I think the problem with the traditional martial arts is, that hey lack a full contact competetition system. If you box, you can fight full contact boxing, same with kickboxing and thaiboxing. But martial arts like karate, wingchun and many others normally dont have a full contact tourney system.
For example in germany, 90% of karate tourneys is pointfighting. The full contact system in germany is kyukushinkai, which is senseless because you cant strike to the head. The only full contact karate tourney system I know is daido juku, but this kind is only be teached in japan and eastern europe.
The problem with full contact I have, is, that you get punched with full contact in the head too often. That cant be good.
You're probably right. And your post made me think of andy hug. He started as a full contact karate fighter, and the guy was such a badass it took cancer to take him down.
RIP andy, 10 years today