Re: Just how real is violence? And where does Aikido stands in all of this?
There has been a decrease in reported violent crimes in the Uniform Crime Reports for several years. What the statistics don't show is the level of violence or the distribution within a jurisdiction. The overall number of reported crimes in a specific city may have decreased, but the majority of those reported crimes may well be concentrated in a specific area of that city. The UCR stats are recorded as the most serious crime involved. An armed robbery will be reported to the Department of Justice as an armed robbery whether or not a physical assault was part of the crime. If a weapon was displayed or implied during a robbery, the event is reported as a robbery. If the weapon is used, it is still reported as a robbery unless the victim dies and then it is reported as a murder.
While the pure numbers of crimes are down, the degree of violence remains and has increased in some jurisdictions. Will studying a martial art protect you from violence? Maybe. Should you live in fear of some possible violent encounter? Probably not - it will depend on where you are, where you travel, what you do when you get there, how you conduct yourself, and a million other factors that we can think of. Common sense will protect you far more than studying the UCR statistics.