OK now I understand better. Yes I'd agree that giving someone a permanent neurological/cognative injury could be a fate worse than death.
I think the bottom line is that for whatever martial art or skill set you are studying, especially anything beyond the beginner level where you may intend, because you are an L.E.O. or whatever, to actually use what you learn on people, good and responsible instruction is necessary.
Martial means military. Martial arts, not surprisingly, includes military arts that could kill someone.
I'd get less upset about the fact that a particular conference is offered on a cruise ship. I work in an industry where continuing education is required and to entice people to go to these things, cruise ships are common, as are conferences in other vacation spots. A cruise ship is just a big hotel on the water. Judge the conference by what you take away from it that you can use.
The older I get, the better I was!