Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"
Avoiding a fight is wonderful, when possible. That isn't aikido or any other martial art, just common sense.
Talking some aggressor down is wonderful too. It even works sometimes, and I doubt that doing so is aikido or any other martial art, just human experience, a gift of gab, and perhaps good fortune.
Being able to defend yourself and those you protect is wonderful as well when the first two just aren't working. That might be aikido, some other martial art, something else, or maybe even a good escape plan.
For me, talking someone down is a luxury I enjoy because of my training, demeanor and will and not a component of those qualities. It might even work and when it does, life is good. If it doesn't, hopefully all those sweaty and sometimes bloody hours of training will work. It if doesn't and there is no escape available, I hope the cavalry is right around the corner. As a last resort I will threaten to give Phi their home phone number!