Even beyond the metaphysical ideals of the philosophy behind the way we teach our Krav Maga focused mixed martial arts, there are clear benefits to practicing self-defense. If one does not train, then in a high stress environment one is likely to freeze. This is part of why rape victims often do not fight back , although there are others dependent on each individual situation. There will always be a need to know how to defend oneself and one’s loved ones, and there are incredible health benefits associated with variety of activities necessary to truly commit to one’s best in martial arts.
Krav Maga places an emphasis on palm strikes. This is for a variety of reasons. In a combat situation, often one ends up grappling on the ground at some point. In today’s developed world this usually occurs on concrete. If one punches and misses, striking a sidewalk or road, it could break a bone. Palm strikes are less likely to do that, and there also have been some studies that seem to indicate that this strike can generate more power behind it. 
One of my favorite parts of our program is the mat chat that we have every class. This is approximately five minutes where we get to discuss aspects of the Premier Martial Arts philosophy. This ranges from subjects like kindness and responsibility to courage or discipline. These may be the best lessons I could have received from my time studying martial arts in my youth. It is wonderful to have the time set aside to assist in building true martial artists as opposed to just someone who can throw a powerful haymaker.
Even without this scheduled aside time to instill good qualities in our students, studies have shown a tremendous number of benefits. Ones attention improves quite a bit from all the focus one must give to learn longer patterns and repeat them in high stress environments.  There are also reductions in the symptoms of depression.  This is no surprise as the improvements in one’s physical ability and the knowledge that one can protect oneself and one’s loved ones can make one more confident. At the same time however, people who study martial arts appear to get in fewer fights. 
“Si vis pacem, para bellum,” or “If you want peace, prepare for war,” as the phrase goes. If one joins a practice of self-defense in order to reduce the fights one gets in, and trusts so much in that aspect of the practice that one does not learn how to use the whole body to twist and put that weight behind a punch, then one may no longer have that physicality and aura that leads the potential assailant to choose a different target. Concepts like the center of mass (or tanden or dantien), targets (both in terms of where to hit and which knuckle of the fist to hit with), and chambers are only the beginning of the details that need to be practiced and refined with every class.