Strictly speaking, I disagree with him, but I can understand why he'd think that. Many so-called "traditional" systems, and most "kung fu" places you'll find, don't teach you to fight in a realistic manner. There are definitely exceptions- in particular I've seen Wing Chun, Choy Lay Fut, and San Soo guys who could throw down- but in many places you'll spend a lot of time punching and kicking the air, training with archaic weapons, and learning complex defenses that have little likelihood of working. It's really a matter of training method and emphasis. The guys who are good train with a high degree of contact, spar regularly, and only utilize a dozen or so techniques. The guys who spar under the San Da or San Shou format will have an arsenal of punches, kicks, and throws, which as far as training methodology goes places them in the same category as guys who train Muay Thai and Kyokushin (full-contact) karate. However- again- places that train like this are much rarer than ones where you spend half an hour in a horse stance punching the air. While this takes great mental discipline and is fine for building fitness, it's not really learning how to fight. In my experience, many "kung fu" places cater to guys who get their ideas about Chinese martial arts from old Shaw brothers films and haven't faced real violence in their life. Given that, out of 100 "kung fu" practitioners, you might get fifteen who don't fall apart the second they get hit with a real punch, and of those, maybe two or three who can fight back with the same skill level as an amateur boxer or kickboxer.