We've gone over the technique aspect before. IME it is not the training that is as important in real situations as the experience and character (attitude). Most karateka simply put, lack real world experience in fighting. The only experience they get is from fooling around with friends, sports, and what they do in training. Training can provide experience, the more realistic the training and the more the resistance (movement and energy) then the more applicable the training is in gaining experience. If they train with progressive resistance and reach full contact training (with a real sense of danger) then their training will yield more real world experience than if they train only non-contact and with compliant partners. Some people have real world experience from on the job and from growing up, they can train in Tae Bo and they would still kick ass in a fight. Some people have trained for years in the most effective techniques, but they get wasted in a real world situation because they lack the experience to make smart, quick decisions and fail to control the situation. Character/attitude speaks for itself. For years people have complained that martial artists get cocky, get a false sense of security, etc. They get in a real fight with the attitude that it is play time, they pull punches subconsciously, they think the other will acknowledge and give up easily, but it turns out the other is like a tiger, never gives up, and the martial artist again gets a rude awakening. Now is it the problem of "karate" if students lack in real world experience? Is it the problem of "karate" if students don't have the character to "never give up" no matter how tough something is? When a martial arts school allows all people to train, this is like a recreational league in sports. When a martial arts school only allows the best (world class) to train, this is like professional sports. In professional sports, you know pretty well if you are ready or not for that level because you compete against others for those few positions available. Scouts will not only judge you on your abilities but they will look at your experience and your attitude. How many times has someone scouted a potential new athlete and decided not to make an offer BECAUSE that althlete doesn't appear to have the winning attitude (to do what it takes to win, no matter what)? How many times has an athlete with the most incredible natural talent been sent down to the minor leagues because they lack experience? I don't know the numbers, but I do know it has and will happen very often, if not all the time it happens. So when this topic of karate is crap comes up... if the karate school is LIKE the recreational or minor league sports of martial arts, is it just not odd to say it is crap because that's like stating a high school soccer team is crap because they can't win the World Cup? This again comes down to experience (and knowledge)... I would say most long time karateka have cross-trained because they have a good attitude that they are wanting and willing to learn. Those that have a foundation in karate and cross-train usually have a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses in their training. Note that I didn't say karate, I said training.