30 years ago most sparring was full contact or nearly so--groin kicking was still legal in some areas.
That was still back in the block or bleed days.
In Japan, fighters were often injured in tournament sparring.
(the Kyoshinkai, the Uechi and the Goju groups to my info, have pretty much always gone hard)
Many schools practice a much harsher form of sparring "in horse" than they do at tournament--esp "open" ones.
Awarmenss of fighting ranges is a really old concept that is in no way shape or form "new."
Only poor schools are "one dimensional"---so their training is suspect from the get-go.
Still don't see shadowboxing as all that differentfrom kata.
I'm still "stuck" with the same set of possible punchs, same set of movement etc.
Not like I can suddenly throw a kick into the mix---I mean I CAN--just my coach will kill me.
I am picking up an uppercut and jab in various kata, so I can either practice them IN the kata.
Or I can pull them out and practice them on the heavy bag, or with a resistant partner.
Just like I can with shadowboxing.