Re: Am I turning to the dark side?
It is all relative to the skill level of the people you are studying with and the situations in which you train. I am happy with my level of progress actually, but I always can learn more.
I just started taking judo with my son. I am all thumbs working takedowns and throws in the judo methodology, I simply move different than they do, and I have much I can learn from them as I get away with stuff. So I look like a rote beginner doing waza.
However go to randori, and I can hold my own. It is not clean judo, but I do get the takedown and win.
It is all relative.
Yes, sinking to the level of your training. that is what we do when it gets real. This is why we have a saying in the Army, "train as you fight, fight as you train".