Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
Every martial art (3 now) that I've practiced advocated something close to what you're saying.
In some jurisdictions, though, depending on 1: "Reasonable man" and 2: "Fighting words", the defender isn't breaking the law. It's close, though.
In my jurisdiction, if the attacker is threatening you bodily harm and "a reasonable man" would be afraid for his physical welfare or those less capable in his charge (e.g., his kids), the defender can initiate and defend it legally.
I'm not advocating cracking on some guy standing there just mouthing off. OTOH, there is no way I'll let a guy that appears to be serious crack on me. I'll do *something* to sieze the initiative.