Re: "Self-defense" or Something Else?
I think traditional MA are more about the "something else", it is a most inefficient way to train for Self Defense. While they can be a part of helping you understand your nature, spirit, body, and things like that..as far as techniques of self defense goes...I think it is a supreme waste of time. However these are my opinions.
I am not sure I am prepared to respond in entirety to your post, but I think we must explore the "darkside" of things somewhat to understand the totality of peace. The thing about putting up the kami's of war I think are not in conflict with peace....there are many reasons why a peaceful person might do this I think.
There are many paradoxes in life. It is messy and complicated and no easy answers. I think many of us from the west like things to be spelled out in the "rulebook" for us...to have it "black and white". I don't think peace/harmony are quite that easy!