I've seen a lot of fights, broke up a lot as well (cop), can't remember seeing a thug throw a thrust kick. Seen plenty of "street kicks", though. However, I've thrown a thrust kick in a mess I got into (didn't see it coming) I was wearing a really nice pair of boots, too. Hit him dead center between his hips. (he didn't see it coming, either) he went flying and fell really hard. He was with some folks and so was I. My friends got a kick out of it. His friends just wanted to go home. On another occasion, several years later, I threw a thrust kick to keep somebody else away. But I pushed it (purposely.) So....maybe a thrust kick isn't a common attack in self defense. But it can work really well as self defense if you're a skilled kicker. I was a skilled kicker. As to "Karate is trained to improve one's skill in karate in the same way that BJJ is trained to improve one's skill in BJJ. That there is crossover for self defense is incidental" Maybe so, but it wasn't in my case (BJJ) it was originally taught to us as self defense. Worked better than just about anything I can remember, too. On a related note - friend just gave me a t-shirt that says "Closed Guard is the new Berimbolo." Even though it was an ugly brown, I loved it! Until I tried it on. It's way too small. And it's mens XL. Must be for midgets. I was bummed.