[quote="Mary"]I would love to see a tournament of the different martial arts to get some perspective on which one works out best. Much and all though I love it, I am not sure karate would come out tops. Way ahead of Irish dancing though!
What do you all think would be the most effective martial art, and why?
As Tobias mentioned, Pride & UFC were started for this purpose. Early on, BJJ ruled everyone regardless of size or strength. However, fighters caught on pretty quick and realised they needed to incorporate ground skills into their game to compete effectively.
What's the best style? No particular one in reality fighting! It could be argued (with good reason!) that BJJ is the most effective in style vrs style, however reality fights are rarely one style vrs another. The best fighters are true mixed martial artists who incorporate both stand-up striking and solid ground work into their game. No one would doubt that the worlds best fighters are Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Wanderlai Silva, Mirko Filipovic, Randy Couture and BJ Penn (Andrei Arlovski could probably make a claim now too). Two things stand out - ground work (BJJ & wrestling) and striking (Thai/Kick Boxing and boxing).
Some of the Vale Tudo tournaments in Brazil & Holland could probably be classed as street fighting. Although often in a cage or ring, they are bareknuckle and anything goes. No rules whatsoever... absolutely brutal stuff - the mats are usually soaked with blood!!! In these comps, BJJ and Thai/Kick Boxing dominate.
Unfortunately Karate's record in these tournaments has proven very poor. I cannot think of any fighter that has ever even won a match... Masaaki Satake gets thrashed everytime and "Japanese legend" Minoki Ichihara was absolutely dominated by Royce Gracie in UFC 2. He walked away with what looked like a broken arm for his troubles.
As always it depends on your objectives. Happy training