Well... I live in São Paulo, Brasil, since 2010. And before that in Luanda, Angola.
I´ve been quite in a lot of countries and seen a lot of strange situations, but I have never, ever, seen such amount of extreme daily violence as here... (ok, I could throw Venezuela in as well).
Here, there´s no "fancy movie stunts" that can save your ass in a tight situation. There is absolutely no "honourable fights" and you´re walking looking above your shoulder.
For those not used to something like this beside in Hollywood movies, it can sound exagerated...but it´s not. Here, guns impose the rules and you see them on a daily basis.
Police standard trafic road control operations are held with glocks and shotguns at hand, on a basis of "shoot first, ask later". 3 months ago some engineer got shot in the head because the "officer" mistaked the cell phone for a gun. "Sorry", they say...To make things worse, last year the local gang (the biggest) declared war on the police. As a result, 93 (and counting) dead officers in broad daylight executions, from shopping malls, to streets... and police stations! Wow...
All summed up it was something around 5.732 homicides last year alone (only this town, of course), not counting the ones that die later at the hospital, nor the ones classified as other than plain homicide (just for the record, robbery that ends up with a dead citizen, does not count towards this numbers)
I live in a building with electrical fences, barbed wires, double gates at the garage (so you enter in a sort of "bunker" prior to getting in the real garage)...the same thing with on-foot access, a bunch of security guards, guns, armored cars and a lot of other stuff that would fill the eyes of the common "civilized-country-action-movie-fan". But it´s living like that for me... and the rest of the neighbourhood!
Just 600mts from here starts a famous "favela" (shanty town) with aprox. 108.000 inhabitants, mostly good people, but out of 108 thousand... there are always a few not so pleasant and peacefull.
After dark, almost all traffic lights become "optional" (although car-lights also seem to be) and you just don´t walk the streets.
I never studied martial arts and the reason I´ve started now has nothing to do with "getting out of trouble". It could help... but not in these kind of environment!
The only possible and feasable defense is... avoid confrontation!
Be alert, anticipate... and avoid.
I´m just starting but I wonder,.. is that Aikido?