I read the first part of the article and can see where part of the argument is going. "Self Defense" involves a lot more than kicking, punching,and lethal techniques. Self Defense involves responding to situations with a reasonable level-of-force. This is to further protect you from criminal liability after the encounter is done (sort of a continued self defense). Much of self defense involves being aware of where you are, avoiding threats, and having the humility to back down from situations where there is no valid need to escalate. In that regard, if a school isn't teaching those notions, then they really aren't teaching "self defense" as effectively as they can. At the same time, teaching good footwork and striking in hard sparring formats and letting students become both confident and humble may just give the base tools to survive 'self defense' situations if they occur. That said, the notion that Taekwondo is "too deadly" for self defense is silly. It is a great and very flexible art that can be taught to people of all ages and practiced with decent resistance (and varying levels of contact) to satisfy most needs. It's a good base for competition, for fitness, and for self defense. (And depending what you want, cross training will probably be very helpful).