Street Fighting - One Way To Make Sparring More Realistic

There has always been a big debate in martial arts:

Does sparring in the dojo (martial arts studio) prepare you for real street fighting?

Many feel that the answer is that it doesn't prepare you, if you practice "classical" sparring.

(Which is weird if you think about it. It doesn't prepare you for real street fighting, yet so many continue sparring, claiming they are practicing self defense. Hmmm.)

What I mean by classical sparring is that you face off against one opponent. (Only one opponent? We should be so lucky in a street fight.)

Either you advance on your opponent, or your opponent advances on you. One tries a move, the other responds with a pat against the incoming limb. All nice and clean.

Yawn. Boring -- and not very practical.

Both opponents stay at a relatively safe distance.

Sparring Variation

A variation that is a little better -- notice, I said "a little" -- is when one opponent attacks, and then there is an exchange of two or three moves before each party goes back to his or her comfort zone -- the safe distance.

Well, at least in the variation, there is some contact. You have to respond to an attack.

Still, it's not preparing you for real street fighting.