I started in Okinawan Goju-ryu when I was still in middle school; did that for years, including running a dojo over a decade later. It's hard to say. Frankly, I think that discipline and the older mentors I gained there probably saved my life (or at least kept me from fucking it up irreparably). On the other hand, the current me would probably just go train in combatives with sumdood: Kelly McCann, Rory Miller, maybe something like Craig Douglas' POI. I box 3 nights a week now, just to bone up on the western way of looking at things, and occasionally get hit hard enough to knock my mouthpiece out. Good times. I dunno, there's something to get out of all of it, so long as the instructor is solid. JM (amateur) O.
If I could go back and do it over, I would have wrestled growing up, and tried to box as well. My ground game is a major weak area for me. I also would be very interested in Jiu-Jitsu, as I think that has a lot of practical applications for work.
I like the circular arts like wing chun and kung fu style, but cant stand the flash that goes with them. I guess my time spent sort of trimmed its own fat in a way, anything that is sport oriented seems useless to me. I prefer Kali/Escrima, as that gives a strong base for improvised weaponry. Ground game there is no comparison for JiuJitsu, striking I am elbow/knee heavy, but I dont kick above the nipples if I can help it, at least not while the target is standing. I think boxing is amazing for hand speed and accuracy, but as with anything, to study that long in one vein you end up neglecting others. I would have spent more time in JiuJitsu, Kali/Escrima, and worked more heavily on flexibility. I think that in order to be balanced, not rounded as some people put it, but good at all levels of hand to hand, you need to be able to shift from one discipline to another seamlessly. Thats not something most people can do well
I'm not a big hand to hand guy, I train because I have to, not because I enjoy it. But the movement of modern military combatives to mma style striking and BJJ based ground work is a direct result of special operations units seeking the best fighters out there to train them and help develop their programs.
When talking to anyone about styles, it's almost impossible to get an open minded answer about the subject. If a dude has been fighting a style for 30 years don't you think he probably loves his dicipline? If not, what the fuck has the guy been doing for 30 years?!
The thing that became glaring obvious to me as a 20 year old soldier when UFC first started was that multi dicipline no holds barred fighting was fucking hilarious to witness. UFC 1,2, & 3 are referred to by my co-workers as "the circus".
This was a fresh new experience and was sold as "No Rules" (except groin strikes and eye gouging).
Two dudes got in a ring and there were no rounds. Mother fuckers brought whatever they had in terms of fitness and technique, and they beat each others asses until someone got knocked out, choked out, or fucking quit.
This was ALMOST a perfect testing lab to compare apples to oranges. There are those that will argue that the 1 on 1 forum removed the "fighting multiple attackers" aspect in which certain styles like BJJ might not be suited for.
Anyway, if you have never watched "the circus", you need to watch UFC 1-4 and watch how quickly the MT and BJJ combo that we all associate with modern MMA fucking evolved and DOMINATED all other techniques.
Watching a silver medalist Olympic wrestler tap out from a armbar 26 minutes into a non-stop fight when he out weighed his opponent by 40-60lbs AND was on his feet in a dominant position over his opponent, was nothing short of amazing.
Watching drunk Russian fat guys, karate kid wanna be's, semi pro boxers, get their asses beat one after the other was a clue.
UFC today in terms of format evolved into a sport and techniques used today are designed to fight others using similar MMA techniques withing the specific format of that sport. However don't let detractors convince you that means that shit don't work in a free flow multi dicipline environment.
Keep in mind, when it was the circus, any fucking guy with a Krav Maga death head level 20 certification could have stepped in the ring and beat Royce Gracie ' s ass at any point if his shit was more legit.
So for you under 30 young Thundercats, if you have never seen the Circus, find that shit on the internet and figure out where all this shit evolved from in the modern era. Even if you don't learn anything you didn't already know..... that shit is funny.
Train what you enjoy. I wish I had wrestled in high school, otherwise I wouldn't change a lot. Cops need to be able to control people on the ground, weight and pressure becomes inmate from wrestling and bjj, but both have sporty drawbacks.
It's probably more important to do what you enjoy from an instructor who knows how to apply it. But with weapons and kit on it's different from any martial art school. Good teachers can recognize this.
I just went to my first martial arts class today since Tae Kwon Do when I was 10. Reading the threads on here kind of inspired me. It was supposed to be a Krav Maga class, but the regular instructors were gone so it was a boxing/kickboxing/muy Thai class. The gym teaches BJJ/Muy Thai/MMA/Krava Maga. Most of the people I talked to in the class seem to do a mix of everything. I'm gonna sign up for a month and see how it goes.