I think it is interesting that people think they have some hidden instinct that would enable them to defend themselves or someone they hold dear - turn them into some kind of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, maybe. The facts - taken from military training specialists, self-protection experts, and the news - indicate that this is a false hope.
In our civilized society, people are constantly programmed to be "nice", and when they are faced with unexpected sudden violence they freeze.
A gunman comes into a McDonald's and orders everyone to get on the floor, and they all comply. He walks around shooting them. Nobody resists.
The Zodiac Killer of Califonia surprised a couple in the park. He told them he wa going to rob them, but he had to tie them up first. THEY LET HIM TIE THEM UP, whereupon he produced a knife and stabbed them both to death.
Violent criminals know how the average person will respond and capitalize upon it. Violent criminals don't spend hours in a dojo practicing flying kicks at "break apart" boards and hip throws onto soft tatami mats. In many cases their "techniques" are downright crude - but they are effective because the violent criminal has no hesitation about going all out to get what he wants.
Years ago in Seattle, the chief instructor of the "Feminist Karate Union" was brutally assaulted in her home by a thief who didn't know who she was. Her defese skills kept her from being murdered, but she was seriouly wounded and the guy got away - he was apprehended sometime later by the cops if I recall correctly. I think that she was impeded by her politics - the Feminist Karate Union did not alow men to join, and so she had no experience dealing with a man's strength and weight. Add to that that she was practicing archaic defense techniques that have not stood the test of time.
The military has a saying - "the way you train is the way you fight."
The uninformed public ignores this at their peril, and generally confuses the ability to inflict violence with the desire to inflict violence.
The meek inherit six feet of earth over their faces.