I’m currently rereading “Empty Hand” by Kenei Mabuni (son of Kenwa Mabuni). Here are a couple of things I thought you may find interesting.
The first thing relates to karate’s modernization when compared to the development of judo and kendo:
“Karate appears to me like a child, which was left behind too early by my farther and Gichin Funakoshi, a child who struggled to the utmost and survived not knowing what had happened to its body. It did not have the means to understand its own situation … Also the fact that competitive karate appeared on the scene in the shape of “karate for a real fight” or “budo karate” shows how difficult it is for karate to find its right way … This is a point I would like to be thought over thoroughly by everyone concerned with karate.”
The other thing that stuck in my mind is this description of karate’s original “all in” nature:
“Young people who practiced karate made real-fight experiences called kake tameshi … the kake tameshi were not competitions like today. It was a serious, real fight and “everything was allowed” but an opponent was never beaten up inexorably. Both opponents served each other to study their own weak and strong points.”
I hope you find these interesting.
All the best,