To find and develop Karate as a True Art, and this would include Shotokan, Goju, Uechi, or various other types of the art, one should always look to the techniques. The bunkai are the kata made real, they are concepts made to work. They are the heart of the monster that is The True Art.
The first step, in making your art work, is to make your stance work. The forms teach how to get into stances from a variety of directions and previous postures. So one should practice the movements of the kata until this concept of transitioning from stance to stance can be done without thought.
The second step, if you are going to make the karate forms real, is to make sure your limbs are set in positions that are functional. There are many arm positions in the martial arts techniques where your limbs cannot support weight, and therefore can’t really make the technique work. You must examine your patterns and altar arm positions until they become functional in real world situations.
The third step is to have proper body alignment between the floor and the target. The body is a chain of muscles and bones from earth to strike (block), and you must make sure that every piece of the body is properly aligned. The old wisdom, a chain is as strong as its weakest link, is certainly important here.
The fourth step if you are going to make karate moves become significant, is to work on your breathing. Breathing should be relaxed, but intent upon keeping the abdomen taut, especially upon striking, or getting struck. Breathing simply for the sake of breathing, as is done in the art of Goju Ryu Karate, must be inspected for real function, and possibly altered if you are going to have real martial arts self defense.
The fifth and final step, and ultimately the most necessary, is that you must have Coordinated Body Motion (CBM) when you use your body to do martial arts. You must harmonize all motion, taking into account the length and mass of every muscle and limb. You must understand how this all relates to real world timing, and you must make your body motions respect this concept of harmony.
An intriguing tidbit of data is that martial arts fighting has very little to do with finding The True Art. As a matter of fact, fighting tends to disrupt the mental processes that are necessary to put the pieces together that will resurrect your martial art. This piece of information is something that the old masters understood, and not just because they were old.
Any art can be a great art, but it always requires a great sensei, and a great student. The purpose of this bit of writing has been to educate students to be their own great teachers. Ultimately, your progress is up to you, and if you understand that then it will be easy to use Karate techniques to find the True Art.
You can get a lot more data on how to make your art perfect at Monster Martial Arts.