just came back from the gym and reading this. I've done some wing chun (which is probably the most "vocal" art in the "my art is a lethal weapon" category) and whatnot in the past. Been training mma for a month now to get back in shape and well... just try it out, since I enjoy watching it so much.
First off, that "cardio" aspect. We're not talking rounds, we're talking minutes. I'm pretty sure an untrained guy would gas out in less than a minute (and that includes many amongst those who train in traditional stuff)
We've been sparring (something that I've never done in WC) and that is also an aspect that will give the advantage: experience. The harder you spar, the more ready you'll be. I'm not even talking about those who actually fight.
dirty techniques have legal ramifications that you or anyone else don't want to deal with. Whereas a choke is clean.
Basically, an untrained guy will be at a disadvantage vs any trained dude, but actual, regular fighting experience will give the MMA fighter an edge (and probably, as mentioned above, any sport-type fighter).
A well trained grappler/MMA grappler can put an untrained guy into a hold before the guy realizes what's happening.
MMA was born for this, test the "most effective style", until they figured that there is no "more effective style", but that they can take what has been proven to actually work, and put it into what they then called "Mixed Martial Arts"
The beauty of it is that everyone can still bring whatever traditional stuff they learned before, and test it out, refine it, adapt it, modify it so it actually works.
The one thing I missed in traditional MA was that "realistic" approach through actual sparring against non compliant opponents.
In no way, shape or form do I want to disrespect traditional MA, my own son does some as well. They can teach anyone lots of good stuff. But with more and more people being educated and training in MMA nowadays, I wouldn't rely on solely traditional MA to actually defend myself.
Sprinting is, and always has been the best solution to win a fight.
So if you want to be unbeatable, you better hit the track