This is my story of why i left martial arts. I always was a huge fan of martial arts as a kid. I watched films from people like Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Jackie Chan, etc. and loved them. I started off as a Wing Chun practitioner. I studied Wing Chun for quite some time years ago because i wanted to learn self defense. I believed it would make me built for self defense. I decided to spar with people trained or not and see how effectively Wing Chun would work. I did not believe training with people of the same style. I got one guy i knew to spar no contact when he visited. He tried throwing straight punches. I parried and countered with straight punches to his face. He was surprised, but he tried a different approach. He threw a punch and i parried. As soon as i parried, he grabbed my arm then pulled me towards him as i was delivering the counter punch. He grabbed both of my arms to prevent me from striking. I realized Wing Chun's weakness was grappling. I was troubled by this so i searched how to counter grapplers. To my surprise, i heard many Wing Chun practitioners get submitted and taken down by BJJ practitioners. I looked for responses from Wing Chun practitioners on how to deal with grapplers. They didn't even address it. They did address how to deal with double leg takedowns, but still didn't fully address on how to deal with grapplers. My friend was a boxer. He showed me a video of him sparring with an amateur in a bathroom. Guy was swinging wildly and my friend simply moved his head slightly out of the way. Finally, the guy got tired and my friend swung once then knocked him out. I was surprised at how simple boxing was. He challenged me to spar so i agreed. I got in my Wing Chun stance and he came in swinging with boxing combos. I saw them coming, but couldn't parry or block with my techniques. Wing Chun techniques only dealt with straight line attacks. It didn't deal with attacks from curved angles such as hooks, crosses, uppercuts, etc. I got clobbered. I even saw one demo. of a Wing Chun master admitting Wing Chun could not beat boxing. He did a Wing Chun parry, but the boxing hook still connected to his head. I got frustrated so i researched Wing Chun more hoping to beat boxing. I looked for answers to deal with boxers from a Wing Chun perspective. I saw alot of Wing Chun practitioners get demolished countless times by boxers. Many Wing Chun masters didn't address it. Those who did gave unsatisfactory answers. One suggested you put your open palms in front of the boxer to keep your distance then move in and trap his arms. I knew it wasn't going to work on a pro boxer who was good at keeping his distance and doing some clinch-work. I was also impressed by how boxers trained full contact and defended with head evasions, blocks, parries, etc. Boxers delivered very powerful punches. They packed about 1,000 pounds of force. Some boxers like Mike Tyson packed more power due to their weight. I realized there was no way Wing Chun could beat a boxer with the punches it had. According to Wing Chun theory, you don't sacrifice power for speed as it lacks efficiency. However, you can't knock out a boxer if your punches lack power so how will you efficiently end the threat? I started looking at other traditional martial arts to supplement my training and i was still dissatisfied. Most techniques were flashy and unrealistic. After hours and hours, i noticed the same pattern. Traditional martial artists kept having a step 1-2-3 sequence of techniques for every kind of attack. They almost always did drills that didn't translate well to combat. They talked alot about theory, but didn't put it to practice. I realized martial arts was more of a religion than an actual self defense system. They insisted you do things their way even if it wasn't practical. I looked to combat sports to see if i could have better luck. After all, they sparred full contact and seemed to have a more practical approach. I may have resolved some issues as far as techniques go, but i ran into different problems. The rules were going to restrict your ability to defend yourself. Plus, many people in combat sports had the wrong mindset. They were looking to fight, not self defense. They ignored weapons, multiple attackers, foul tactics, etc. I had questions which led to more questions. I began questioning why i needed styles in the first place. For example, why couldn't i throw a finger jab in boxing? The boxers would say "because finger jabs are illegal in boxing and not boxing. If you want to throw finger jabs, join another martial art." If i went to another school, i'd run in the same problems. "You can't throw boxing combos. here. Go to a boxing gym." You can't be yourself in any school. I wondered if martial artists actually got attacked on the streets and were able to use what they learned in combat. To my surprise, i found most got hurt or killed on the streets by amateur street attackers. Nonetheless, martial artists keep insisting their arts are effective and make up excuses to justify bad training. "Some training is better than none.." they said. Some still insisted their training works even after they got beat up. They said "well it's only a sign i need to train harder..at least i didn't get killed so my training helped..my training taught me to get beat.." I said "but you got clobbered! I thought your martial art was supposed to help you defend yourself, not end up in a hospital or near a coffin?" With that, i left martial arts and started my own modern system of self defense. I learned from people who knew what they were talking about like Jim Wagner. I realized most martial artists were what i called "actors." What they present only works in the movies. It's mostly scripted. These guys didn't know much about combat. I learned more about combat from prison inmates and thugs than i did from the so called "masters" lol.