I am very interested in this subject matter and would like to make the following comments for your consideration:-
1. Train in various systems rather than one
2. Practice fighting in one style against someone who is adopting another style (swap around every session)
3. Practice in confined areas and realistic settings
4. Add a ‘client’ in the mix and adapt accordingly………..if you do not adapt you may find that points 1,2 & 3 could be of little use
I have personally witnessed experts in Krav Maga do some impressive moves, but this has been against guys who were also trained in the same discipline. I am not convinced that this would work so well if the ‘expert’ had a client clinging on his arm for dear life!
Krav maga is an effective, advanced and dynamic self defense and fighting system. It is design to be intuitive and practical for persons of any age, shape and size. The techniques increase on your natural instincts to develop skills quickly and effective way, while enabling you to address aggression under any scenario.Krav Maga is a practical system that teaches you how to prevent all kinds of violence and attacks.
I'm a Krav Maga Black Belt. I've also done a bit of amateur boxing (few fights) and did a fair bit of Judo. Like anything the effectiveness depends on what one brings to the table (size,speed,aggression,personal history) importantly though it also depends greatly on the individual effort and how committed one is to learning.
For best effect in shortest training time Krav Maga is very efficient. Within a short space of time the basics can be learned to defend yourself against an untrained, uninitiated and unfit member of the public.
For this reason I'd recommend Krav Maga as a starting point for a base in the martial arts.
Trouble is eventually you will run into someone who is either trained, fit, mental (or God forbid all three). At this juncture your Krav Maga needs to be very good or you need to go to a system that will withstand the rigours of all out violence. Boxing, Muay Thai, Judo, BJJ etc are all very much recommended for this. Simple reason is they all practice full contact.
A basic course of Krav will prepare you well. If you need to prepare for any eventuality however the grim reality is you must desensitise yourself to violence. The Combat Sports mentioned are the best way to do this.
Geoff Thompson is an excellent source for self protection. Any of his books on self defence are worth a read.