Much like the Japanese language, the original Japanese empty-handed martial art of karate was derived originally from its Chinese counterpart before being personalised by what’s unique about Japanese style.
Most karate clubs around the world these days are overly commercialised, meanwhile, karate clubs in Japan are generally over-systemised with obedience and non-inquisitive etiquette to the point where over hundreds of years it’s become so devoid of genuine sophistication. For these reasons, Karate and its derivative martial arts systems – the world throughout – are usually Bullshido, however it’s worth recognising that the odd exception to this trend does exist.
In the Far East, where Karate was spawned, there are some pockets of Karate schools that remain true to its origins and maintain a truly bright & skillful art. Meanwhile, in the West, in the modern, global society that we live in, fresh influences from good styles of Chinese Kung Fu still make their way into the the syllabus of contemporary Karate clubs just as happened all the way back when karate was founded. Furthermore, some decent Japanese styles of martial art like Judo, Jujitsu and Aikido – even some better parts of Ninjutsu to some extent – seep into the syllabus of contemporary and traditional karate schools alike – equally in Japan and in the West.
So, if practical, technical quality is what you seek then it would be most likely a smart move to reject your local karate club and look elsewher, however, each case deserves to be treated independently because there is the odd great, elusive karate club out there. You never know – there may be a real Mr Miyagi offering private tuition just around the corner from where you live!