Re: What is "combat"?
I love how mma fighting is always ground fighting. There are plenty of guys in MMA with weak ground skills who prefer to stay on their feet and knock people out with brutal punches and kicks. No different then 99% of all striking martial arts out there with the sole exception of the fact that they actually get to use the tools they develop.
To me it all sounds like elitism. If you say MMA is impractical, then by logical extension, everything else that is used in MMA must be impractical. I submit that TKD, Karate, Judo, BJJ, Japanese Jiujitsu, (and thus by extension all aiki variants including aikido) must all be worthless.
The only difference between sport and street is the regard you have for your opponent and the mindset you approach the fight.
My favorite example of 'real' self defense was a bunch of bjj guys bullshitting after a workout. A few white belts were talking about what they would do if they got attacked in a bar. One talked about his take down knocking the guy out, the other talked about his ground and pound, another mentioned he was more a striker and would punch the guy out. Finally a very experienced mma fighter and blue belt spoke up. He said "I would just try to stay away until the bouncers came and threw him out."
So here we have a bunch of new guys dreaming, and a experienced fighter showing how to use that knowledge. I think he has it figured out much more then 99% of the martial artists out there.