Greetings to everyone on this fine site I just found!
1. Kishi Karate
2. Sparring - Yes...we call it Kumite
"Hard" Kumite is full contact sparring, which occurs at the end of most classes.
There are no pads, groin protectors, headgear, mouthguard, or any other foreign objects, except a gi and a belt to hold it together. Sometimes, however, unpadded leather gloves are used, if one's hand has an open cut, to keep from negligently spreading blood over the gi of ones opponent (which is considered disrespectful).
During "Hard" kumite, each student tries to not hit the head, groin or knees, which happens every now and then unintentionally.
New students start kumite early on. The nature of "Hard" kumite is that junior goes against senior. Senior tries to not hit junior harder than junior has been hit before, plus just a little more force to give junior the opportunity to grow (get stronger by being able to take heavier and heavier blows).
Junior, on the other hand, is expected to hit senior as hard as he or she possibly can, while still maintaining proper form.
As junior grows, senior grows as well, since he or she is taking much more punishment than he or she is giving.
There is also "slow kumite", every once in a while, which is slow motion with light contact.
Nurb, you may want to consider training Kishi Karate...it sounds right up your alley...
Unfortunately, there are only three Kishi Karate dojos in the world, Shinjo, Japan; NYC; or, Millbrook, New York.
There's probably less than two dozen students in the World who train Kishi Karate.
I live near San Francisco; so, if Nurb, or anyone else who is interested, wants to practice some of what I have learned in this style, I'd be happy to train again (haven't, since moving away from the Dojo).
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share.