Hello Matt:

Philosophically, I am ardently opposed to physical violence, ever. I contend (rightly/wrongly) if things get to that level, all kinds of things we should have done (to prevent that) we failed in our training (ie more work required)...

Now, assessments being made, if I believed I had no further options, no alternative choices, and was in serious, imminant phyical danger life/limb. I would not be happy about it, but yes I would strike first. The worst danger is not the physical, but the head space (or its lack) of the assailant...

If I cannot alter their path, their "attack mode" we are merely a heavy bag waiting to be hit, and failing to remove ourselves from that untenible position... change my physical location, my angles, make them alter physically and hopefully dissuade their intention.

Merely my opinion, I could surely be mistaken,
Jeff