In my experience, a self defense style plus a sport style is far more effective than just a sport style or just a self defense style.
For example, I did Muay Thai for years before Wing Chun. When I started Wing Chun I already had years of clinching experience. I also had thousands of reps of low kicks (roundhouse) and punches and elbows and knees. So when I did chi sao and sparring I was doing some things very well, though some concepts and techniques were very hard for me. I was very stiff by wing Chun standards, but I could hit harder than most of my peers, even with chain punches and short range punches. Also, I could land a roundhouse to the thigh pretty easily, though my oblique kicks a d front kicks were just OK. Basically, Muay Thai enhanced my Wing Chun greatly.
When I sparred in Muay Thai after a year of Wing Chun, I noticed that Wing Chun enhanced my MT game greatly. I was able to Pak Sao and pressure everyone (except for a pro fighter). Also, my stance and the way I pressured was not normal Muay Thai. No one knew how to deal with it. I was able to Pak my way into landing punches, or Pak my way into great clinching positions. I noticed that I used the wing Chun stance too, so it's not like I just did Pak Sao + muay thai. Also, my clinch defense and reversing grips was way better than when I just did Muay Thai. I believe chi sao helped greatly with this. However I did get leg kicked a lot, as I was not used to defending low roundhouses.
So when I see people arguing sport versus self defense, or muay thai versus wing Chun it is ridiculous to me. Being a purist is fine if you love that style, but arguing superiority is silly. I say combine self defense and sport, whether you are a competitor in a sport, or just a person training for real world self defense.
Also I've said before I dont care for JKD as a style. Good in theory, bad in execution. I prefer combining styles after exploring them individually.
So what do you guys/gals think? Have you combined sport and self defense?
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