Michael Gallagher wrote:
Seriously, although I don't think MMA guys would be helpless in real life, I've never gone along with the "ground fighting = street fighting" point of view
I haven't heard anyone make an informed argument that "ground fighting = street fighting." But from the structure of your sentence, it looks like you're equating MMA with ground fighting. True, there are currently lots more Jujitsu guys than other TMA guys -- but JJ has standup, too. And there are still fights won on strikes and kicks, not everyone goes to the ground. Take a look at some of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic's fights to see some really powerful standup, and there are lots of others who are perfectly comfortable staying on their feet.
But since they're allowed to go to the ground and they know their opponent doesn't have friends waiting to join the fray, a strong grappler will try to take down someone with strong standup skills to take the advantage. That's definitely just because it's a sport, and sport fighters need to do what people like to see that will let them win.
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
We seem to establish an emotion around the concept of street fighting and develop scenarios in our mind that we fear or think that we might end up in. Then we judge our martial art, or other arts against the situations/emotions we make in our minds...So, what do you really see as STREET FIGHTING?
Here's the thread I started on Martial Arts Planet in a similar discussion, after an item by blogger Brian Jones on Aikido Journal pointed me to the Bureau of Justice Statistics site:
What it boiled down to was that in the US you've only got a 2.3% chance of being attacked and 76% of those attacks will be unarmed; and, there's roughly a half chance or better that you'll know your attacker. Only about half the violent crimes are reported, but it's probably reasonable to assume that violent crimes committed with weapons are more likely to be reported than simple assaults. It doesn't say how many attackers there were per victim, but judging from the detail in the reporting it seems likely that if a significant percentage of attacks were roving gangs preying on individuals, there would be a category for "Multiple Attackers."
Really, though, I suspect most of us here aren't training just so we'll be able to defend ourselves against whatever attacks we expect we might be subjected to in Real Life. I feel that my training helps me cope with a wide variety of situations (physical, mental and emotional), and a benefit of that might be that I would do better in a physically threatening situation than someone with no training (or a deer in the headlights).