Joe, I always question the term "street fighting" used in articles and in this context. Street fighting is not "self-defense" as most people see it. I have to wonder if the term just sounds cooler, tougher and will attract a bigger audience. It's like they create an audience by using tough-guy terms for a self-defense audience, when the actual audience (streetfighters) is very very small.
I'd like someone to define what a streetfigher is, lol, rather than a character in a video game. Is it someone like Kimbo who makes youtube videos, gets famous and then somehow manages to get into the UFC? Where are these guys reading all these articles? I'm sure guys like Kimbo regularly check up on them. Not.
Street fighting is definitely more of a 'hardcore crowd' term. Usually "street" is meant to indicate a real life situation or something that would occur outside of class or cannot be replicated in class or even something that is simply unique to an outdoor/street environment. For example, in class we throw rear leg roundhouse kicks to the ribs all the time but in a street situation you probably wouldn't throw a kick higher than the waist, if you even kicked at all. But in all of those cases its referred to as a "street situation" or a "making a defense on the street", never streetfighting.
Streetfighting, imo, has always been thought of (and still is) as being a half assed boxing match between two "toughguys". He may just be referring to a self defense situation but I'm not a fan of the term streetfighting either.
Should your goal in self-defense be to knock out your opponent? Or to disable, incapacitate, or otherwise create an opportunity for escape or cessation of the attack? I'd go for a groin kick, thumbs in the eyes, batting the ears, all sorts of things if the opportunity strikes over a desire to knock em out. And this, I think, usually means knocking them down and stunning them rather than actually knocking them "out".
If you really want to break it down to its primal form, the goal of self defense is to survive an attack. The main goal in that is exactly what you said, escape or remove the threat. Whether you survive by running, disabling them, or knocking them out I think is 6 or 1/2 dozen (but not a baker's dozen).
There are a couple of points that stem from the whole "knockout vs disabling" debate.
1) A knockout is not like in the movies. Unless there is brain damage involved the person will regain consciousness rather quickly, I can't remember the rough time period but I believe it is only a matter of 1-2 minutes. Maybe even less. How effective they are after regaining consciousness is another story.
2) NEVER EVER would I rely on one strike. The hammer fist technique here is one move. The way he sets it up, it is a committed move with quite a bit of time between strikes, or no time because you've missed and are at a disadvantage. The elbow in the video I put up is meant to be a sort of rapid fire movement. So you wouldn't ever throw one of those. As long as you have the person in that position you're probably going to throw 6-10 elbows in the hopes that at least 2-3 connect. From there there are other combatives depending on the position of the attacker but the moral of the story is to throw a plethora of techniques/attacks because you don't know what will connect and what won't. If one puts them out, by the time you notice you've probably only landed 3-4 elbows and you can stop and evaluate the threat. Better safe than sorry though.
That being said, even with the groin kick. You land one of those puppies, maybe you 2 or 3, and then its either game over, time for downward hammer fists, downward elbow, knees, etc. Point is, the defense doesn't stop until the threat is neutralized and you have your eggs in many many baskets.