Wow, foreveralive really likes to post some grade A obfuscatory bullshit.
Martial arts have had a utility for me but it was never the reason I trained in them. When I started with Judo it was because my mother wanted me to learn something without the emphasis on kicking/punching but as far as I was concerned it was just a club I went to with my friends. It did have it's utility in terms of the couple of playground "fights" I ever had being a case of throwing the other person till they stopped trying to get me to start throwing fists like they expected.
Since then I trained on and off but don't think I ever had a real fight till I became a police officer. I think my training has helped in terms of confidence, once you feel confident sparring and hitting/throwing and being hit/thrown you worry about that stuff a whole lot less. Not worrying and being calm also helps you communicate better and convince a hell of a lot of people that it's not worth fighting. When it's become unavoidable the practical grappling I've learned has helped more than anything they teach us each year in refresher training.
I haven't trained regularly for ages but I've found an MMA club opened where I live late last year and Im going to start training next week. Again, it's primarily not for any real world "utility" though I'm sure there will be some crossover, it'll mainly be because it's fun. As someone else said it's the same reason I weightlift, it's physical, your progress is measurable and there's a sense of acheivement for succeeding. Everything else is just a bonus really.