There I said it, and I mean it.
I'm not dissing traditional martial arts, I'm telling you my formula.
My formula is to use combat sports as a base, then add stuff from traditional martial arts and even modern tactical methods.
It doesn't matter that there are rules in combat sports, the main idea is that you need to know what it's like to go head to head against an opponent that is fighting back.
Many people don't want to give point fighting any credit, it's still a combat sport.
Even though I didn't know it at the time, when I was training in Kuk Sool Won, I was developing point fighting as my base. Of course I learned other materials such as joint locks and grab escapes, but when I actually fought I used point fighting.
Later I learned many Jeet Kune Do stuff that I applied to my point fighting. This included Savate style kicks that used the shoe to good use, finger jabs to the eyes and throat, foot jabs to the knee and shins, and the infamous oblique kick.
I also learned Muay Thai Kickboxing. My Muay Thai skills were very basic, but I could clash shins with people and come out on top. I added other kicks to my Muay Thai base such as the axe kick and spinning heel kick from Tae Kwon Do. I also use to mix in a Koppo kick where one hand would touch the floor as I kicked high.
The problem with combat sports is the injuries. No injury is worth it, so you need to experience combat sports as much as you can and then get out as fast as you can. After that you can do traditional martial arts for the rest of your life.
In fact it may also be good to do traditional martial arts before you do combat sports because it's much easier. Traditional martial arts can act as a good prep school and then you can graduate to combat sports.