As a kid I loved watching Kung Fu movies on weekend afternoons (I really can't remember if it was Saturday or Sunday). I was amazed by that stuff. Some of my favourites were Super Ninjas, The Five Deadly Venoms, and the man with the Golden Arms (If I am not mistaken, this film has been remade and is out now at the theatres). The moves were so cool and the extended fight scenes were fantastic. I even thought that the weapons they used were cool--I remember scouring a Kung Fu magazine with friends trying to decided which weapons we should order--of course we never did.
I have always been fascinated with the martial arts. In this case, money is not the issue. I deem the money spent on tuition at a school worth the money. I see martial arts as benefitting me not only in fitness, but in calmness of mind as well. While a year's fees would be high, they would be just as expensive as going to a gym (well maybe a little more).
The biggest problems are location, time and comfort. There are lots of places to study martial arts, but it depends on what you want to study. The current popularity of MMA means that there are quite a few places to study that, but that isn't really what I am interested in (though I do like it, do see its value, and respect what it teaches). Most places I have seen are tucked away in industrial areas of the city. Some are convenient, some are not.
When it comes to time, I will always have this problem because I am a commuter. Getting out of work, and getting to the classes on a scheduled time only works if the classes are later in the evening. Most places I have been to tend to split the schedule so that it would only be possible half the time. Maybe I could get there, but I would have to eat my dinner on the bus--possible, but not attractive.
Comfort is the really big factor. I encourage everyone who is thinking about taking a class to take advantage of any trial offer, or trial class. Don't be fooled by glitz and glamour. You have to be comfortable with the environment, the teachers, the atmosphere and attitude of the class. Everyone is different and not every school fits every person.
In my case, I would love to study Kung Fu. I found a school that I really liked, but its location made it impossible to get to. I would also love to study Kendo, but mostly due to laziness I have not pursued this (also because it isn't really as practical as Kung Fu or MMA).
I will keep looking.