All men, myself included, have to at some point in thier lives learn this lesson. for those that haven't learned it yet, I'm here to help. It would have honestly spared me a lot of time and effort to have known this sooner then I figured it out. Here's the lesson:
You are NEVER in your adult life going to be in a serious hand to hand fight that is not for sporting purposes.
I can't stress that never enough. After highschool, unless you are a cage fighter or a boxer you will never be fighting hand to hand for anything important. You might fool around, you might spend time thinking you are learning to do this, but it's never going to help. If you are acosted for anything important, your assailent will always have a weapon. If they are drunk, ignorant, or beligerent then they should be easily evaded or talked down. Your pride is not at stake here. The following things are not worth being stabbed, shot, or beaten over:
Something anyone said or did that caused no harm
Seriously, don't be stupid. Just walk away if possible. No one thinks you're a hero. Learn to identify a concealed weapon. There are numerous charts to help teach this. This is an important skill. Everything else is just showy garbage.
American martial arts are shit. They will never teach you anything but childish nonsense that is useless in a real fight. You learn to fight for real by getting into a lot of fights, which assholes tend to get into a lot. And again, this proves nothing so don't waste your time. Most martial artists will never get into a real fight.
If you would like to object with the fact that you learn real martial arts in some places, noteably the marines, then yes you do. Tell you what though, it does no good against a weapon. Trust me. you can be shot from pretty far away. If you woud like to use some deadly force yourself, then use a fucking gun. It's easier to learn and much more effective. I reccomend against this for the legal reprocusions but they are the same if you kill someone with your hands or if you kill them with a weapon. So if you're going to go there then use a gun. At least you'll be sucessful.