Re: Of self defense
Five years ago, I'd have to say very difficult.
Maturing (i.e. aging) and/or training have changed that for me. Not sure which, probably both.
One thing I've got out of aikido (and tai chi) is to not look at a physical confrontation emotionally, or personally. If you saw a tornado coming toward you, would you be angry or just do what you had to do to survive? Yeah, I know, the difference is the agressor is a human being.
Fortunately, I've never had to put this thinking to the test, but my attitude has still changed in even thinking about it.