I consider defoliating the act of removing leaves... I cut branches off the bottom... Sure, there are leaves on the branches but the leaves are being removed only because they're attached to bud sites that, once removed, allow more energy to be focused on higher bud sites... I do remove damaged or diseased leaves but in general I consider the leaves as providing energy to the flowers so, in this case, leaving the leaves and cutting lower branches actually do the same thing, provide more energy to the bud... I consider defoliating as taking energy away from the flower... I regard the act of defoliating as counter-productive to getting the biggest bud... I don't take the word offensively at all. With my HPS grows I lose a lot of leaves when I switch to flower... If I were to take all the fan leaves off, the plant would not be able to respond as well to spikes in energy demand... Once the fan leaves are gone, the sugar leaves become the next primary source in order to cover increased energy demands of the bud... I'm sure outdoor and LED grows have different considerations.