Running can be a good option. One I would highly recommend as a defensive tactic for most.
I think it's more than simple running. It's tatics of escape and evasion along the lines that Marc MacYoung no nonsense self defense program espouses. Obviously this applies to some situations and not others.
Many though have jobs or we are put in situations where running is not the thing we must do.
Bouncers for instance are hired to keep the peace in a bar and remove those that are not complying with the rules.
Good bouncers are those that can recognize trouble long before it starts and can influence the situation before it escalate into physical action. That is not to say that a bad bouncer is one that has situations that get physical! Some times it happens! ...
They must also know when to grab the "big stick" from behind the bar, and when to call in the calvary to!
My brother worked as bouncer when he was in law school. He had good verbal skills and no martial arts training. He did know a few simple skills to take out trouble makers quickly if it came to that. He was an ex-athlete who still did strength conditioning (around 260 lbs at 6'1") and the bar had a real good buddy system. His back up was an ex OU lineman who was taller and over 300 lbs. and who brought the big stick if all hell broke loose.
A friend of mine worked as bouncer in a what was affectionately called a "blood 'n guts" bar in Kenmore Square back in the day. Nightly fights were the norm. This guy loved a good bar brawl, probably why he worked there. He was a scrappier guy, not over 6' I think and lighter than 200. But he had cobbled together some decent skills from experience and there was the fact that he was pretty fearless and didn't mind being knocked out on occasion when all hell broke loose. Again, the bar bouncers had good buddy system and used strategies and teamwork. The usual result was the unconscious offending party were tossed in the dumpster out back to sleep it off.
The point really is in neither case was being an expert martial artists or training in any martial art by the individual a necessity for the job. What was a necessity was knowing how to talk to people, having a few simple skills to end a physical confrontation before it started, and having a buddy system and teamwork tatics in place for when all hell broke loose to as quickly as possible put an end to it.
Having a few simple skills and strategies and working on getting them down in an uncooperative environment in a few months is realistic working with those that have the same career need. Walking in to a traditional martial arts school which has so many other goals and students with probably even more reasons and goals, I really can't understand why it took two years for the OP to figure this out that the training wasn't what would fit the bill. Why he thinks another school built on cobbling together various traditional martial art moves is going to fit the bill either is beyond me. Yes punch and kicking is easier to pantomime and feel like you doing something. NOT a big revelation.
Hey thanks for the youtube stuff on Tony Blauer. As a neuroscientist I was aware of the speed of the startle/flinch response and the issue of hard wired responses and lack of habituation to a novel stimulus. I thought he had nice clear approach. Amazing what you can find on youtube!