Originally Posted by Kyoshi71
I'm a 20+ year veteran of martial arts. Here's the deal if you are looking to stay fit and defend yourself. (and I'll try to answer before all the video-game grandmasters comment)
Kick boxing and Muay Thai are geared for the ring, not self defense. The last thing you want to do in a SD situation is square-off with your opponent. Also, in Thailand, the average Muay Thai fighter has a ring-life of 1.5 years. That should tell you something about the training and how good it is for your body. A previous poster mentioned TKD. Tae Kwon Do is an absolute joke in any arena you put it in.
Considering you dont want to spend a decade or so learning Karate (it actually takes longer to really undertand) Krav Maga could be a good option. The one downside of Krav Maga is, because it really doesnt have a formalized system, instruction varies tremendously from teacher to teacher. Find one with a decent reputation and give it a shot.
Personally, I'm not down with anything MMA related and quite frankly, MMA & BJJ are horrible in a self defense situation (unless of course there are rules the next time youre attacked). What are you going to do, go to the ground in a bar while the guy's friend wastes you with a bottle? Also, unless you like tattoos, shaved heads and your family bowls a lot, MMA is a little WT.
I'm not a huge fan of kickboxing at all.
Muay Thai is not bad for self defense. Dutch Muay Thai is pretty dynamic compared to traditional Thai. They tend to move around more than just stand there and block kicks or punches.