You sound like a teenager who doesn't want to pay for stuff... Everyone has been in that stage were they think that the world owes them something and they should get something for nothing. Once you start working (especially creatively) you want to be paid for your hard work, even if you're doing it out of love.
@cookiemonster: Not really, I've done Taekwondo, Oom yung doe, BJJ and Judo; and I would say that Krav Maga is not only the most newbie friendly but the most practical. They'll put you in some stressful situations but they'll never do anything to harm you; expect in Israel, those dudes are crazy. I had one Israeli guest instructor sparring with me blast me in the nuts and hooked me up side my head; he was a great instructor though... I learned never to lower my guard and protect my groin, you won't see that in TMA (Traditional Martial Arts.)
If you don't feel like your ready for that go for Muay Thai, great for the ring or the street.
I would do Krav Maga, easy to learn and with in 3 months of going about 2 to 3 days a week you'll be able to protect yourself. No fancy stances, no katas; very straight forward and direct. This video is a bit extreme; but most Krav schools you'll get very realistic training.