Thinking out loud:
The physical stuff is the most entertaining but (except for the counter-ambush training) it is the least important. The things that make violence difficult to deal with are emotional and cognitive. Those are the things I try to hit hardest in a seminar. Instead of teaching a bunch of things to deal with violence, I try to give a glimpse of the violence they might have to deal with. In the end, that doesn't change or replace any previous training. All it does is put the training in perspective.
What putting it in perspective can do is ratchet up the efficiency by orders of magnitude. Not by showing new stuff, just by showing where the old stuff fits.
The talk-talk part is important. Visuals and demos are good, but long ago kids learned about hunting by hearing stories and getting advice. That hasn't changed. "The deer go to higher pasture in summer" is easy to get in words, hard to learn by trial and error. More so when part of the world, specifically the law, exists in words.
The physical stuff is important as well, but most of the people who show up already have good physical skills, and I extend the trust that they can improve themselves with just a little guidance. that said, beyond the basic safety drill and counter-assault, every seminar is different because I see different holes.
If I notice that some or most hit too light or won't hit at all, we have to cover power generation. If some or most act in discrete units (strike-pause-other strike-pause-kick) they need something to encourage them to flow into total initiative. Blindfolded infighting works great for that. Plus it is fun and gets people to use their senses in a way that is faster than sight. If people never consider weapons or running, never give a thought to why they are pretending to fight with strangers in a gym... then we have to talk about fighting to the goal and bring in the baby drill or breakout.
There is a subset of students I was told recently, that want completely non-physical self-defense. On one level, that's a pipe dream. If you are targeted at certain levels the only thing that will get your ass out is overwhelming force or, at minimum, the credible threat of overwhelming force.
But... that's at the very rare extreme. There are a handful of decisions that that can drop your danger almost to zero. There are a few habits that will prevent most of what slips through the cracks. There are some interpersonal skills that can clean up many things... but beyond that, there is a Hellstorm. If you train non-physical only you can't be prepared for that... and too many of the people that teach to these odds just quietly pretend that the Hellstorm doesn't really exist.
That said, I've been asked to put together a non-physical program. It would do a lot of good. But it's not complete.
So there is the talk-talk: about context and legalities and types of fights and what will happen to you physically, emotionally, internally. What to do right after an event and what you should do long before.
And there are the physical skills, broad and deep, but very, very simple if taught properly.
Basic skills, like striking, locking, entries and takedowns. Fundamentals like speed and power. Thee real stuff, like seeing opportunities and adapting. Stacking basic skills. Stacking fundamentals.
Experiential stuff, like finding your own glitches and creating your own strategies. Finding where your tactics fit.
Which goes into which seminar? What do I do with a three hour block? With four hours... or four days?
Someone asked yesterday if I taught a regular class. I said I didn't and made noises about that not being where my head is right now. That wasn't true, but what I really believe would seem like an insult to most martial arts instructors:
There's only about 24 hours of stuff-- mental, physical and spiritual-- that actually works. Everything beyond that, you will learn on your own. I might be able to show you, but it can't be taught. I would feel, if I had a regular class, two hours a night, two nights a week, that anything after six weeks would be spinning wheels. Cheating the students, feeding my own ego, trapping them in a worldview that isn't their own.