The following is a derivative of something borrowed from Masatoshi Nakayama Sensei's 'Best Karate' series of instruction books:
"Karate is, and always has been, a method of self-defence, never a technique of aggression. However, it is much more than that. To a dedicated student, it is a form of combined physical and mental discipline from which a student can learn the value of personal attribute such as kindness and sincerity.
"To the Karate Master, self-control is quite as important as mastery of the various techniques. The Karateka (Karate student) never seriously uses his skills unless a threat is unavoidable and other defences are inadequate. In fact, all Kata begins with "Uke" (a defensive technique) rather than an offensive one.
"Gichin Funakoshi often told his students 'The spirit of Karate is lost without courtesy'.
"Decorum, humility and gentleness are other hallmarks of the Karateka, but he or she is never servile (sycophantic or submissive). A student's performance of Kata must bring forth boldness and confidence. These seemingly paradoxical combinations of boldness and gentleness, confidence and humility lead eventually to harmony (body and mind integrated into a singular discipline)"
This, as much as self-defence, is the aim of Karate: a life-long endeavour.