Not entirely a myth...
There is a very big difference between training and the real thing. There is nearly as big a difference between drill and full-contact sparring. I've fought more than a few karate students, up to and including black belts, who had never engaged in any serious sparring. With NO EXCEPTIONS, they weren't much better than a complete neophyte.
It is very, very difficult to make a precision strike at someone's eyes. [Didact: Amen to that one, Vox.] It is even more difficult to successfully knee a man in the groin when he is in a conflict situation. And even if one makes contact, it is likely that it won't slow him down much, as adrenaline significantly reduces the amount of pain one feels in the moment. [Didact: Ain't it the truth... My knee could tell you all about that right now...]
It's fine to teach women how to defend themselves. But firearms, and where they are not legal, knives, should always be a part of the self-defense strategy, and women need to understand that the odds are severely against them in a physical struggle. Learning technique is fine, but doing fake routines on unresisting opponents is worse than pointless. It takes years to become an effective fighter, so it is risible to suggest that a class or two is going to accomplish anything but instill a false sense of self-confidence in a woman.
- It should, theoretically, be an art that everyone can learn. There is no point in taking an 18-year-old farmboy fresh from the kibbutz and teaching him self-defence moves that take years to master, when all he really needs to know is how to survive in war. Similarly, there is no point in creating an art that only the fittest, most balletic, most athletic individuals can possibly even begin to master, if the goal of that art is to allow people to survive in a street fight.
- Every defence comes with a simultaneous attack. There is no such thing as passive defence in the art. Every defensive technique is paired with an offensive movement designed specifically to stun, injure, or incapacitate an opponent.
- NEVER fight power against power. When taught correctly, the art focuses on dealing with opponents who are bigger, stronger, faster, and in a dominant position over you. The art therefore focuses on speed, accuracy, and surprise to deal with and remove a threat.
- Take your back foot 90 degrees to the rear so that your shoulders are in a line orthogonal to the path of your attacker.
- With your right hand up near your face for protection, sweep your left hand with your arm held straight up over the top of his head, as if you're knocking a hat off his head. This is what breaks the choke, since it attacks the weakest part of the attacker's grip.
- Take that left arm, bend it at the elbow in order to turn your arm into a blade.
- Drive that blade straight into his face while using your right hand to trap his hands against your chest.