I envy your experiences with the Empu...learning traditional craft is a hobby of mine...I was in India in Feb/March looking at museums and talking to smiths (Bhanwarlal) in Rajisthan (North India).
Tradition now is an electric stone grinder and a power hammer. They can still do the old work (well some can), but few are interested in paying. Antiques are cheaper than modern work so many antiques are re-worked with modern tastes and sold.
I saw piles of handles waiting new koftgari...I asked if they make handles and they said "why?"..pointing to the box of old ones.
It seems that more and more the "first world" is preserving techniques lost or unused in the country of origin...not politically correct, but there it is.
As to a living...in smithing...do architectural work not knives.