I'm sure you have some pre-conceived ideas but i'm sure it's not quite like you expect. The best thing you can do is go along to classes and give them a go for yourself. Some arts will be aimed at competition, some very traditional and others like our own Jiu Jitsu Classes are dedicated to effective Self Defence.
You may think that training in a competitive Martial Arts will give you the necessary skills for you to defend yourself if you were attacked. To a degree you would be correct. However, there are also many differences which make it unsuitable in many situations.
Yes, some of the strikes, throws and take-downs would be very similar but what happens when an attacker is twice your size, twice your weight and much stronger? What happens when that attacker grabs you, picks you up in the air, grabs your hair and throws you to the ground, or even starts to tear off your clothes as he has you pinned to the ground? There's no referee, there's nobody in your corner, there's no crowd to protect you, it's just you. What if the attacker has a knife at your throat? What happens after he's already broken your wrists or fingers, blood pouring from your broken nose? there's nobody to throw the towel in for you!
You see, self defence training will help you to increase awareness and avoid situations. If you find yourself up against and aggressive person, you can learn to de escalate or diffuse the situation, there's no ego at stake, what's important is your personal safety and getting you home safely to your family. If you have to use your self defence skills, you have to learn to keep a clear head as much as possible and use skills which will end the situation very quickly. There are NO rules you have to abide by either. So you learn quick and dirty techniques to help end the attack in the 3 seconds or less. You see, the longer it drags on, the more the odds stack up against you.
The Skills you will learn in Jiu Jitsu Classes are designed for effective self defence and consist only of Gross Motor Skills. These are simple body movements virtually all people are capable of performing. They are not learned over months or years, these are movements you are already capable of performing, it's a really important part because if techniques consist of Fine Motor Skills, more complex or learned movements, these simply cannot be recalled by the majority of people in a high stress situation like that of an attack.
Our Jiu Jitsu Classes teach super effective skills that can be learned by virtually anyone, regardless of age, gender or size.