Are martial arts good for self-defense?
Martial arts are wonderful for exercise and confidence building, but we feel they are overrated for self-defense because they take so much time and work to master and maintain, some are ill-taught, and because police have found that defensive tactics and similar techniques are more effective "on the street." Another problem is having to "pull" strikes and kicks with a partner. You'll do on the street what you do in practice.
Where can I learn more about martial arts?
Check the World Wide Web for the National Women's Martial Arts Federation.