I know Kung Fu
No I don't. Actually, I wanted to ask what Martial Arts styles you all think are the best. I'm a Green Belt MAI (Martial Arts Instructor) in the Marine Corps, so I'm fairly proficient in MCMAP, but I'm only just beginning to get into the good stuff. The first few belts focus on the fundamentals, which really don't do much to make you a more effective fighter... Green Belt is where they start teaching you the REALLY good stuff. Strikes that can cripple a fighter twice your size with just that one hit. Small-joint manipulation moves that are very, very easy to achieve and put you in complete control of your opponent (unless he's willing to break a joint to escape from you). Things that I credit for the fact that I made a 280lb club bouncer look like a pansy when he tried to "escort" me out. I left, and I'm perfectly confident I could do the same to anyone who's not a professional fighter.
But that's neither here nor there. Like I said, I want to know what kinds of Martial Arts you would all put your money on if you were to bet on a fight. For me, it's Muai Thai. Muai Thai has got to be the most brutal fighting style I've ever seen. Thai fighters fracture skulls, ribs, collar bones... come to think of it, they break just about every bone you can think of on a regular basis (their opponents' bones, not their own). A Muai Thai master against an average joe, or even your average martial artist, would put you in a full body cast in under 10 seconds, assuming you don't wind up in a coffin instead. Absolutely devastating technique.
As a secondary (since all styles have their weaknesses) I would say Jujitsu makes an excellent compliment to Muai Thai. Jujitsu is all about ground-fighting. Muai Thai is amazing, but it's all about striking... you get a Muai Thai fighter on the ground and start grappling with him, and you'll have him at a disadvantage. That's where Jujitsu comes in. If a fighter specialized in Muai Thai and Jujitsu as his two primary techniques, I daresay he could beat almost anyone... which is why I intend to study those two styles myself.
The problem is, I have no faith in American martial arts schools. America is too politically correct to permit true martial arts instruction. They're forced to focus on self defense, and the mental aspects that come with martial arts training such as focus, discipline, and self confidence. They spar at decreased speed and intensity, wearing protective pads, with a huge focus on safety. There is no safe way to learn to fight. You need experience, and that means you need to fight and fight seriously. But if an American school does that, they're seen as violent, "just teaching you how to hurt people", etc. And so American martial artists are pitiful compared to the rest of the world.
If you think I'm wrong, give me a mastery-level fighter from an American Muai Thai school, and put him in a match against a real Muai Thai student from Thailand, the origin of the technique. I guarantee you, even a student who's supposed to be at half his level would completely annihilate him, as though he were only a beginner. So then, how can I learn these fighting styles if I'm trapped here in America and have only American schools available to teach me?
I don't really have a choice, do I? I'll have to study here in America, and if my travels ever bring me to Thailand perhaps I can get a true master to give me some real (and very probably excruciatingly painful) lessons. I would love that.
Anyway, what other styles are you all impressed with? What would you want to learn, and why? Anyone think they know a single style that's so brilliant that it can defeat all other styles? Let's hear it.