There is a stark contrast between people who have a clear purpose for training and people who are thinking about training. I see it time and again. People say they would like to get in shape, or think it would be good to be able to protect themselves. But these people never have that follow-through. At the first easy excuse, they take the offramp and are never seen or heard from again.
Other people have a clear reason, a purpose for training. They work in a gun-free zone and worry about an active shooter. Or they have a stalker or an abusive ex. These people have a clear and precise reason for seeking out training, and they will typically follow through on it.
So I would advise that if you are on the fence and thinking about seeking out training in martial arts, personal safety or self-defense, take a moment and think about your reasons for wanting this training. If you define these reasons early, you will increase the chances of actually showing up for training and paying enough attention to truly learn something.
I would also advise being specific in these reasons. “Get stronger” is a reason, but very vague. And there are many methods one might use in order to become stronger.
If you are seeking out training in martial arts or self-defense, why are you doing so? Is it something immediate (stalker, abusive ex, recent series of break-ins in your neighborhood)? Or is the threat more general (I see society becoming more violent with active shooters or there is an increased threat of terrorism within our Nation)? Or possibly something more benign (I want to compete in tournaments).
When you get specific with your reasons for training, you can get specific with the type of training you are seeking.
I hope this is helpful!