I was working out with my class this morning and had a bit of a suprising realization, a brown belt asked me to work a new timing drill that he was interested in, basically we got into fighting position and then counted to three and we both threw techniques at full speed but controlled power. We continued unitl one of us made contact and then immediately reset and repeated the drill, making sure that we stayed at realistic range and in mobile stances.
I really enjoyed the drill and got to thinking that this type of fighting, going until one person established advantage and then reseting and starting over is likley where both 3 step sparring and tournament style fighting orginated. But the addition of the counting, so that both of us knew when the other's technique was going to launch was EXCELLENT for helping with perception of incoming techniques and therefore development of counters. That perception is a skill that I struggled with getting as an underbelt and one that still feel is a weak point for me. I also know it can be a very difficult skill for some students to develop.
But I wonder if that very useful drill or one like it was eventally codified and sterilized into 3 step sparring out of a desire to make it look prettier and to make it eaiser to teach in large groups.
Let me know your thoughts and let me know if you do anything close with your classes.