Alright, so I'm new to this community and to martial arts. I haven't even settled on one to practice yet, mainly because I'm having horrible trouble finding a gym around me that looks legit. I'll probably go the boxing/judo route because of its apparent cheap pricing, but I'm looking for muay thai, savate, stx (really any solid striking that's close and cheap) as well, as I want to hone striking before I even think about grappling.

I live in the Chicagoland area (please don't hate me, rest of Illinois, I'm not technically in Chicago so I can hate it too). I actually have found a lot of martial arts and boxing gyms nearby, however, I'm scared they'll be McDojos or boxercise places. I was just wondering if anyone is in my area that is at a legit dojo that can help me expedite my search. I want to practice chiefly for self-defense, though I have always had a very keen interest in fighting and can see myself taking to it gladly and becoming very dedicated, maybe even joining MMA if a bunch of weird scenarios click together just right. But for now, self-defense and sparring in gyms. I can work my way up later...

So there's my long-winded and obnoxious first post. I was surprised my name wasn't taken, too. Nice to meet you all.