To me this is a no brainer, sparring is required if you want to be able to use any technique under pressure. There are those who believe that sparring is something only used by professional athletes, and somehow they are going to gain the tools you need to handle a real situation by doing drills and kata’s. Or it’s the so called combat teachers telling you that you need kill techniques hit a man quick and hard and go through him.
That plan could work if your attacker is significantly smaller then you like a small child. If you attacker happens to be your size or bigger then it may not be that easy even if he is the aggressor. True combat is self-preservation and trying to run through him is not exactly that. So what does sparring really help with? Sparring is the place where the practice of techniques and drills go from comfort zone to danger zone. Its in sparring where you will learn not just how to execute a technique but when to execute the technique, and timing is a reining principle in fighting and winning.
Sparring is the classroom where stamina becomes homework, reactions to being hit are pop quizzes, and how to handle adrenalin being pumped into your blood system is extra credit. Sparring is the simulation and can only be done with another person, sparring brings the worst out of you and leaves the very best, this experience cannot be duplicated by just the use of drills. Fighting is about organized confusion the odds of the fight needing the very technique you have been studying in your KUNG FU class is about the same odds of me beating Floyd mayweather.
Sparring is HEMMINGWAYS grace under pressure, its where the diamonds are made, sparring is practice and practice is perfection. As they say bags don’t hit back and pads don’t move and for the brain to react properly under stress it needs to be trained to deal with the stress of fighting to live. SALUTE