Karate fads, trends and all kinds of distractions come and go like clockwork. I should know, I bought into many of them!
First it was pressure points. They were the future! The fraudsters were soon found out though, and a quick reality check brought home the fact that pp's are only an added bonus. If you can't move or fight what use are pps?
Bunkai came next. The pressure point guys had all the answers to kata movements, but with careful study the "hidden" bunkai were only effective against "hidden" attacks - the ones you never see in the street, the ones only instructors use to try out their bunkai in fantasy settings.
Then along came bunkai with "underlying principles". Principles was the buzzword - everybody using it, few having a proper understanding of what that meant, even fewer having the ability to communicate the ideas sensibly. Most people's "martial arts principles" looked like to-do lists. One group had hundreds in their list!
Next it was "reality", which often turned out to be a fantasy world of terrorists and ninjas on every street corner. The reality salesmen were just feeding off their own fears and selling them on to unsuspecting punters.
Then along came MMA. Everyone wanted to grapple. Next...
Finally I decided to shut myself away from all the hype. There are few websites worth visiting. I can't find a decent martial arts magazine to read. There was too much information, and too much conflicting information (not to mention the politics). Nowadays I'm happier in training because I approach it as "just training". There's no need to dress it up or over-complicate it. (By which I mean add unnecessary confusing layers of doctrine or technique).
Having seen all those things come and go I realised the same old art is still sitting there letting the fashions and fads wash over it like waves at the beach.
The beginner's mind is uncluttered with ideas and prejudices. The beginner isn't programmed to accept one way or creed. Only after being immersed in the "karate scene" do their thoughts begin to muddy. It is important to take a few deep breaths, relax and let the waters settle again.
There is no need to "train for this" or "train for that". Training for itself and for your own purpose is good enough.
I wonder what's coming next?