It seems to me that the study of "Classical" martial arts has become rather obsolete. Within the group of "classical" arts I would include those with the following characteristics:
1. Lots of ritual (bowing, shoes off while training, wearing pajamas while training, etc.)
2. Point Sparring/ Overly Controlled Sparring (can't kick here, can't strike there, can't grab and throw the opponent to the ground while sparring, etc.)
3. Emphasis on a ranking system (white belt, camouflage belt, zebra belt, 10th degree ninja, etc.)
4. Study of "traditional weapons" that have very little application in the real world (i.e. nunchaku, kama, tonfa, 9-section whip, kusari-gama, etc.). When will you ever have any of these with you?
5. Unrealistic weapons defense (defending against knife/ gun especially)
Talking about this last point, if you EVER find yourself in a martial arts class and the instructor claims he/she will be showing the class a realistic defense against a knife or a gun, notice that the instructor will most likely be setting up a "best case scenario" attack. The knife wielder will come in on a VERY simple line (i.e. overhead attack, straight thrust, long movements) or the LONE GUNMAN will hold the gun out at arm's length right in front of the martial artist's face and stand still waiting for the defender to act.
This should be a RED FLAG. A person who knows even a little about how to use a gun or knife will own the unarmed defender 100% of the time- PERIOD. Sorry, but knife handlers see the world in four dimensions (height, width, depth, AND time) and tend to transition from straight lines to circles in nanoseconds while traditional martial artists are trying to complete their "X-Blocks" or other outmoded defense techniques. True gunmen in realistic defensive scenarios do not even draw their guns until it is time to SHOOT and will increase distance or keep their weapons out of reach while defending themselves.
As well, the average person would not even know that either are carrying weapons until it is too late.
Within the groups of "Modern" arts I would include the following classifications:
1. Utilize modern, practical weapons likely to be in one's possession (handgun, shotgun, knife, stick, ballpoint pen, etc.)
2. Sparring at all ranges is emphasized and the realistic transition between each is allowed to occur and develop
What are your opinions? I am not trying to disrespect anyone, but am trying to be realistic. I studied classical arts for 21 years (age 9-30), but now study a more modern art (the handgun, and yes, it is ALWAYS with me).