Originally Posted by OC 335i
Quality of instruction and the gym culture are two very important things here. KM is a great art but there's a lot of McDojos out there. I would see if each gym offerrs free Intro classes and see which one you like and fit in the most.
Kyoshi71 - What do you train and what do you believe is best for Self-Defense?
Horrible for self defense? I love these arguments because just because you know how to grapple means you are going to sit there on the ground with the guy when he has friends around? Have a bit of common sense.
I trained for over 20 years in American Combat Karate (ACK) and became a senior instructor (Shihan). It's an ecclectic system geared toward street fighting & self-defense that was derived from several Asian arts and made very effective by eliminating the bullshit. It's probably 80% stand-up; 20% Grappling. Kind of exclusive to the East Coast though.
I believe there are many systems that can work great for self defense as long as the instructor has had some real fight experience and not tournament trophies. It may sound crazy but, most black belts in ACK had to gain experience by bouncing at a bar/club a few times. You then learn real fast, the difference between what works and "post-card technique." Meaning, "Send me a post card if you ever pull a bullshit technique like that off in a fight!" Post card tehniques are obviously those moves that are constantly practiced in the dojo that could never work in a street scenario.
Modern-day Korean martial arts are a joke for real fighting. What do you do in a self-defense situation...ask the guy to pause a second while you stretch your legs? Grappling-only arts will get your head kicked in by the guy's friend while you're rolling around on the floor. Not to mention, landing with your opponent on the concrete is not always the best idea. Mauy Thai's training methods are not only geared for competition but can also cause major nerve damage to the legs. Krav Maga is a good choice for self defense but like I mentioned before (or another post) it depends on the teacher because there really is no formal system.
Honestly, without knowing where you are and what schools exist by you, it's hard to make a recommendation. I can tell you this though, I have always been impressed by the Filipino martial arts. They utilize angle fighting, speed, ground work and are some of the best weapons fighters on the planet. That might also be something to examine. If you have any ideas for a place by you, PM me and I'll give you my opinion.