Similar questions have come up and my opinion, which is the answer I always give is the same. Anything is better than nothing.
You’re going to get a lot of answers here, but for folks that trust the style they train in will most likely recommend that martial art, because it’s been helpful to them so I’m going to do the same.
Most of my life I trained in striking arts. I found I really liked Ishin-Ryu karate because of it’s emphasis on live sparring. My instructor had a wrestling background too so he modified it with some more takedowns. I did that for 11 years and started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ( towards the end of those 11 years. I still study BJJ because at my age, it’s the best art to keep my wits about me when it comes to self defense. I still take striking classes too so I can maintain what I learned in Ishin-Ryu. I’ve been doing BJJ for 15 years now and it certainly helps with my situational awareness when I’m out and about.
I would say, try to do a little of striking and a little grappling. Make sure there is an element of live sparring (grappling or striking) otherwise you’re building muscle memory for techniques you never truly test. Learning moves under controlled scenarios are good to learn the technique, but if they fail in the closest version to an actual fight you train in, then they do not work.
The good thing about the growth of BJJ, is that schools are easier to find now, many with a Muay-thai or kickboxing class on their schedule.
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