Re: philosophical or practical martial art?
You're contradicting yourself, Tim. Almost nobody starts training (or, I guess we're not allowed to use that word if we're not sufficiently intentional, so let's just call it "starts taking martial arts classes", will that do?) with the mindset of "Oh, I'll just go into this with a totally open mind, no expectations or desires or even interests, and we'll just see what happens." People typically go in looking for something or with some idea of what might happen, but hopefully with a mind that is open to discovering new things and changing their reason for being there. You're very down on "fun", whatever...that's your value judgment. But I don't see a meaningful difference between "fun" and "self-defense" in this context. It's what brought you in the door, it's not necessarily the only thing you'll walk out with.