the dance, and the defender is
following…acting in the after, responding to the leader, merely reacting. The leader
acts according to their whim, unimpeded, the follower has the difficult task of keeping
up. The leader of the dance is acting in the before. The leader is deciding where on
the floor the dance moves will take both dancers. The follower is merely along for the
ride, with no control, and no say, as they are acting in the after.