In my experience, once heavier duty protective gear is adopted, people are much more comfortable keeping an exchange in medium range (at least with sticks). Even if all shots are honored, most of us feel comfortable enough with sticks that we'll trade a few leg and arm shots. Hand shots aren't a fight ender; neither are headshots through a fencing mask (I've seen multiple fighters continue fighting after being concussed through a fencing helmet). If you compare the Sayoc stick fights in the videos above to a typical WEKAF match, you'll see a huge difference: no one stays in medium range for very long when they're not wearing gear whereas WEKAF guys will watik each other over and over again.
A good way to balance out the effects of protective equipment is to go either live blade or blade trainers with armor (or padded weapons and no protective equipment).
For me, training with the blade in mind (as opposed to just sticks) developed a better understanding/sensitivity of moving between ranges. There's nothing wrong with stick sparring, but unless the training keeps edge orientation and the differences between edged vs. impact weaponry, it can quickly turn into a different game.
I do agree though: safety goggles are a smart move. Fogged up lenses=training modifier.
I hate being hit in the head when wearing a fencing mask, leaves my ears ringing and really does suck!
10 Pages and I'm still not sure if the OP is answered. PTK, Atienza, Sayoc? What's the diff? All I gathered is that Sayoc costs more and doesn't spar. I've seen the hard ass sparring video of the Sayoc guys fighting in the woods so the no sparring argument is out. Then it turned into a bitchfest and we saw the ugly sport vs street argument raise its head.
Since the majority of the thread has been about Sayoc i'll throw in my two cents. I respect all weapons practitioners. A guy with no training could doesn't have to work hard to be a threat with a knife. Anyone who acts as if they are unbeatable fighting a guy with a knife is probably blowing smoke. Some guys get deep into RBSD and that's fine, it's something to do. Why not? My thoughts are you can't train for every situation, so situation drills have their values and limitations. For the majority of us who aren't LEOs and don't have high risk jobs or lifestyles we are training for a very small likelihood that we will be ambushed or attacked. Conversely, money would be better spent on things besides knife fighting/defense. The majority of people go through life with no martial arts training and some how they make it, heart disease is more statistically likely to kill us that anything else. Do what you like, don't bother justifying why it's the best, you can't kill everyone.
My neighbor, a doctor, never took up a sport/martial art. He died of an aneurysm anyway. If you were going to try to kill a whole lot of people, you wouldnt be using a knife.