Explain how Judo is not a soft art?...because it is.
I second that, the art is not as important as your training. However I would definitely meet the teachers, and try a few classes. A lot has to do with how the instructor teachers and what skills you'll learn. Some dont' train you they simply show you the movements and take your money. Combat drills are essential for a street fight. You want it to be reflexive.
Originally Posted by erezb
If you can find it you might want to find an MMA school, do your research but many of the ones I see focus on real life combat situations.
Ultimately too you want to do a style your comfortable with and feels natural for you. Granted you can become more natural with it the longer you train.
Boxing: Good foundation and probably the quickest you'll learn to defend yourself. Nothing fancy straight to the point. Once again though depends on your coach.
Muay Thai: Make sure it's a real Thai school and not American kick boxing and it can like wise be very effective though most of the training and condition can take years.
Judo: Personally I would do jiu jitsu over Judo. Judo though it can be effective it's a soft art where as jiu jitsu in my opinion is more street worthy. Judo in many schools has become a "sport"
Escrima: or Kali as I'm heard the art often called is pretty brutal, however most of the best techniques require a stick and short knife.
mentally preparing yourself is very helpful, work on your physical conditioning and be aware. don't be a victim of circumstances.
Also bare in mind no matter what you study or for how long a single bullet will end it. Be smart when confronted.