Many self-defense books are technique heavy, and technique is one of the least important things in a real encounter. Specific techniques fit in a specific space and time, and space and time are some of the things that get really screwed up. That's why, on top of technique being a poor basis for even a decent self-defense read, strategies based on sparring timing just don't work.
The space, the time and the positions are not the same.
Take a striker, a karateka who knows how to hit hard and has the skill to toy with an opponent. Let's make him a full-contact specialist. What does he or she need for self defense?
Maybe some advice on how to use that power, (and targeting, for that matter,) when the threat is behind or to the flank. Maybe with your head twisted back and up. That's common spacing and positioning. Add common timing and you have to act before you can accurately see anything or evaluate the threat. The bad guy gets surprise and compromises your structure and takes up space. He's the bad guy. If he can't do this, he's probably not ambushing you and your resonse probably isn't self-defense.
If you see an attack coming well enough that you can parry and use a strike to set up a finisher... it's probably not justified self-defense. You could have probably used that distance and those smarts to just get the hell out of there.
Yeah. So what should a self-defense book be about?
Maybe how and where to strike when off balance and bound up. Maybe even how to use your own off-balancing. Strikes that work. Not dojo folklore about what twelve pounds of pressure will do or what part of the skull is thin. Show me ten people (hell, show me one) who hit that point and got the other guy good and concussed. If something is supposed to be, according to some old scroll, potentially lethal find an example. Especially if it is someplace I've been hit an awful lot. Does it bother anyone that something I've been doing for fun for twenty years is being taught as potentially lethal and too dangerous to practice?
It goes throughout self defense. Fundamentals are important but the real skill in self-defense shooting is getting your weapon into play with no time or space and preferably without shooting your off hand. Then working the action because it will almost certainly jam that close. What I learned on the range AND what I learned as a tactical shooter are not the same skills a self-defense shooter needs. With very few exceptions, if a civilian uses my skills, they are the bad guy.
Sorry, I'm frustrated. As Irene once said, "What most self-defense instructors miss is the point."
I'll be better when the christmas music stops.