Self defence training is a part of the martial arts industry; classes may be orientated towards self defence as they might also be orientated towards competition of personal development. Almost any martial arts training will have some benefit if a person is assaulted, though some courses emphasis this more than others.
Self defence will emphasise the idea of avoiding conflict. But as we may have to deal with irrational, drug affected or intoxicated opponents so avoidance may not be possible. In this case it is best to disarm the opponent, or temporarily disable them in order to make an escape.
The legal situation with a provoked fight can be complex, and varies between countries and states. Though individuals are allowed to defend themselves when seriously provoked there are limits. Self defence puts emphasis on avoiding harm to our self, but also minimising harm to the assailant. This prevents potential legal ramifications.
It is important to develop the right mindset for self-defence. Individuals are often unprepared for the adrenalin and stress of a crisis situation. Responding correctly in a stressful situation is a difficult matter. All the fitness and training in the world is to no avail if we freeze up or start to panic.
One solution to this is to develop appropriate reflexes. If we learn to automatically throw somebody who grabs us from behind we may find we respond correctly regardless of our mental state. Training in martial arts can effectively train this type or reflex.
Another important solution to the potential panic of a crisis situation is to accustom our self to the feeling of adrenalin. Competition can help this, giving us a lower form of stress without a legitimate threat. If we grow used to the stress and adrenalin we learn to think clearly in difficult situations. Subsequently, when we are faced with a legitimate threat we can tackle the situation with a better mindset and make full use of the knowledge we have.