I'd like to incorporate gradually increasing realism into my training. I have a number of obstacles in the way of that, and would greatly appreciate any thoughts or advice about it.
I train at a very friendly club, which I love. Our training rules are light contact in sparring, with no locks or throws in free sparring, and no punches to the face or strikes of any kind below belt height.
In one step sparring, which is basically choreographed specific attack, specific defence and counter, we are allowed to aim for the face, sweep legs, lock and throw etc but only to the preplanned sequence.
within the one step, we're allowed some minor variation. Basically we're allowed to experiment a bit. Some of us do so. Some of us agree to resist fully when someone is attempting to take us down, so that they must find a way to make it work while being ready to defend from surprise attacks etc. Some prefer to stick to the exact simplified technique with a compliant partner. I tend to work with people who, like me, want to make it work and play with it a bit, so I'm kind of ok on that front.
What I'm less ok with is that I seem to bust too easily. I'd like to be more forceful, and train with partners who also want to be more forceful, but I bruise too easy and frequently injure muscles as it is. I'd like to find a way to kind of toughen up a bit so I can take knocks and such without being mildly injured for weeks.
I'd also like to play a bit with the principles that we use in forms and one step sparring, to experiment with applications and putting things together to see what works etc, but we don't really do that in our club and I don't want to change clubs just because of one shortcoming (as I see it, others may not see it as a shortcoming).