I feel your logic is a bit slippery because there is a very fine line between martial arts practise and paramilitary training..
Let me give you an example from real life:
I know a ninjutsu guy who was arrested for carrying a nunchaku on the street and he was subject to police surveillance for a period of time because the judge who sentenced him regard his ninjutsu school as a paramilitary organisation, which makes sence because they engage in modern tactical weapons practise, combat swimming, climbing buildings, stealthy night attack drills etc. I guess itīs a normal reaction to ask oneself why civilians need to know stuff like that ?
How effective do we need our martial skills to be in order to feel they are "up to date" so to speak..?
And why do we practise martial arts anyway? For me personally itīs a question of personal protection and development and thatīs it. You can only change yourself.
Didn't mean to imply that people need to run around with weapons or as ninjas...just that we need to have the courage and willingness to stand up and hold ourselves and others accountable. At the very basic level, however, it does mean the willingness to face physical conflict. It could be like Ghandi, or it could be in the form of armed resistance.
Agreed you can only change yourself, but you can also hold others responsible and accountable for their actions.
I can't really speak to what exactly civilians need to know. Each of us has to make our own decisions in that area. Agreed, in this day of firepower and technology it is difficult to keep skills up to date. Again, even if you simply have the willingness or courage to get involved, hold them accountable, that is what I think is important. Effectiveness can come in many ways and forms.