I would disagree that the time to find out if something works is when you face physical violence. The time to find out is to train properly in realisitc training if this is your cup of tea, or concern.
I don't really study aikido much to prepare me for a "real fight (tm)". I study it to make me a better martial artist, which in turn prepares me to be a better more balance person, which prepares me to deal with conflict. I study other things to be good at fighting skills. (if that makes sense!