Some say there are no rules when it comes to self-defense. Like other simplistic statements, this sounds true at first, but is it really true. When we fight in organized tournaments, there are rules. Disobey the rules and you lose. When gang members fight on the street, there are rules. Disobey the rules and the other gang members will "discuss" the problem with you. When you are accosted in a parking lot by a mugger, there are also rules. There are the criminal and civil laws that you must face after the confrontation and there are personal and societal moral and religious consequences you must deal with after the confrontation. If these rules are not on your mind while you are in a self-defense situation, then the aftereffects of your winning the confrontation may be worse than the consequences of your losing the confrontation, even to the point of your being killed. For a deeply religious, moral person there are fates worse than death. Dishonor and disgrace have drove many warriors to suicide. Is winning a fight at any consequence worth spending the rest of your life in disgrace or in prison or being sued for everything you have? These are questions you must ask yourself before a self-defense situation occurs and things you must evaluate during a self-defense situation. You are responsible for your actions, even while being attacked.
Street fighting is not self-defense. Street fighting is when one or more persons agree to fight, either on the street or in some other unauthorized venue. Self-defense is when a person has not agreed to a fight and is merely defending him or herself from an attack. Street fighting is illegal and street fighters are criminals. So called street fighters claim their techniques are "real" and "deadly." They claim traditional martial arts techniques are useless on the street because they are ineffective and that there are no rules on the street. However, organized street fights have rules and breaking them may result in more punishment to a violator than could ever be imposed by a sanctioning martial art organization.