This is for a sequel I may be writing to my first novel. I'm thinking my female main character needs to learn a martial art, and I'm wondering which one would be best to choose, and what I can expect out of it. As I've sketched out the plot in my head so far, my FMC has seven to nine months to get good enough at her chosen martial art so that when confronted with a bigger, stronger attacker, she can at least deter him or her well enough to get away. Though if she could put the thug out of commission for awhile, that'd give me more options. The setting is a medium-sized city in the American Midwest in 1982 - 83. As I recall, back then all the classes we had available were for judo/jujitsu and karate. I'd better not get more exotic than that. Keep in mind she's an ordinary citizen: I don't have her training for a mission or anything. It's just that she's been the victim of previous attacks (in Book One) and her fiance (the MMC) suggests she get MA lessons just in case it happens again. She doesn't think it will, but does it to please him. However, she's a good student, very attentive, and the memory of how it felt to be helpless will be a strong motivator. She's courageous, a clear thinker, and quick at assessing a situation. She's 29 years old, 5'-1", 115 pounds. With her work and personal schedule, she'll have time for two lessons per week, max. She's in decent shape for someone with a sedentary job, but is not a gym rat. Though I could have her join up, under the circumstances. How far could a student like that get in that period of time? I'm not that interested in belt levels, though that'd be good to know; more in what someone like her would reasonably be able to do if attacked. And while I'm at it, the male MC will be taking MA classes, too, also "just in case." He's 35, ex-US Army, 6'-4", around 200 pounds. I'd say karate for him, except that he's an architect and lives by his drawing. For that matter, both of them live by their hands. Does karate, done right, pose the risk of hand injury? Or would it actually strengthen them? So, what do you think?