A Non Attribute-based foundation ...
But I am always concerned with people developing some good short term self defence skills that do not require great timing and skill-based strategies to be effective. i learned this lesson long ago in Indonesia - I was training with small crowd that based their training on the idea that you may well get into a fight on the way home that night. So it was all elbows, knees and headbutts as basics - then we learned kicks and hand skills, etc - as we became proficient at the former. This was counter to most of the martial arts practice I had been exposed to in Australia - where techniques like elbows, knees and headbutts were considerd only as advanced training options.
Ever since then, after having had fights usng those 'hardcore' and functional basics - I have taken the same approach when teaching beginners. If they have come for self defence - then I have an obligation to give them technique and strategies that work - and 'work' with a minimal amount of training. That is the short term goal. The long term goal is to 'raise the bar' and further develop their skills to a higher level. but in the short term - we need to take that 'Non-attribute' based approach. This is certainly the way i teach BJJ. The core of the system is pretty much a 'positional-based' plan. it doesn't require a lot of skill, or speed or strength. that's how everyone starts their BJJ training with me - and a good understanding of that, is what I look for to promote someone to blue Belt. After that, we are really talking about the development of high level skills and attributes.
it is good habit, to every now and then, take a look at how our basic game=plan is shaping up. becasue if tever we find ourselves in a real-world physical confrontation, that is what we are going to work with. Check your basics regularly - mnake sure they are real-world friendly - r unfriendly - depending on your perspective.