Not a karate person per se, like every man and his dog I did a few classes way back when. That said I do enjoy reading martial arts history.
The old Chinese saying goes "The further you go from the source of the river, the muddier the water gets". As you mention, the divergent interest in karate meant that a lot of ideas and philosophies were added for different reasons, not always to do with martial effectiveness.
It is well documented the effects Japanese militarisation had on Shotokan. Given that Shotokan was the parent of so many other popular styles of karate (and TKD), inevitably the residue of those divergent interests still exist. Another problem for karate, is, as you say, the culture (as with many TMA) to not question what was going on or why things were done in a certain way.
When you combine all that, you get 21st century karate: Kata for the sake of kata and people having to re-construct what went on in order to make their karate more relevant to what it is they want to use karate for.
In short, it seems a bit of a mess lol!
Edited by Prizewriter (03/09/13 09:31 AM)
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food"