Types of self-defense
All martial arts have ways to train in self-defense techniques. Each way differs in how it responds to the context or circumstances of the attacks. Some train to respond to each specific attack such as a hair grab, punch, front choke, or bear hug with a specific response. Some train in general response techniques that may be adapted on the fly to fit each specific attack. Others train in general response techniques that are used in relation to the situation in which an attack may occur, such as location, time, friends present, weapons, escape routes, the opponent, on a bus, in an alley, etc. Some martial arts may only use one way to train while others may use more than one way.
Main types of self-defense training
In this type of training, specific responses to specific attacks are practiced and memorized. Reaction based approaches are context-specific. If the attacker does “A” then the defender responds with technique “B.”
In this type of training, general response techniques are practiced and memorized until their use becomes an automatic reflexive response. Reflex based approaches are context-free. The defender reflexively responds to an attack with whatever technique seems appropriate at the time.
In this type of training, general principles of response are practiced and memorized, such as movements to a joint that would cause pain, painful pressure points, obvious techniques, and techniques that are hidden from view. Situation based approaches are context-sensitive. The defender is aware, thinking, and sensitive to all the attacker's movements and the surrounding environment and spontaneously improvises techniques in response to the attacker's actions while considering what seems appropriate in the current environment.