Ok, this might not be too coherent so I apologise in advance in case I start to ramble. I'm looking for the opinions of people who have chosen karate as their style as it's the one I seem to love most. I don't know why I love it most...I just do, and I'm not interested in debating style vs style or whether or not I can get what I want from dropping karate and doing something else. My "dilema" so to speak, is this: I used to do Goju-ryu karate but I haven't done any training at all in near three years now and I'm now looking to start up again. The difference is, this time I have a much more focused goal that I want to get out of it. What I want is to really become a proficient fighter while I'm still young enough to be able to handle the training. The first thing that comes to mind for me is that although I know there are some very good karate schools that can really teach people how to fight effectively (kyokushin is one prominent example) there are none of those schools within practical reach of where I am. That then begs the question; why bother with karate then if you obviously can't get what you want from it? There are plenty of great kickboxing or muay thai gyms I could easily get to which would undeniably teach me to fight well. The answer for that to me is that karate was the first martial art I started when I was younger than ten years old (wado ryu, which I did casually for a few years) and I have developed a kind of kinship with it that I just can't seem to drop. I just like karate, no matter how much people say against it and no matter how much I try to pursuade myself that I could do better elsewhere. So, with that established, the problem is; how can I make it work for me? I know I won't be satisfied with going to a karate club and knowing that I'm not really going to learn to fight well and likewise I would not be satisfied with just going to a muay thai place, as it simply is not karate. The only thing I can think of is to keep doing karate and progressing in the ranks while at the same time training in MMA and muay thai to get the fighting experience. Then when I get to a high rank in karate and can start my own club, I would be able to teach people how to actually fight. But then, if I get the fighting experience outside of karate then intergrate it, would I not just be teaching muay thai with a gi on?