How often have you heard someone claim, "Our style, my sensei, and or I, learn, teach and or practice Karate exactly the way [insert any pioneer's name you like here] handed down?" Of course, the inference is not that this is exactly the way it's supposed to be done, it's actually "the best way." Such propaganda is politically orientated and aimed at promoting pedigree and a sense of loyalty ahead of functionality.
With physical violence more readily available on internet [i.e. here, here & here, etc.] and the popularity trend of BJJ and MMA many students/teachers of Karate are abruptly discovering the shortcomings of its rule-bound practices. It's now becoming commonplace to look outside one's schools, style and or organization, not only to just improve one's knowledge of fighting in general, with a special emphasis upon better understanding the functional application of kata, but also to strengthen one's position in a far more demanding marketplace. Dictatorial associations, cult-like mentalities, inflexible learning policies, and the fear of being ostracized [for training outside one's style/organization], are all too common in our industry and reinforce the idea of becoming independent of such organizations.
If these are amongst your concerns, and you're looking to improve your understanding of fighting in general and knowledge of kata specifically, with special emphasis upon its defensive application practices while strengthening your position in this highly competitive industry, then an IRKRS membership will be of great value to you.