So we won't be seeing a lot of posts in the "Which style gets assraped in the shower the least?" or "MMA counters against improvised weapons" threads?
- ability to defend yourself
- weight loss
If this is a restraining order situation and local law enforcement seems to be waiting until after the fact, then Google some womens' shelters in your zipcode and they might have a ready list of resources that are available for that type of situation.
I'm not discouraging you from undertaking a study of martial arts, but I would stress that there is no martial art or combat defensives course that will teach you (in a short amount of time) to protect yourself from a person intent on doing you harm. Especially if that person has a mental disorder or substance problem and is bigger than you. Sorry.
If it's not a matter of urgent personal safety (and I truly hope it is not), then find a local Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Muay Thai school. Or a school that offers both in a relaxed (i.e. not all about "winning" and "dominating") and alive environment. Talk to the teacher about your $ situation and see what can be worked out. Alot of people are willing to adjust their pricing schedule in this economy. Especially in Michigan, where people are losing their jobs in droves and have to drop their training to make ends meet.
A Google Maps of "martial" near your zip.
WHat is "alive"?
MATT THORNTON, ALIVENESS - martial arts most important thing! Straight blast
Also, other guys on this forum might be better able to assist you than I am and might have better advice or contacts in your area. For your own sake and for the sake of their good intentions and valuable time, please try to be more forthright and specific in the future.
It is difficult to learn even the most basic without instruction. Even throwing a punch correctly is not easy. Do not train without instruction. If you learn something incorrectly, then you will develop bad habits. At least get some instruction. Maybe go for 2 private lessons and that will be enough for you to learn how to throw punches (jab and cross) and maybe some kicks (front push kick, round kick, and side kick). The thing is, whatever you learn, you have to practice on your own. You will not get good like this, but at least you will have something to practice.
The only thing I can suggest is to start running if you are not willing to join a gym. If you go to school, join a fighting club. Every school should have a boxing club, or martial arts club or wrestling club.
If you would have been in my area I would have helped for free. Maybe someone else is around your area that does not mind training with you. Ask some friends to work out with you.
For striking styles, Muay Thai (or kick boxing) would be the best to learn if you are in a hurry. I say this because typically, TMA schools are not focused on combat or full contact fighting. You will not get any fluff in MT, so you learn faster. You can't expect to go and after 1 week you know it though. Everything takes time. You should be rather competent after a year and probably in awesome shape if you dedicate yourself.
The closest thing to MT, I would say is boxing for the same reasons. There is no fluff. If you can't find Muay Thai (or kick boxing), look for a boxing gym. You will not be able to kick or defend against low kicks, but it is extremely effective and you need to be very conditioned to do it.
If you are afraid that someone is going to rape you, then some type of grappling will be best. Even if you are a good fighter, if you are 120 pounds and a 180 pound guy wants to rape you, your strikes are not going to damage him unless you hit some critical areas. This means you will just get bull rushed and taken down. If you are skilled in grappling, whether it is wrestling or BJJ, you will be able to get a better position and you will be able to defend yourself on the ground. Even if the guy is stronger, you will be able to use position to create leverage and you will actually overpower him.
If you want one on one, expect to pay by the hour. Also, you will learn the same amount one on one vs. group class. Why? No Quality trainer will teach you too much in one session. They may teach you a few things and drill the hell out of them with you. Personal training is terrible for learning basics. I can spend 1 hour teaching someone how to learn 1 thing. Personal training is good for someone that has a hard time on something specific or that wants to learn something advanced. What is the point in spending $50 per hour to hit a heavy bag or learning to throw a jab? You can easily go to a class and you will pick up a lot. Then just train on your own and if you think you need extra attention, then you go for one on one.
To get good training you will need 1 hour of running a day, 1 hour of drills and 1 hour of technique. You will develop very fast if you do this. Twice a week do something related to strength like squats, dead lifts, shoulder press, chin ups, snatch, etc... Anytime doing something with weights, practice safety and never progress too quickly. Even if you join a gym, you will not be doing all this there unless you live at the gym and are training to be a professional fighter.