In regards to martial arts and self defense.
I feel as if learning one would be healthy and add something interesting to my life.
However, when used practically, I feel the best self defense would be to run away.
Despite this, I would jump on the opportunity to begin MMA if it wasn't for the likelihood of brain injuries...and the fact that I don't like hurting people (to the best of my knowledge).
Pretty much, I want to start something that will actually make me competent in a fight, that I can practice and grind my skills, and not get my head tossed around too much.
I guess I feel like it's important to be confident in a physical fight though.
Practicality is probably more valuable than having it just for fun, but to tell the truth, I might only have to use it maybe 2 times in my life.
>Pretty much, I want to start something that will actually make me competent in a fight, that I can practice and grind my skills, and not get my head tossed around too much.
Your best bet is to assemble your style from different arts.
Keep this in mind: Reflexes need to be trained under duress. Learning how to react is the most important thing.
But it doesn't need to be a ring fight. Stress drills also work.
If you can find Balintawak in your area. It's one of the Philippino martial arts, also known as Arnis/Eskrima/Kali.
However, the art focuses on weapon-fighting, so you should also do some boxing (there are courses that don't do sparring and instead focus on fitness, with techniques being taught in a safer fashion) to complement it, maybe even some kickboxing.
For the full package, add some kind of grappling. Going into a grapple is a bad idea in a street fight, but you should know roughly how to handle it.