I did a search and didn't see anything for martial arts other than movies and such, so I'm creating this thread for discussion of all things martial arts, be it history, styles, or personal stories. Discuss techniques, debate viability, and share your experiences training different styles.
Background on myself:
I've done a number of styles over the years, such as the standard karate as a child, followed by Aikido and a bit of Judo. I never really liked the Japanese styles, as they don't seem to have modernized very well in real-world self-defense contexts. So, I switched to Chinese styles and began sampling various forms of Kung Fu, but it had the same problems; Hung Fut, Hung Gar, and Crane were all alright and were fantastic for fitness, but they were pretty abysmal in terms of actual modern combat effectiveness. At least the Japanese styles could be used in a ring effectively. I wanted to do Muay Thai, but I have medically-verified brittle bones and didn't want to have my ribcage shattered on a regular basis, so that wasn't an option.
I decided to try Wing Chun on a whim when I was 21. There are multiple Wing Chun schools in my city, and the first two I looked at were complete garbage. The sifus were not knowledgeable, and had a very "do not question me" mentality, which doesn't work for me. The third one I visited, however, was a world apart. The sifu, now my sifu, was incredibly knowledgeable, answered any question posed to him, and was not tied to tradition. He was and is dedicated to training competent fighters first and tradition second, and as such has no problem weaving in effective strategies into his teaching. I began training under him, and have been doing so since May 2011.
Since choosing a more permanent style, I've become more involved in the fighting and martial arts world. I'd never really considered Jiu-Jitsu before, but after being exposed to it via friends and at tournaments, it will likely be the next thing I learn after Wing Chun. Wing Chun and Jiu-Jitsu seem to complement each other well; Wing Chun has superior striking, while Jiu-Jitsu would provide me the ground-and-grappling skills that Wing Chun lacks. While my striking game is fantastic, I don't like that I'm woefully unprepared should a fight ever be taken to the ground. Judo I suspect would be useful for its throws, but I dislike its reliance on the opponent wearing a Gi/baggy clothes.
Now it's your turn. Share your stories, anecdotes, and martial wisdom!