Lately I have been thinking about hard contact training, especially as I am on light training post op until I get the all clear.
I think ideally for my current training group, which is not a commercial class; our training should contain light and hard contact sparring/fighting as follows:
Boxing, Thai or Kick Boxing and MMA
Light boxing sparring (what we were doing).
Hard sparring (people get knocked out and cracked ribs etc).
Street Scenario fighting
What I rather dramatically call Street Scenario fighting.
Light from the fence (what we were doing).
Hard from the fence (Animal night/day, people get knocked out and cracked ribs etc).
Off Road Training (ORT)
What I call off road training, which is basically the above with weapons. I use a mixture, going from soft to hard contact.
Normally in our street training there is a clear winner and loser(s), because combatives is often a one way conversation. If someone does counter, it is normally in a very dramatic way i.e. someone blasts in and the other guy throws an off balance left hook, which hits chin and gets the knock out. I call these knock outs UKO's for un-explained knock outs, because you often as coach have to explain what happened to the guy who got left hooked.
Lately I have been thinking that hard boxing sparring is great in the short term (two years) but in the long term it is the path to long term illness. Long term hard contact in boxing or MMA sparring, will lead to brain dysfunction. Kind of like you will learn a lot of lessons from hard contact but then forget them later as Parkinson's comes on.
I have been playing with different percentages of hard verses light training for as long as I have been teaching (from around 1985). I never get it a hundred percent right but I know that some hard contact is a must; otherwise people get delusional about their abilities.
Right now I think one of the best training methods is to go hard in clinch and ground. Good hard rolling with take downs will clear a lot of the issues that come with light or no hard contact training. It will also stop people from being delusional...