Alright so I'm in the process of getting back into the martial arts (I've been in and out of it since I was 9, mostly karate and some kung-fu) and I've been doing some research. What I've come up with so far, not surprisingly is that without an ability to fight from the ground, choke, submit, wrestle ect. your in trouble. I think thats been proven beyond a doubt and is the reason a lot people discredit purely stand-up systems like kung-fu. So I'm defiantly looking into BJJ and wrestling right now. What I'd like to get everyone's opinions on is this, all things being equal as far as comfort levels fighting on the ground, what are the most effective stand-up systems. Now a lot of people talk about Muy Thai being the best and most effective stand up system based on it's popularity in MMA. Here's my concern though just as a casual observer. It's popularity is based on it's usage in a sport which still has some rules and guidelines (no eye gouging, throat strikes, limb manipulation ect.). Now that doesn't mean I think it isn't effective in a real life situation, I'm just questioning the reason behind it's populrity. Also, don't think I'm knocking UFC or MMA as a sport I'm actually a fan, I'm just playing devils advocate here. The systems we see utilized in the UFC, Pride ect. have been deemed superior because of their effectiveness in what is still essentially a sports setting. My concern is that when your training in these settings your not worried about your opponent using any of those illegal moves, so your not preparing or conditioning for them and your not utilizing them yourself simply because the styles that use them aren't as popular in MMA. Even if your opponent does utilize any of those moves you expect to be able to submit him easily because you assume he's not going to be very good on the ground. I wonder if you guys think that this is dangerous conditioning, that it's limiting? Or are these stand-up styles truly the most effective in any situation. Thats basically my question, in a situation with absolutely no rules where both fighters are equally comfortable on the ground, where do you go from there? What stand-up systems do you guys think offer the best conditioning and preparedness for any situation?