However, some instructors (which were double+ black belts) had developed a fighting instinct from the training and I felt during demonstrations or light sparring that they could have beat me fairly easily in a real life conflict since their principles of movement were driven by the forethought of the fighting style while mine was merely gut reaction. Because they had a high level of exposure to dynamic fighting they were able to apply the style with the same quickness as I was able to perform my own instinct-based style. Students, though, were easy because I would only have to do something faster than them, or to do something they don't expect and they didn't know how to handle it since all we were being taught was a rote system. This is similar to what a real-life attacker will do... you will not expect when or how they are going to attack you.
The reason I say all this is because although the moves can be effective, it is not a good idea for someone, even with a moderate level of training, to forgo practical choices in defense instead assuming that they can apply their training in a real life-or-death conflict. Police officers, for instance, have said that after a 2-3 month break that they are not able to shoot as accurately as when they practice regularly. There are degrading factors of effectiveness merely in the ability to perform in training, not to mention a chaotic situation where we fall back on muscle memory.