Often I am asked if I can teach the Martial Tai Chi, often referred to as Tai Chi Chuan. Martial Art is a term that can flex in meaning and often lead to confusion.
So what does "Martial Arts" mean to you?
For some it is a style or system and they practice for health.
Some practice for understanding a philosophical structure of life and a cultural experience.
ZhaoShu - Movie Kungfu
Others want to know what the movements do, and enjoy practice the gestures of movement, but they are not interested getting striking or getting struck, throwing or getting thrown, being the Purveyor of Pain. Learning the Gestures of Martial Arts with delivering the force is often what you see in the movies, in kungfu they call this 'ZhaoShu'.
This does help someone understand concepts of movement and is great for creating a 'textured' or deeper understanding in the motor cortex, so that your file called 'Single Whip' isn't just a motion with points of precision, but there is feeling in it too.
But to cross over to the Martial Combat Side, there is more to be done. Civilian Self Protection and Para-Military Training have combative aspects, but their objectives are very different. Certainly all versions of combative sport have their objective which is much different than the others as well.
It's not that one is better, or more right for you. It is a matter that you know why you are practicing and that your practice matches up with your intent.