The world can sometimes be a dangerous place. I read last week about a lady who was in a shopping mall and got into a verbal altercation that later resulted in being jumped by others. The sad story occurs over and over throughout the country. Having basic self-defense classes helps in raising your confidence levels and giving you those few moves that can protect you from serious injury.
I have been doing Kenpo for a few years, engaged in martial arts previously, and do some kickboxing but decided to attend a free self-defense class. I learned very quickly how the basics can help you. A few simple moves can go a long way when you don't have time to think and things heat up quickly.
For example a chicken wing block whereby your put your elbow up by the side of your head is simple and easy to remember and protects your head from injury. Soft spots such as the neck, eyes, groin, and nose are very helpful for striking which puts an opponent down quickly. It doesn't take much to give yourself the few moments you need to escape.
Everyone should learn the basics. Kids might need a basic self-defense class that protects them while others could use a few counter strikes to stun or injure their opponent. Students should be able to understand the difference between self-defense, playing around, and being an aggressor.