This has been a topic of debate for quite a long time. Mostly I have seen most comments and conversations based on one of 2 things. Opinion and success in competition. Being someone who has served in jobs which have required me to fight and subdue, I believe that I have a valuable first hand point of view on going to and fighting on the ground, in various scenarios and situations.
I have seen the ego of some ground fighters argue the strength, superiority and dominance of their art no different than so many traditional martial artistand MMA fighters I have known. I understand the desire to want to believe that you are studying the best art. But the truth is that in my experience and I have seen this many times, going to the ground can be the most unwise decision someone can make. 98% of the fights I have seen go to the ground have been because of someone getting knocked out or seriously stunned and the other person (and usually many people, sometimes people that have nothing to do with the fight) just stomp, kick and hit the Guy on the ground.
I have only seen a small amount of ground fights where there were actually 2 people fighting instead of someone just getting beat down by one or multiple guys.
People aslo don't seem to understand how environmental factors make a difference. These things along with possible multiple assailants are just either ignored or denied. I have seen and been in more conflicts that I can count (I promise mostly on the job).
So many people I have known who comment on ground fighting and insist on it's dominance, effectiveness and necessity have never been in a real fight, only done competition or think that their few one on one fights where there were no other people around and nothing on or around the ground to get in the way or be used as a weapon make them authorities on combat and the dominance of the ground.
People have to realize that working one a car or two does not make you an expert mechanic or a mechanical engineer, more does a street fight or 2 or just training and no actual combat experience does not combat expert make.
While I agree that it is important to know how to fight on the ground, it is more important to be able to get back to your feet and stay mobile and defend from multiple opponents.
People seem to forget or ignore the fact that hand to hand combat has not really changed in centuries. I believe that certain areas of combat enter and go through fads. But time has truly shown us where not only do we prefer to fight, but also what range is most effective and dominant. Lets remember that there has been trade and exchange of fighting philosophies and techniques for as long as there have been techniques. Our day and age and ability to share knowledge and ideas is not as unique as we may want to believe.
For those that have experience beyond the mat/ring, who have been in and witnessed combat in all it's reality, what is your 2 cents?