Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven
Of course there's a difference between a proof and a data point, and as you can imagine that there are plenty of data points that show that average folks get on quite well in rough areas, that the majority of deaths in these high crime areas are gang and drug related, that concealed carry laws due decrease the incidence of crime, that bad-asses die, that innocents suffer, etc.
So, without a whole lot of thought, we would have to conclude that it just comes down to personal, quality of life decisions. If you are happier studying a martial art, thinking that you will need it to one day defend yourself, then have at it.
After getting a shodan in aikido, early 90's, I thought I'd do some cross-training in a very self-defense oriented, northern style kung fu. I gave it a shot, a little over a year (while still studying aikido). I finally stopped when I started getting crazy thoughts like ... "If that person makes a move, I could take out a knee, elbow to the temple and thumb to the eye" I was not seeing a fellow human, I was seeing a set of potential target areas. I hadn't had those thoughts doing aikido, and haven't had them since.