There has been much controversy over the years as to how effective most martial arts are in a self defense situation. This controversy has even created an industry of “combat systems” like Krav Maga to try to fill an need in the martial art industry.
One reason for this is the passion people have for sport. Sport and self defense are at the opposite end of the spectrum. You can be world champion and easily get smoked on the street.
Self Defense is a mind set. Some people no matter how much training will never be able to defend themselves. It is not in them to do this. No amount of training can change this. There are others who need no training. Self defense is an instinct for them. Martial Arts training will however make them much more effective!
A martial art like the one I teach is purely for self defense purposes. We use traditional ways to teach movements that overtime become muscle memory. They happen naturally, so they will be effective, if you have it in you to defend yourself.
Often people will criticize things like one step sparring because as they say, “this would never happen in real life.” No kidding, the reason they are taught is again to create muscle memory. The situation will never happen, but with enough practice the movements will happen.
If you are looking to resolve a problem quickly, there are some excellent combat systems available, and also some serious crap. It just depends on how often you are in a position of defending yourself as to whether to go martial arts or combat. Combat systems do not offer the same benefits as martial arts training does. It is a fix for a problem.
We live in a quick fix society today. Instant gratification. But real benefits, the ones you can get from martial art training are life changing, but they take time. Believe me it is worth the time invested. If i was offered all those years of my life back under the condition I lost the knowledge I have acquired training, go back to being 24, I would decline. Martial arts has made me what and who I am today.