Re: "Battered Briton Survives Aikido Ordeal"
Sorry I disagree Mark. That course is also an express course used by Tokyo Riot Police. If I'm not mistaken, completion of that course entitles them to a black belt in Aikido.
Whatever it may be to foreigners joining in, there is no posturing or 'macho' posturing as you put it for the guys and gals in the police force. They do this because they use it day in day out in their daily job. They can't wait 5 years to get a semblance of aikido preparedness before hitting the streets.