Simple answer: understand the difference between pre-emptive fighting and spontaneous fighting. Then you'll have your answer.
FYI I'd be very careful about relying on ring-based or mat-based arts for survival. They're more for athletic entertainment than killing or preventing being killed. Next time someone runs at you with a machete and actually wholeheartedly wants to chop you into extra chunky soup, you let me know a) how you changed psychologically and b) what happened when you tried to "go to ground".