I came to the Greater Toronto Area from Trinidad in the Caribbean some years ago (mainly because of escalating crime) and it was interesting to experience a society where the number of violent deaths we experienced in a month in Trinidad was experienced in a year here. And they thought that number was excessive. I felt very safe but also immediately realized that what I would call "effective" martial arts training would be considered extreme by the standards of those who have lived all their life in an extremely safe reality. It was good to feel safe but I found that the result was a lot of sheep walking around who were oblivious to serious, unadulterated violence. As gang activity slowly increases here, we are seeing the effect slowly starting where the average citizen is quite a soft target.
As a result it has been very difficult to explain why I do certain things in martial arts or self defence classes, simply because these folks do not understand this level of violence. There is no point of reference in their mind. For them the experience of severe, focused and calculated violence is something seen on TV or on UFC so the perception of what is "effective" is quite skewed due to lack of any real experience or knowledge.
I've heard this before from people who came from more dangerous or higher crime countries - not specifically in a 'fighting' context but things like people's level of awareness when they're walking down a street or stopped in a traffic jam - and interestingly to me, I've heard it go the other way, too... For example a friend of mine from Toronto has been living for several years now in a small Japanese town. One time when he came back for a visit he made a comment that he felt like he had lost a lot of his protective 'city' instincts.... For example apparently where he's been living when people park their cars not only do they not lock them, they frequently leave the keys in the ignition for convenience