Thanks for clarifying Razma.
A big problem in arts like boxing, Judo, BJJ et al... is that everyone wants to bypass their vegetables and go straight to the ice cream. A lot of people want to spar, but people are often reluctant to drill their techniques first. A good coach will do a lot of “alive” drills and then introduce new students to sparring.
I know blocking might seem like an important part of “self-defence”, but I also have spoken to karate-ka who are dubious about how realistic certain karate blocks are. In fact I think there are several threads on here about it too.
If you are worried about “self-defence”, I would encourage you to educate yourself further on the causes and prevention of physical violence. I sincerely believe a person can build an effective self-defence program without going near a martial arts class. Marc MacYoung (a reformed violent criminal) has an excellent website with a lot of free advice on self-protection and criminal behaviour (and how to stay safe):http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/
Do some reading and don’t believe that martial arts = self-defence. 99% of people go into a martial arts class because they are afraid (whether they admit it or not). Martial arts can help you get over that fear certainly, but you’ll have the most success in any art when you learn to love it*. Just enjoy your training.
* And staying injury free helps!