What makes a martial arts school "traditional"?
Well I'll explain from my point of view. Of course I'm just a guy. I own a school and have trained in martial arts for about 15 years. I'm no master. I can't float, or punch foes 20 feet in the air using my chi punch. My traing has mostly been in Chinese martial arts and in particular Chuan Fa, a style that traveled through Okinawa - Hawaii - then to America. There is tradition and lineage from all those places. But there's one thing that they all practiced. 1 thing that made their art and training spaces authentic and traditional. It wasn't a kick or a punch. No groundbreaking revelation on better ways to mame another human with your bare hands.
What made them and any school today traditional was in the approach. Is the focus "street"? Traditionally martial arts was about self defense. Not belts, graduations, uniforms, contracts, kids camp, and all that commercialism. They were small groups of people coming together in a fraternal, or family setting to learn how to defend themselves and their families. There may have been a transaction or a trade in order to keep the space or feed the teacher and his family but the intent was never to capitalize on violence and fear. It was family, solidarity and in the end it had better work on the street. There was no tournaments, trophies, and black belts. No masters and head honcho egos. It was family.
So if your looking for traditional martial arts look for a school that doesn't do contracts. One that has a smaller student base. One that doesn't charge for belt promotions and all that. But in all one that practices for the street. Not a tournament.
Traditional martial arts from the perspective of an x commercial martial artist turned traditional martial artist.