Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
I... I think you're getting an image of me that's the opposite of what I want here. I've stated I'm looking for a martial art for the exercise, the sport, with added benefit of self defense. While I'd certainly not discount the social aspect, it's not my primary aim, and certainly not to meet girls as I'm already dating one.
I apologise if that's what you inferred. I don't think I was very clear in my post.
What I meant that any issues about awkwardness about being in a predominantly female class shouldn't really be a problem.

Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
Why "aikido excepted"? Is aikido so easy to integrate into weapon styles?
Further to other answers, a large chunk of aikido is initiated by the opponent grabbing hold of your wrists. How do you make him go for your wrists and not just punch you in the face - by reaching for your sword.

Anybody who would rather punch you in the face than control your weapon, is usually an idiot who'll shortly end up skewered on the aforementioned weapon.

These days, the sword can be replaced by a lot of other things - for example your mobile phone (to call the police), a pistol (although a lot of that is covered by defensive shooting techniques) or some other self defence tool (pepper spray, rape alarm, etc).