I disagree with the full contact sparring as being the BEST way to train for the effect of adrenaline. it is a very effective method but it lacks the emotional component of Fight or flight (FoF) in response to a real world attack.
It is great for experiencing the adrenaline, and there are plenty of other drills that assist in acclimatising to the physical effect of adrenaline.
some acclimatisation drillshttp://au.youtube.com/watch?v=GzBWTBL0F3k
Any drill that produces the physical sensations of adrenaline and FoF and requires the student to function under those conditions is beneficial
However this only addresses the physical aspect of FoF, there is a small emotional component, but nothing like the emotions experienced in a real self defence situation.
See the Fight or Flight is an emotional response, even though th physical sensations are similar or the same, the emotion that elicits the response (and the stimulus) dictates the effect of the response. It is the emotional component of FoF that produces the strongest freeze response
Basically not all adrenaline dumps are the same, sparring for eg, produces adrenaline, there is a degree of fear (fear of being hurt, failure, non performance etc) but there is a lack of emotionally elicited fear response. different fears produce different uses of FoF.
If it was all the same then all we would need to do is watch adrenaline releasing movies and we should be able to familiarize ourselves to any danger at all. this sadly isn't the case. A snake elicits a different response then skydiving. the physical reactions of the body and the associated sensations are very similar maybe even identical, but you will experience a difference between the two.
we are not mechanical beings our experiences are made up of not just physical sensations but psychological and emotional sensation. The mind and heart lead the body
Senario training is one of the best ways to link the Behavioural, Emotional and Psychological aspects of violence. the idea is to evoke a emotional response that in turn evokes the physical FoF response. This is how it happens in real world violence it's not just a physical one.
that being said the more familiar you are with the physical component the more resources you are able to use controlling the other components
this is a face book video (you need to be signed up to face book) it shows emotional evocation (warning the video contains frequent course language, and content may offend...but hey this is reality)http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2617010555#/video/video.php?v=27963260740&oid=2617010555
imaging eliciting this response in a student andthen having them immediately perform under pressure (sparring pad work acclimatisation drills etc)
Shove a pair of focus mitts on the aggressor and then start with the emotional evocation, suddenly bombard them with strikes from the pads (have them cover up) and then have them immediately fight back (striking the pads) with whatever techniques appropriate to your system. you could have then straight blast (into the pads) as soon as the attacker stops the barrage (the pad man holds the pads in their centerline.)
Heres an eg of scenario training
Scenario training http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=gWsRTGUYMsI
(read the full description and listen to the break down after the action)
I hope that helps
Just to clarify I am not saying abandon full conduct sparing or hard pad workouts, I'm just suggesting you include the emotional component as well.