When I have thought of Okinawa as the home of Karate and Kobudo tradition, I have always relegated the Okinawan people as not being part of the story. Karate did develop in the aristocracy of the island for their own defense and as a class group practice.
Kobudo was found as various village traditions, but the real weight of Okinawan existence was not part of my thinking.
Recent photos I have found suggest something else.
The Okinawan people really did not have to go far to find individuals skilled in a variety of practices, which would lend themselves for defense.
First were the variety of local sumo (wrestling) traditions. They would have some use in self defense. The other competitions between villages, boat races, rope pulling, etc. all maintained traditions of keeping individuals fit and used to working together.
Then each home had kama, the local tool for home gardening and readily available.
Where there were fishers, they were skilled at getting fish by spear. Personally I would think twice at facing such individuals.
Likewise there were a variety of tools used in agriculture which could also be used for self defense.
And not forget the bo, which seems was universally used for a variety of purposes.
Something to think about.