A lot of people go to martial arts classes in order to learn self defence. They want to avoid violence and look after themselves.
There are quite a few ‘serious’ martial arts classes available in the UK where the training is so realistic that you actually get assaulted. You may learn great skills but the whole point in attending was to avoid being attacked…
Other classes promise self defence and offer nothing of tangible value.
Children in a playground ‘rough each other up’ without any animosity, fear or pain. It is just fun.
Our school looks at self defence as play. If adults can adopt a playful, exploratory attitude, they can develop practical useable skills without getting hurt or memorizing fixed responses.
Good martial arts classes of any style should be able to offer a practical syllabus without brutalizing students or giving them empty skills.