I have always found the concept of traditional martial arts to be a misnomer. The martial arts should represent the culture in which they are studied.
Case in point would be the hook punch. This is the most common type of attack in a street encounter.(see FBI statistics) Yet so many schools still tend to focus on the reverse punch as the main attack and defense methodologies.
Another example is that after WWII, Korea, and Vietnam lots of servicemen started taking MA classes in their free time while still stationed overseas. Many times we in the US tend to think that the proper definition of MA is how these servicemen theorize it should be taught. I find this to be unrealistic. These service men simply represent a sub culture that identified their own theories of how training should be and presented it to their students throughout the following decades.
Their concept of ground, pound, break, and suffer is their perception based upon the lives they were living at the time. And this concept is not one in which smaller persons or one the older can maintain. If you want to train warriors then a specific age and physical group is selected. Hence the old school thought of traditional martial arts. If you want to teach life saving MA skills for real people then real thought and understanding must be used to allow the student to be able to use the skills from cradle to grave.
Don’t get me wrong. The student must train and train hard. But the rationale that knuckle pushups in gravel is misplaced; does nothing to build long term MA skill.
Martial Arts are about self defense and self preservation of oneself and others. It must continue to evolve if it is to be pertinent to today’s society. Gone are the days of armed men coming over the hill with sword and shield. Society changes and so must how we approach Martial Arts training.