YOU HAVE NO CONTROL!!!
Sparring competitions were point tournaments and I would actually get penalized and disqualified for hitting someone too hard in the body. Most times even striking to the face was a penalty.
The reason for this is obvious – no one needs to get a broken nose or a black eye for work the next day. The purpose is to compete and stay safe which is something with which I happen to agree.
The problem lies in your habit of pulling your technique. Under real stress you NEVER know what’s going to happen. Because of my training I used to work security and bodyguard. I worked with a lot of my fellow martial artists and on several occasions I would see them strike, pull their punch AND STOP!
Here’s a typical point sparring match.
Hey, these guys are good at what they do, but no one is allowed to make REAL CONTACT.
How you train is how you perform.
And I learned this lesson the hard way…
Back in my point sparring days I got into a fight and was locked up with a guy. I tried desperately to hit him in the body but my shots had little effect. His friends proceeded to work my back, the only thing I could do was escape.
Why didn’t I hurt him? I was bench pressing 380 and the US Eastern Regional Heavyweight Sparring Champ!!!
I was strong like Tarzan but hit like Jane.
I stopped sparring and practicing with a training partner all together and just “HIT SHIT.”
Sure, I never really won any more point tournaments, but who cared, my technique was really working! Now I could really hit with PENETRATING FORCE.
The reality is that inorder to injure your attacker you MUST practice at 100% power and hold nothing back. This is the only way to be effective, have confidence and actually do damage.
That’s why I rarely (now never) train self defense on a training partner.
Pulling your punches and control is the “silent killer” of martial arts and if you want to be effective in real life, you should avoid that practice.