A friend of mine boxed for the army. I've been studying Aikido for about a month and so I asked him to friendly-spar for a couple of minutes to show him what I'd learned.
Basically, I got owned. I never came close to blending with his jabs. I finally had to tell him to slow his attacks down, so that I could demonstrate Ikkyo and Sankyo.
1. It's not possible to catch/blend with his punches.
2. He's going to throw a combination, so even if I try I'm probably going to get hit (this, too, he demonstrated with a gentle right to my floating rib when I tried for a sankyo).
3. He would never over-extend himself with a "clean attack" like we use in class.
4. All this has been settled with the Gracies in Brazilian Ju Jitsu. Back in the '70's they invited people from all different schools to come down and fight it out. What "came out in the wash" was these three positions, and most effective related styles:
a. STANDING SEPARATE: boxing; kick-boxing
b. GRAPPLING: Muy-Thai; Wrestling
c. GROUND: Wrestling; Ju Jitsu
In sum, I felt helpless and defenseless against his skills.
Exactly what I've been saying since I joined(Aikiweb). I'd add, Muay-Thai is not grappling, it's strictly a stand up, kick-boxing MA. Also, grappling IS ground. Sorry, so noone gets the wrong idea, I'm not trying to correct as much as 'enlighten'.