Jason has a great write up of a workshop he ran – noting that from sparring drills such as one step sparring we are in a position which may not reflect real life because as he says
BULLIES ARE IN YOUR FACE, SHOUTING AT YOU!
And he notes learning points including
getting use to personal space being invaded, keeping your cool. part of the confidence that sparring practice gives, hidden, is the fact that if you square up to someone two or three times a week, it is far less terrifying when a stranger does it
And also use of distance and technique, how you can learn what is / isn’t appropriate. It’s very difficult when there’s a group of determined people taking it in turn to surround you and attack in whatever way but through regular practice you become more familiar with the levels of violence being shown and your reactions.