Self defence vs Sport martial arts. Which is more important?[/QUOTE]
As a Shotokan student I thank you for starting this forum.
I think it can be very valuable.
In my Dojo we have a saying there is sport karate and there is real karate. I feel it important to keep the traditions of Shotokan karate. To fully realize the self defence aspects of Shotokan you really have to break it down, all the kata the bunkai. Question every thing constantly trying different tecniques and different stratagies. I find a lot of people take Shotokan as a hard straight forward line only. but it is much more. I have sparred many different styles of martial arts. My prefference has always been Shotokan realizing it is much more than just punching and kicking. Sport karate may look pretty at a tournament but could it save your life in an ally with little room to move I doubt it.