I think a big part of it is that we now live in an era (at least in the US and other developed nations), where most of us do not need to use our training to defend our lives on a regular basis, or even at all. So for many people, these have become an artifact from the past, to be preserved. This is not the same as being a living method that is meant to be used and functional. The thing is, it can be both. These older methods are still with us because they have a history of being effective so they are still valuable and relevant today for what they are, as historical methods. But the individual still needs to make it effective for himself, and needs to feel unrestrained to be able to do so. I think there is a tendency to lose sight of that, and view the system as an artifact to be put on a shelf, only taken down and polished now and again. The form becomes the embodiment of the artifact, to be preserved and never changed. The form becomes the system, because that is ultimately what someone learned and “doing kung fu” comes to mean doing the form, thoughtlessly, in the same way that one might show off an antique silver sugarbowl in a display case. It is just to be looked at, never used. Maybe I need to coin that term: “sugarbowl kung fu”.