I agree with a lot of the comments here. In particular, I don't think BL was criticising MA as such, rather the "classical mess" it had gotten itself into.
The thing with boxing and wrestling is that they both teach very different ways of moving and fighting.They are also taught as practical application from day one. On top of this the practice of both involves a kind of body strengthening which isn't always/necessarily present in martial arts practice.
For example; you can spend an hour moving up and down a hall kia-ing and punching a straight punch which nobody ever uses in reality. You spend months and years trying to perfect this. In boxing you learn to throw and move to avoid punches as an applied technique. Perhaps this style of learning is some difference between a western approach and an eastern approach.
The MA Gary Speirs once commented that he gave up classical karate when he was training in Japan. He had three world class masters standing in front of him "and all they could do was tell me that my reverse punch was wrong".
Of course, the other side of martial arts is the search for perfection and self-improvement. However, arguably this is an aspect of an art which has time for this kind of thing. It is also the sign of a system which has become an art form and has been heavily codified. How many of us know people who LOOK great but can't do the business when the balloon goes up?
Wrestling, likewise, teaches from direct contact. When I was learning backhold wrestling I had the (mis)fortune to be training with a world champion backhold wrestler. He used to tell me what technique I was considering before I had even started to apply it. He reckoned my body tensed up in a certain way before application. This is like sticky hands/ push hands sensitivity. It took a long time for him to get to that level but it was something he had been constantly acquiring through experience, not through a codified system where things were taught to syllabus.
Kata are useful to a point, however there is always the problem of stiff kata application which is unrealistic when applied to a live situation. You just don't have time to go into the full artisitic move. OK, so if you can do it fully in kata it may mean you are going to be able to do a revised move for real, but how long is it going to take you to transcend the kata and make it your own? In a world where most of us spend a few months before a grading and then moving onto the next one, how effective is kata training on actual combat application.
I once asked Freestyle karate champion Alfie lewis why he didn't use kata in Freestyle. He said that he felt it was not a useful tool for him. Why not just shadow-box. This he felt was freestyle kata and more useful as it was nearer to the kind of movement and breathing exercises which he would use in combat/competition.
The thing with wrestling (and boxing to, I suppose), as my backhold coach commented to me, is that it has developed through practice for centuries and nothing is taught which is impractical. There is no argument about whether a move is practical or not. If it isn't practical the wrestler loses and so impractical techniques are dropped. Wrestling (freestyle, catch, judo etc) allows the wrestler to grab legs wherever they can be grabbed. Getting close in allows all sorts of illicit elbows and heads to be used (there are illegal techniques in wrestling too). Boxing allows the odd thumb in the eye etc. I think what Lee was on about was that all the nasty little tricks could be learned very nicely in boxing in wrestling a lot more quickly than training classically in MA.
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!
Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"