It is wide spread martial arts “community wisdom” that in the “old times”, when Art was learned as a survival skill, the training was always right, as one, who took wrong pass, won’t last very long. And nowadays we’re just lazy and distracted by many temptations from learning The True Art, that Martial Arts rank became a status symbol and not truly seen an essential skill anymore.
This does have a grain of truth and I myself seen (and even stated) it this way… just until I dived into this subject a bit deeper even it was no need to search very far.
If you’re open “Book of Five Rings”, which is written in 1645, you’ll find that Miyamoto Musashi dispel multiple schools of Japanese sword fighting (kenjutsu) for the same exact reason as we’re dispelling McDojos: favoring external glamor and appearance to efficiency and hard work. And yes, that ware times when sword skills ware essential for personal survival and been also essential tool for attaining respectable social status (within samurai cast).
When Okinawan arts got social acceptance (in Okinawa and especially in Japan proper) in the form of karate under leadership of Master Gushing Funakoshi it happened not just or only due to its effectiveness in combat, but – mostly – as a pedagogical tool for development of “Japanese Martial Spirit” (alongside Judo and Kendo). As a result the most popular and widely seen style of Karate is, well, the “McDojo” style – the true, simple and powerful, Okinawan Rue ware taught to a few trusted “in-door” disciples when the rest (school boys in particular) received outer shell of appearance without inner substance. The same true about Chinese martial arts as teaching of kung-fu got out of secrecy into the public domain in turn of 20th century (and especially during period of Republican China).