Style is based on Goju-Ryu.
Yes we do free sparring regularly and we start doing it from white belt level. The protective gear we use are hand and feet protectors - light pads - mouth guards and cups for the guys. Contact is something mutually agreed upon by the 2 people sparring, usually determined byt the lower ranks. Generally the white belts and some of the girls will prefer very little contact but when 2 black belts or 2 testosterone driven men of any rank - go at it it's pretty well full contact. Having said that, most of the girls go at it just as hard as the guys.