Genetics are a key player we are finding out more so each day. The old thought, "some have it and some don't" is right on the money. I knew a fellow who got the highest grade point averate in University of Minnesota law chool in history. He could NOT however apply what he learned and never did pass the state bar exam.
Genetics will be our deciding factor in a real life and death encounter, much more so than training, even if the "skill" is to flee.
Wish I had more room to explain it, but the science is now there of genetic behavior vs environmentally learned behavior. Predispositional impact on behavior is now valid in English courts. It is a form of "the devil made me do it." In our case the devil is our ancestors before us.
As for mind set, when frightend that is stripped from us and brings forth a genetic pre-programmed response for us. When in a state of fright our mind won't care about laws, rules, morals or liability. It WILL do whatever it takes to survive.
That is one reason you see so many bites in fights. A neanderthal genetic response.
With the science now available to us we will have to start to include making ourselves aware of this state of mind that can cause some serious problems. The mind doesn't like organized formal complex things when it thinks it is in danger.
Of all the martial arts the one I have seen used that worked was indeed JUDO. It isn't as fancy or trendy, but at a prison near where I was a cop an oriental corrections officer was targeted in a riot. Before he was beaten half to death he got five of them and put each into the hospital down the hall from where they put him. This included tossing a couple OVER a railing allowing them to fall two tiers. They out weighed him by 100 pounds.
To this day nobody will screw with him.
Interesting thread and I hope we all print a few responses out and think them over. Lots of good seeds in this mess. :-)