I hope this question raises an interesting discussion.
My thought here is that it is well established that karate and kata were originally designed for self defence situations against attacks by untrained thugs. This would have been appropriate in Okinawa before karate became popular.
In modern times, however, surely we're more likely to be attacked by someone with experience in boxing, kick boxing or some other type of fighting skill. The popularity of MMA and combat clubs of all kinds would, I suspect, mean there are more 'thugs' with these skills than without.
Does this mean our kata and bunkai is now largely redundant or does it need to be developed beyond what we have today? Or should we abandon old style kata and develop new styles and techniques more suitable for today's environment.
Looking forward to peoples' views on this.