There is a multitude of elements that make up a system of `Civilian Self-Defence`. Regardless of who you are, the Forms (Kata, Hyung), Basic Techniques, etc are the same! A kick is a kick, a punch is a punch and so on. With the amount of Martial Arts choice out there, you will find one (or maybe you want to do more than one) to suit your needs. Whatever your reason for wanting to start up, make sure you check the place and teacher out first. I will comment on that quite a lot on this site, as I feel it vital you do not get yourself stuck in a contract or any financial difficulty.
Most schools are genuine and want to teach quality Martial Arts, however, there are (as in all walks of life) some disreputable people out there and give us decent folk a bad name.
What to look for:
A teacher who has good credentials and is not worried to show you.
Certificates that show rank and a proper signature, not one that has been copied or cropped in.
No up front payments.
These are just several things to look out for, please do not be hasty in your decision to join just any club because it is the closest.