Michale Janich takes on this subject over at Trainers Command Post.
As a personal defense instructor, one question that I get a lot is “How do I choose a good
self-defense system?” Interestingly, this is both a tough question and an incredibly easy one. Ultimately, the answer depends a lot on your actual training goals and the physical attributes you have to work with.
As far as deciding which systems are best, you should first understand that in a real fight or when defending against a real attack, your body will revert to “caveman” mode. The physiological responses to the fear and anxiety of the event will cause your body to change temporarily. Gross motor skills will override fine and complex motor skills, so complicated, finesse-based movements will not be a viable option. As such, when evaluating a personal protection system, look for those that emphasize simple, gross-motor skills that you can learn reasonably well in a short period of time and be able to apply effectively if you are attacked sometime soon. The tactics of the system should also allow you to immediately understand the function they provide. If you’re spending your time practicing the “Flying Lotus,” “Gargling Badger” or some other esoteric movement that doesn’t immediately conjure up vivid visions of pounding the snot out of someone, you’re not on the most direct path to learning how to defend yourself on the street.
Go see the rest of the article at the link