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.
I get your point, and I want to add that paramilitary training and uncontrolled spread of firearms leads to conflict and civil war.
We only need to look to those countries that Nato and UN have decided to engage.
It is my belief that Aikido can help change the world for the better, maybe not in a giant leap but inch by inch and it starts on the individual level.
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.