There's a difference between being confident enough to defend yourself and lashing out at people whose behaviour you dislike.
Spot on, Dublinkevin.
Ha, I now have quite a comical image of myself running away every time I meet a tory or a chelsea supporter.
I have been physically threatened, mugged a few times when I was in my early teens, and attacked on the tube once. The latter was because I am a transvestite, I think he felt threatened by my ambiguous sexuality. I avoid violence these days simply by avoiding confrontation, holding my head high, not acting like a victim and laughing at people's aggression, whether I am in drag or dressed normally. I have not had to run away from anyone in 11 years. I think pursuing a violent confrontation when it is unnescessary is the lowest kind of stupidity there is, especially on a bike.
I did jujitsu for a while and the sensei nearly dislocated my shoulder so I quit. It's rock climbing and bikes for me, from now on. I have nothing against boxing or martial arts.