I trained TKD off and on as a little kid...in the sense that would train, then move before testing for yellow, rinse, & repeat. I was the eternal white belt.
Eventually, I moved away from belt based systems due to the McDojo and 'string along' mentality that plagued a lot of places. I always found it interesting that there would be a lot of brown, red, and black belt kids that were, at best, 8 or so years old whereas the older populous would train just as much, in many cases harder, but not be able to progress in rank as quick. Too often would threat of leaving lead to sudden test and promotion.
I trained in muay Thai for 6+ years starting in college well before UFC became big. Much nicer w/ less BS. I also trained in Pakration for 3+ years w/ some random grappling thereafter as time allowed. Contrary to popular belief, some of the nicest people I ever met came from the gyms/schools I trained at despite the NHB banner that still flew back at that time. People did use to look at me weird when I came to class w/ bruises and scrapes on me.
With UFC having been 'big' for a while now, as expected, both the level of instruction as well as student base has declined. I remember meeting a middle aged guy and his, maybe, 9 year old kid at a sporting goods store once. They 'trained' at Shonie Carter's place. I was at the store looking to see what heavy bag mount options they had since I was putting up a banana bag in my garage but wanted to be able to tuck it away w/o dismounting it. The kid was going all ape-shit spyder monkey on one of the bags in the store and the dad was just egging him on. Based on what he was saying and what the kid appeared to be attempted, I figured it was muay Thai-based kickboxing so I struck up a conversation w/ the dad but pleaded ignorant regarding any training I had done. He was your stereotypical douche bag MMA fan that thought he (and his kid) were tough. BJJ, I think, is starting to see more of this but there still seems to be a very good set of schools with quality instruction available. Sadly, "kickboxing" has not fared as well.
Motif, very cool that you study Sanshou. Along with Judo and Kali, Sanshou has always perked my interest.