I didnt mean to imply that an opponent would identify the kata itself or a portion of it. He doesn't have to. All he has to identify is that everytime he throws an overhand right that your response is high block to reverse punch, for example.
Muscle memory is great for a singular technique, but a hinderance to a fighter when it becomes pattern and habit.
I was referring to ALL traditional M in general, as well as TKD, Moo Duk Kwan being the branch that I studied. Also, I have to mention that most TKD sparring is stop and go, point style sparring. I believe that it isnt suitable for combat and defense training as it doesnt realisticall aproach combat and can give younger or less experienced students a false sense of security.
For kata to be truly effective it must be streamlined, IMO. Remove the mystery and mysticism. Openly teach bunkai. Worry less with patterns and more with application against progressive levels of resistance. Worry less about number of techniques and focus on more realistic and simple aproaches.