I guess I should chime in here since I started all this. I agree with a lot of posts. I see a traditional martial arts defined as a martial art that is more than just the techniques encompassed within it. It tries to pass on the culture and beliefs of the period as well; the "traditions" so to speak.
What goes along with this is usually the belief that these traditions are infallible. Which usually has to do with them being taught as such. Isn't that one of the reasons why this website was created? To show the people that believe their art that is unstoppable because its been around for thousands of years and contains the secret knowledge of ancient ninja monks is actually BS?
Where i got into confusion is every martial art has customs and traditions that they try to preserve and pass on. A great example of this is muay thai. I'm sure you could become a great thai fighter without having kicked one banana tree, but I'm sure there's at least someone who trains their students like that. Same thing with the praying and the rituals they preform during an authenic muay thai fight.
I haven't taken many BJJ classes, but there's probably traditions and rituals in those classes as well. I feel we don't consider them traditions yet because they are still modern. That's why I asked if it is possible, years from now, to consider it a traditional martial art? That didn't make sense to me which is why I considered maybe my definition of what makes a martial art traditional was wrong, which is what led to me creating this thread.
Going through all the replies, I am a bit torn. half of me agrees with the posts stating it is just semantics and it doesn't really matter what we call them. The other half thinks that this term isn't just used on this board. It's used in the entire martial arts world, so we should have some handle on the qualifications a martial art needs to have to be labeled as a TMA.