When I was a teenager, I was so impressed with karate movies and started kick-boxing under that influence. After one year of training, I found out that I have been taking much more beating at the training than I would ever get if I became a street fighter. I quit.
Now at the age of 34, after many years of training in judo and recently in aikido, I have never had a significant fight in my life so far. Nothing more than some verbal exchange in the worst case.
I believe there are much more important benefits to martial arts than the fighting or self-defence aspects. However, if we neglect the martial aspects in these arts, many of the benefits are lost as well.
That's why I believe that we should avoid the fighting and competitive aspect while keeping the martial ever present.