gregkavarnos wrote:You obviously have never trained in Muay Thai.
In her youth, my missus was a champion prizefighter back in Thailand (against men more often than not). One day she was ambushed by a gang armed with machetes and even though they cut numerous pieces out of her she still fought them off and escaped, so I would say that the effectiveness of any technique really depends on the mentality of the individual. Professional Muay Thai fighters train extremely hard, and they have to regularly put their skills to the test in the ring, where death or crippling injury is fairly common, however what really makes a great Muay Thai boxer is more than just skill or physical toughness, it is strength of mind, and the best (like the legendary Buakaw) are very often devout Buddhists.
I have great respect for Aikido, but my own observation is that in order for it to be effective one has to be very, very good at it, in this respect it is the same as Taichi; it is potentially very effective but it takes a lifetime to learn, and in the West it is mostly practised by people who would otherwise be studying yoga.
Lastly, instead of batons or walking sticks, one should consider the 'tactical umbrella' http://real-self-defense.com/unbreakable-umbrella/