He was saying it was inevitable, that people don't want to learn full contact karate and that if he did things like ''we used to do them'' we would be in a class of 5 students compared to 30.
Precisely. From listening to the majority of people in the majority of classes, most people are happy with light or semi contact. Most people in a lot of karate classes aren't trying to "fix" karate because they don't seem to neccesarily think it is broken. Most of the adults I know in Karate classes train because they love what they are doing and/or because they are teaching kids, which I suppose can be rewarding too.
I think the older guys have largely given up... And the younger guys are just drifting to different styles where they get what they want without having to go through trying to change something that is full of stubborn mysticism like Karate.
I can understand that and that is a good point Matakiant. After a long time of "hard" karate training the body might understandably want a rest. Or perhaps other reasons have forced older generations to leave karate.
I don't think Karate will change for the following reasons:
1) Most people involved in WKF style Karate don't think it's broken so why fix it.
2) Anyone who doesn't like their Karate class can either quit altogether or train elsewhere, which are far easier choices rather than re-inventing karate to suit a niche audience
3) As Matakiant points out, schools of full contact or deadly "old school" Karate will likely have a negative impact on Karate attendance. A consequentialist argument could be made that this would reduce the availabilty of karate as if schools don't have the numbers they may have to close. In that void stuff like MMA might step in and marginalise Karate even further.