You know, I might just say that Shaolin is the "best" martial art simply by virtue that all its true practitioners do nothing but practice it 6 hours every day and spend the remaining 6 hours doing stretches.
... and if that someone was out to kill me, yeah, I'd probably shoot them. :P
No, this isn't a discussion. All I'm hearing from your side is "karate is useless". You're giving me no proof that it's useless. Secondly, you're taking these martial arts at face value. Obviously one is going to be better at beating someone up, because the history of them is different. Not to mention the fact that over time, martial arts evolve and their purpose change. Karate isn't just about how to hurt someone. It started out as a form of defence but now it is also a form of meditation and unifying mind and body. Other martial arts, such as ones you've pointed out are more for self defence. So to compare two martial arts and say that one is better than the other is a moot point. It's like saying a pitcher is better than a hitter. They're both baseball players, but their function is completely different, so comparing the two is extremely difficult and a pointless thing to do.
Ok, this is my argument why I find karate useful
In any kind of combat there are rules, one of these rules are the steps. In a fight there is a way to do a step front, step back and step at the sides (some people add the cut distance step, that is diagonal, but is relative), Karate teach you this, but is not efficent and the efficense is one of the mayor rules in fights (you shouldn't never do a move that take more time than a simpler quicker move), this is because the step front and the step back are teached in katas, and the step front and back teached in combat are old and not efficient (some schools teach different steps for kata and combate, but they use old steps already throwed away by other diciplines).
Other problem with karate is that they are teached to fight at the point, this mean, when you hit someone and get a point you are separated from the other. This don't gave any experinse of what is a real fight (where you can be hitted many times in a combo and if you don't do anything the other guy is not going to stop to beat up the crap of you).
Other problem with karate as a fight dicipline is the stiffness. In karate most of the time they teach you to be solid and stiff, the moves are also stiff. This is bad, because 1) you mark your moves (this make the moves predictables), 2) you get tired easly (you shouldn't never be stiff if you are not in the combate zone, because you are going to get tired), 3) solid moves are slower, with this say, a good punch is soft, it go quick and hit hard, is just a fraction of second when the punch get hard and is in that fraction when the punch hit. Karate go in the contrarie, because you are hard all the time (no sexual jk).
Other problem with karate is the guard, there are 2 schools in karate, one that teach the kick boxing guard and one that use the toshokan or karate do guard. Both guards are bad, are easy to get in, are easy to break (with a guard breaker) and are easy to read.
I can keep going, but the deal is that Karate is not efficent. Is like Taekwon Do WTF or ATA. Use bad moves, that waste to much energy and have bad step strategy. With bad steps, bad guard and bad moves you are easly destroyed by any other diciplines (specially because Karate doesn't have a specialization like Taekwon do that only use the feets and at least there are some tricks when you are in a style disadventage).
Also I want to see a video of someone who does Karate and beat another martial artist, who is doing a respectable style (Muay Thai, Todo Vale, Brasilian Jiu Jitsu, Wing Chu, Jeet Kune Do, Box or Krav Maga.
Ah well if you are going to get shot anyway you need to be cold mind and see the situation. First, see if the gun is a pistol or a revolver, if is a revolver type, you can see if is loaded or not, also it has a hammer, you can grab the hand of the opponent and obstruct the hammer so the gun doesn't shot and you can do a grappling at his arm. If is a pistol type, you don't know if is loaded or not, but you can still make a obstruction at the trigger (the deal is that, is harder and you also expose yourself to much to damage).
Also you can use grapplings or in the worst and most dangerous scenarious, use kicks. You could use black crane (a kick of kung fu that is donde gaving the back to the opponent... I don't remember if the real name was black crane... I have to find my books) to disarm or making the opponent lose the aim.
Okay everything you've said that karate teaches people is incorrect.
Your first point about movement mentions katas. Katas aren't meant to train you to fight. They are a collection of moves which are used to teach you flowing movement from one move to another, and are sort of "re-enactments" of fights. They're not meant to aid you in a real fight. It's used for training fundamentals.
Like I said before, nowadays, karate isn't used so much as a method of self defence as it is for training body and mind together. It's like a zen thing. I can't explain it very well. It can certainly help you in a fight, but it's main purpose isn't to help you win a bar fight.
With regards to your point about stiffness, I don't know where you heard this, but it's not true. Karate does not teach anyone to be stiff when attacking, because you will just end up hurting yourself. Karate teaches you to be graceful and flowing with your attacks. Your attacks are supposed to "snap" on contact but only for a split second.
Your point about blocking, I actually semi-agree with. When I was taught karate, a few of the blocks seemed kind of useless to me, and they still seem a bit useless. Not all blocks are like that though. Some are useful for blocking attacks, but there are a couple which are kind of wonky.
All in all, my argument remains the same: Karate isn't supposed to teach you how to kick a guys ass. It's supposed to teach you to have a calm mind and body. Also, a lot of karate's criticism comes from the fact that many people have opened up dojos without any training themselves and will teach BS to students. Then these guys claim they know karate, get in a fight and lose bad because they know nothing. Someone who truly trains in karate will be able to fight well.