It's time for a little talk about self defense my friends. Leading this discussion is myself, as usual, and I will have my video reference at the end via Stephen Kesting. To start things off I must say that my views don't necessarily go over very well in the grappling community despite my intelligent and very logical references. I'm fine with that though.
The closest thing we have to reenacting a self defense scenario may be MMA, but it still does not cover the shear and brutal violence you might encounter on the street where things truly are Vale Tudo.
Your training determines your reaction - this has been the case not only with martial arts but with any high skill technique or method. There have been countless cases of this very problem occurring with Police officers. One true story details the training officers had with revolvers, every time they hit the range they would empty six rounds, open the cylinder and then dump the spent cartridges into their hand and pocket them. This was followed by either stopping and placing the revolver on the table or reloading under non-stressed conditions. Another very similar training situation called for officers to empty a magazine and then set the sidearm down until instructed otherwise. Guess what happened in both of these scenarios when it came time to use them in real life. Yup, you guessed it, the officer with the revolver stopped to empty his cartridges into his hand and then his pocket and the other scenario they put their guns down instead of doing a magazine reload in the middle of a shootout.
My point again: you will preform how you practice, especially in stressful situations where fine motor skills go out the window. So if your instructor is promoting self defense and he's immediately going to the ground or showing you how to do a double leg, armlock or any other potentially dangerous technique for the street - just leave. Now, should you learn these techniques? - Sure, they help you become a well rounded individual and strive toward self perfection in the art. Keep in mind though that these techniques are practically useless on the street. The last place anyone should be is on their back looking for chokes or submissions. Your goal should be first don't go to the ground, second if you do go to the ground, wind up on top with a dominant position and third if you are on the bottom, neutralize and get the F*&k up! This is the same reason Roger Gracie said 80% of BJJ is useless in MMA. Now, on that note I would say that percentage is even higher when it comes to self defense, where there are no rules, your not on a padded floor, and your opponent may literally be trying to take your life.
I could continue my anologies and write another few paragraphs, but by now you probably had enough of my POV. Take some insight from Stephen Kesting and listen to the whole video, for the most part we give it a thumbs up. He gives some very insightful tips along with his experience in a confrontation.