A colleague introduced me to Krav Maga, which is a modern martial-art.
It seems that I may pick this as the martial art to learn as it is a real-world martial art. It isn't a sport. There are no competitions and performances. It is a practical self-defense art.
It's been tested on the streets of Tel Aviv and in combat since World War 2.
It teaches you how to handle real-life situations like muggers, armed opponents, being outnumbered, hand grenades, etc and not some theoretical Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon duel situation.
It doesn't involve religious or spiritual elements. In fact, if there is anything spiritually linked to it, was the fact that it was created by an Israeli.
Nasty stuff, reading the articles. It is a no holds barred martial art with an anything goes move. Groin, eyes are not excluded. Weapons, including modern weapons are involved like guns, shotguns, etc. The training also involves it when you are incapacitated or disadvantaged like smoke, dazed, etc.
However, the civilian form taught only involves the self-defense part and not the offensive part (including killing) which commandos and special forces learn. In fact, some countries have legal restrictions on what can be taught.
Scary stuff, indeed.