I certainly appreciate a lot of the earlier one-liners better.
I appreciate this post better than the one liners. Just a matter of taste I guess.
I can agree to much of your post. A trained aikido (not a beginner like me) should be more able to defend him/herself than an untrained person. After all, aikido is indeed a martial art.
But aikido is not only self defense. There are self defense classes that would probably be more effective in the short run, or one could buy pepper spray. Many people actually take self defense lessons or buy pepper spray. Not me, I chose aikiodo because it is more than self defense.
So self defense is a part of aikido and different teachers and different students assign a different importance to this part. For me it may be just 35%, because situations where I needed self defense skills have been exceedingly rare. But for others it may be 75%. You are probably on the higher end of this scale.