For as much time and money one can invest in martial arts, is it really that practical to train strictly for self defense reasons? Even as a fifth degree black belt if you get attacked by an angry mob of seven people you are going to lose that fight. If someone studies for a year, are they now able to fight off an aggressive attacker who is 40 pounds heavier than them? Probably not. So for teenagers and young adults who join because they have been bullied or attacked, thinking they can learn to protect themselves, is that a reality? Or are there some students who can train for years and still not be able to protect themselves against a bigger, stronger, attacker? Thankfully I have never had to use any of my training to protect myself (came close a few times) so I don't know how I would have applied what I learned. I know there are endless debates about different styles and that is not what I am talking about, just in general terms.