Honest question; Would someone become a better fighter more quickly if you removed form training and focused entirely on the striking, blocking, footwork, etc, and instituted heavy sparring practice? Like take the techniques of Wing Chun and apply them to a Boxing or Muay Thai approach.
While I do not agree with dropping forms, even from the earliest of stages, I do agree there are other things that need focused on IF you are expecting a totally inexperienced person to be decent at fighting within that first year.
I was in a different TMA and said to my instructor that as much as I loved the art AND knew how beneficial it would be in the long run, I believed if a person started our class and stayed for 6 months while a different person started at a Muay Thai gym and stayed for 6 months, the MT guy would kick our guy's butt. He didn't like that.
That was not a WC school and I only mention it for reference because I still pretty much feel that way. I have only been training in WC for apx 2 yr. I absolutely love it. It consumes much of my life (reading different perspectives, watching tutorials from different lineages, training, etc). However, if I ever ran a class, I'd focus on: stance, footwork, basic boxing skills, round kicks and teeps from day one. Also, so far (still very young in the art) I really do not consider it a stand alone system. To be honest, I have never considered anything a stand alone system. I view M.A. like religion- everyone has a piece of the puzzle and everyone added some junk. Sort through the junk, find the pieces