Chuck Liddel would beat me to a pulp. Though not following MMA much these days, my preferred example would be Bas Rutten. At least I could have a beer with him afterward and talk in Dutch Both Tanemura soke and Bas Rutten would be able to rip me to shreds, regardless of whatever I train or how I train it, unless I dedicated my entire life to MA, just like they did. Failing that, I have to evaluate a) why do I train, and b) what is the price I want to pay. I don't train for self defense per se. Or rather, I train because I want to learn to fight, but self defense is not an immediate worry for me. I hope this makes sense. If I had a problem and needed to learn to defend myself asap and have a realistic chance of being in fights in the next couple of months, I'd choose boxing or krav maga much sooner than Genbukan ninpo or jujutsu. Half a year of dedicated training in the first would give me a good set of skills, and the ability to hit and get hit. Half a year of training in the latter would mean I figured out how to move in ichimonji no kamae, and do basic rolls and ukemi. Possibly even tai sabaki if I trained hard enough. While those skills are valuable in the long run, they won't be of any practical use in the short term. Marketing those arts as self defense is not accurate imo. Then there is also the realism / aliveness in training. This is a problem in many TMA, and not limited to specific arts themselves, but more to specific dojo / teachers. Aikido is a good example. I've seen many aikido dojo where I would refuse to train, because they don't teach proper distancing or intent. I've seen a public aikido demo that was an example of everything that is wrong in MA. It made me nauseous. Otoh, I have also seen great aikido, that was taught with intent and with proper distancing and angling. A former colleague of mine was a local kickboxing champion / jujutsuka, and at a seminar he was making fun of an aikido sensei 'in a skirt'. Long story short: the sensei invited him for randori, and faceplanted the other guy several times, even though he was really trying to kick / strike the sensei in order to save face in front of his friends. This is where sparring oriented arts really have the advantage on the traditional non sparring arts. The contact level automatically weeds out the ones who are only the in it for the feel-good factor. Additionally, clubs can be judged on their tournament results if applicable)Ninjutsu and aikido to name but a few really don't have that luxury. Many of the arts that do not include sparring have devolved into places where you can learn techniques, without learning how to actually apply them properly, and without any preparation for an actual confrontation or a resiting opponent. There is little to no way for a newbie to figure out if this is the case. For those arts, you really depend on the teacher. If you have a teacher which does not pressure you, does not prepare you, does not allow contact or resistance (when appropriate), ... then you are really learning glorified dancing. And sadly, this happens a lot. Done right, traditional training includes attacks that have intention behind them, aliveness, randori (like I descibed earlier, not unlimited free round-based sparring), adrenalin training, pressure testing as well as the slow and methodical kata training... In that case the TMA approach is imo a good one. Sparring based arts suffer their own problem though. That type of training teaches people to focus on their opponent to the exclusion of everything else, and ingrains that the goal is in destroying he opponent through arm bars, KO, or whatever. In self defense scenarios, those atributes can get you killed. Ignoring everyone else means the other guy's buddy can stab you in the back. Going to the ground means people can leisurely kick the crap out of you, and prolonged engagement with the desire to 'win' can mean wasting a lot of valuable time during which you are vulnerable and the other guy's friends have the opportunity to get involved. And those issues are where our type of training is more beneficial. Someone attacks, we deal with the attack, create space and get out while at all times trying to be aware of where people are and whether they will come back to the fight. Competition fighters have the physcial skills needed for self defense. But unless the self defense angle is actively trained, their art does not make them skilled at SD despite having all the physical skills required. Ultimately, I think that there is no silver bullet. Dogma has never benefited anyone. It all depends on how -you- train, and whether you keep an open mind to be a least aware of your own weak points, as well as putting things into their intended context. An MMA fighter who has never been trained to consider the self defense aspects of what he is doing, is no more suited to self defense than I am suited to -for example- step into an MMA ring.