Help me pick a martial art!
This is my first post so I do apologize if I have posted this in the wrong place. I recently decided to take up some form of martial arts. At first I was looking in to Taekwondo but it seems to have a generally negative reputation so I looked elsewhere. I have to say I have overwhelmed with all of the options. I have a short and probably naive list of what I am looking for:
-Some sort of ranking system (belt system?)
-Physically challenging and mentally rewarding
-Practical (i.e. can I use this if I were mugged or found myself in a dangerous situation)
As I said, short list. I am a senior in college and will be moving to the D.C. area after I graduate so I am assuming there will be many more options there than my current place of residence.
I am impartial as to whether the martial art is grappling focused or sparring focused. I would enjoy competing in organized play, though my main motive is self defense.
I am excited an motivated to learn something new, especially something that could be applicable to certain situations in the future. Any thoughts or comments are appreciated. Thanks!