"So if self preservation is your priority then perhaps this is something worth considering. "
Not a 100% sure what you mean?
Firstly Jon my apologies if I got the wrong end of the Jo.
I am just trying to highlight the fact that training in Martial Arts, especially ones rooted in tradition are imparting more than physical self defense. There are as many motivations for training as there are practitioners. Your own personal motivations are what is key to finding what you need. You know this so go with your heart.
The teacher is just as important as the style, so shop around.
Good luck !