There is an excellent book titled "Bushido: The Soul of Japan" by Inazo Nitobe, 1st published in 1905. In it is described some of the desirable attributes that a samurai sought after. One of those qualities was a calmness and presence of mind so clear during battle that a samurai could compose and recite poetry
This apparently also gave the samurai the increased ability to defeat his opponent as his opponent realized what sort of person he was up against.
Anyway, my expierence has been that there seems to be just a few individuals in a real fight (bar, street or otherwise) that actually know what they are doing, the rest just seem to be flinging their arms and fists looking for a lucky hit. Those folks that successfully survive their fights are the ones who were able to control themselves and land well placed punches.
I've asked myself this question: as an aikidoka is it cheating to use whatever means necessary to protect myself and an adversary to prevent serious harm? Chances are the person I'm up against I've never met so why should I try to destroy him? If I can distract him long enough by whatever means necessary so that I can run like hell, that's what I'd probably do.
As far as kicks go... I still like Bruce Lee's statement. To paraphrase: "Kicking someone in a fight is like trying to pucnh someones foot."