Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York City, New York
This is a thread that we've had before, but it's a good one. Anyway, this is how I see most of the styles you've mentioned on here.
TKD: Pretty much useless in street combat. It doesn't teach things that are really required for a great striker, like different head movement styles, effective blocking and more practical strikes (I mean spinning back kick, come on). I'm not say that TKD guys can't be good fighters, but the style doesn't really set you up to be really good at anything, and you're really f*cked once you end up on your back.
Karate: Teaches speed in striking and alot of things that are missed in styles like TKD, but it is still lacking, because it misses things that an MMA striker in this day and age thinks are pretty basic. (Knees, elbows and clinches) There is also no real preparation for the ground.
Muay Thai: Probably the best striking style around right now. Effective because it teaches the use of pretty much all of the bodies natural weapons (hands, feet, shins, knees and elbows), or at least all of the practical ones. With the addition of the clinch game it is a really solid standup style. Still, you don't really learn much about the ground game from studying pure Thai.
JKD: It's Bruce Lee. Generally, a very practical style and was developed for no holds barred. It's a great style, but I don't think that it is a good as Thai as far as an all-around striking style, but there is definitely alot to be learned from it.
BJJ: Great for the ground game, but alot of more traditional BJJ schools just do gi grappling and don't teach striking on the ground. More modern BJJ is basically constructed to be grappling for MMA, so it's really the most practical style for MMA style competitions. After all, MMA was started by the Gracies.
Sambo: A great grappling style with leg-locks, something that alot of BJJ practitioners don't pick up on. Some people would say that it's not really as practical as BJJ, but it add things that BJJ doesn't do completely and compliments BJJ really well because it adds the new dimension of leg locks.
Judo: A great grappling style. What is probably most notable about Judo is its takedowns, because they are on a higher level than any other MA style that I am aware of. It teaches submissions too, but there's nothing in the judo submission fighter's repetoire that you can't learn from a good BJJ fighter.
Wrestling: Good, but pretty one dimensional. You can't do much beyond groudnpound with just wrestling. Once you learn wrestling, however, you have a really good base for learning BJJ and other styles of submission fighting. The ground control and the strength that people build in wrestling is really key to building a good ground game.
Aikido: Alot of people think of Aikido as a spiritual practice, and it definitely is. However, there are parts of Aikido that can be really helpful in complimenting a good JJJ, BJJ or Sambo backround. Some of the spiralling and circular principals are really uselful, but there are also techniques in Aikido that can really help to land solid submissions. (add Sankyo to an omoplata or triangle armbar, etc.)
I'm not going to say that any style is the best for combat, because that depends almost entirely on the practitioner, but I hope this gives a good look at the discussion so far.
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