When I was living in Korea I studied Hapkido, which is like Karate 2.0, and I earned my yellow belt, which means I know how to count to 10 in Korean and take someone down if they're attacking me by shaking my right hand.
One day I would like to become a martial arts master and get a black belt. I realize this is going to take ages to achieve, and will involve a huge investment of time, but I think it would be beneficial in terms of both health and confidence.
But how does one go about picking a martial art? From an initial glance at Wikipedia, there are many different styles to choose from and there’s not just Asian, but also African, South American, and historical European styles that offer something for everyone. If I list the goals or preferred elements of my ideal, they would be:
1. Strength and flexibility
3. Standard tests and clear goals to work towards
4. Easy on the hands (not too much grabbing or grappling)
5. Something a 115 lb. woman could realistically hope to master