Just like you would find in boxing and wrestling, you'll find many martial arts use sparring for practicing. Whatever style they are learning, sparring should help students learn better. Students will learn more rapidly and efficiently if they have the chance to practice with one another. By sparring in front of an instructor or teacher at a school, they can be taught through experience without getting hurt.
To ensure safety during your training, you're going to be using full body gear, which even includes headgear. You will find that sparring isn't only exciting to do, but also good for your training. In case you are ranked high in a certain martial art form, you may not need to have any gear for protection. Students who are skilled can generally make it without protective equipment, being that they are good enough not to make any contact at all. When you are good enough with your techniques along with sparring, going a few rounds with other students who are also proficient, should not be any problem.
One martial art form that employs sparring extensively is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu simply because grappling exercises need another person to practice with to be effective. Grappling uses lots of joint locks and submission techniques, which need lots of practice to be effective. If you don't have a sparring partner, it is difficult for you to get good and you'll have difficulties during a real competition. Students check one another when live training by going to and fro, competing with each other. The rounds typically go on for a few minutes, but they vary. Since the trainers are there to provide guidance, the students are able to walk through the correct techniques while sparring. The trainers can stop the sparring and go through what the students must focus on.
There are occasions when you will be working alone, sparring by yourself, employing tackling dummies and punching bags. You pretend that the foam or rubber tackling dummy is your challenger and you'll need to attack. If you cannot have a partner to work with regularly, having these types of equipment can be effective. Once you have learned a few skills by using equipment or against other students, then sparring is an effective way to practice and perfect your capabilities. It is usually somewhat fun if you could spar with anyone who has a higher skill level. When you learn what others do to your techniques, you can easily use it to your advantage. How to Properly Train for MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) The more you spar and train, you're going to find that your moves will get faster and more responsive.
If you're practicing a martial art to defend yourself, sparring is the best way to make you experience real life situations. It's only one of the many ways you can practice and get better at your martial art form.