We all wish we were Jet Li. The time and energy to become a martial artist is extremely long. No one become a Dan Severin or a Forest Griffin overnight. They've retrained themselves to such a high level, completely shaping new muscle memory and learning to respond to serious danger in calm controlled explosive ways.
Yeah, but I've got a gun!
Okay hoss, but how long will your bullets last?
It's going to be both/and not either/or. You need to practice something practical on multiple levels with a teacher who actually has used it in the field, preferably in taking down a criminal or on the field of battle.
Most martial arts are not practical. We wish they were. To do them full force would kill a lot of students and partners, and well, that's frowned upon in a civilized society.
I have the utmost respect for practitioners of arts like Krav Maga which is brutal and unflinching in it deadliness. Not too many teachers though.
There are a lot of free resources out there. When I was a young boy pounding my fists against a home made makiwara (striking board) that I'd dug down into the earth and made myself, I had one whole book. There were very few bookstores, and none carried anything like a book of martial arts, much less specifically about a single art, with practical applications in it. Now you can buy DVDs, but for free there are tons of instructional youtube videos, often because they want to preserve the art.
What do you think will be the most common weapons. I think a stick will be pretty common. A good place to start is a video on the jo. The jo is a short stick, simple, and has applications for unarmed combat as well an sword fighting.
Unarmed combat. Most often, I think we'll be grappling or wrestling. That's what seems to happen in a real fight. Here's a Krav Maga no nonsense video.
There are tons of videos on that channel.
Knife fighting would be something to consider, that would be very common. And there are many videos on that.
Gun battles will occur. The only way to get better it practice. I saw a survey a long time ago, maybe thirty years ago, the amount of people who had guns was high, but the amount that shot their guns in the last year was very low, and many had never shot them at all, which is pretty insane, for something they're depending upon.
Many people store there in guns in a deliberate way that is very far away, and unloaded, and would take too long to use. An alternative that is better is a gun safe with a fast mechanism by key presses, and with it loaded or with the clip right there is you prefer. I can get mine out very fast.
The more you practice at martial arts or using guns, the calmer you will feel. You will project that. Nervous people fiddling around, jabber jawing to stall will be looked at in ridicule by a criminal. They know most people are timid and nice and want no trouble. By the time they're a danger, it's no longer negotiation time. Wake up.