Re: What is "combat"?
Can it be that we are making too much of cookie cutting? Didn't O'Sensei say there is no difference from fighting one person or many.
Brawling, isn't that shouting, quarrelling, and yelling in a place of worship? We can eliminate that.
Self-defense isn't going to change if your fighting for your life, or fighting to avoid harm. Self-defense isn't going to change if your on the street, in a ring or on a battle field. If your being attacked in your home, or on the street, or on a battle field you fight to protect yourself from harm with all you got, with what ever you got.
Sport fighters fight differently in a ring then on the street. Sport fighters like boxers, and MMA fighters are sport fighters. It is entertainment. The fighters are paid to fight not play a game like football, or hockey, and are under rules in a ring. In a bar fight, a professional sport fighter has an advantage over many, so does a good martial artist, and so does a good scraper. If any of those who are attacked in their home do have a weapon they will use it first before going mono a mono. It would be the same for those trained in martial arts or not.
If your under an attack that isn't a sports fight then your fighting for your life and limb. You fight with everything you got and if you life depended upon it. You may not kill your attacker, or bust him up once you have control over him. That is your choose. But I don't think what your trained in as is important as how hard you fight.
Does MMA fighters fight harder, sure some do. The serious ones, like Dana White said, "to weed out the [wimpy] and the posers" so not everyone in MMA is a tough or good fighter. Not everyone in martial arts are ineffective. Just as there are some street scrapers who are very effective street fighters.
I think you have two areas of fighting, self-defense and sport. That's all there is. You have two types of people. One is those who want to be and can become professional fighters. The other is everyone else. You can find good people in both that can defend themselves on the street, and those who can.
I think MMA fans sometimes are trapped seeing things only in us vs them. That is because of the early BJJ saying stuff to promote them selves. You can train any dog to hunt, but talent is something you can't teach.
You can’t predict what a person will do under duress of a stressful attack. Some people will jump into the fire and save a baby from a burning building. Others will freeze unable to move. The advantage MMA or boxing has when in many competitions you can learn not to freeze. Being a solider in a combat zone where there is real pressure for survival trumps MMA. Or just going out and getting into real fights on the street using your martial arts or street skills, if you don’t become a solider. Again, we have two types of situations real and controlled. It isn’t what you train in, it is who you are. When you in a real life and death situation your under duress, and you will grab the most effective tool to eliminate the threat. You need to be trained to act under duress to use that tool. It doesn't matter if it is from Martial arts, MMA, dirty street fighting or the prefered tool of choice when it comes to saving your life, a gun.