The best, and most complete work-out for someone to use when training for self-defense is one that consists of compound exercises and exercises designed to strengthen one's core. Having a solid base is a must to one's survival when being attacked.
If you have ever been hit hard in the stomach, you would understand how important it is to have a strong core and thick abdominal muscles to help weather the blow. One also needs to train quick, explosive movements to help them when they must make quick, split second decisions.
A general work out designed for beginner's to strengthen their base, and core would follow something like this.