Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?
For the life of me, I can't figure out what the people who are constantly worried about being physically attacked are doing to put themselves in such situations. I live in a densely-populated suburban/urban area (Los Angeles), I regularly go out into public where there are tens of thousands of people around me, and I even occasionally go to events/places where people are consuming copious quantities of alcohol. With all of that, I have felt my physical safety threatened by others maybe a half-dozen times at the most, and I believe that the martial awareness I've developed has enabled me to make intelligent decisions that have avoided physical confrontations completely.
For me, the greatest self-defense aspect of martial arts has been this awareness and confidence. Master those, and (knock on wood) the rest seems to take care of itself.