Even when tournaments are advertised as "open", that tends not to be the case. It is physically open to all styles, but still judged by biased, "within their realm", instructors. I've heard the argument, that it isn't win or lose that is important, but the competition that develops martial arts character. If you truly believe that, then look into the eyes of a competitor who loses to a judge or judges who only understand "Halo" or "what could have happened techniques". The only thing they understand is, that they won, but lost!
Why the above is included in this month's Hoodoo
Sensei Chad Wissler touched on the above, last class to some degree. When you or someone else chooses a karate, kung fu, jujitsu or martial arts class, they do so with specific desires or needs in mind. If you are interested in adding something to your existing knowledge, of which your present or past system didn't include, you can choose a class that specializes only in that entity, If you are new to the arts and want an all encompassing training regimen, you would choose a martial arts program. Now, within each training type, there are also choices of whether you wish to include actual physical contact in your training. For the young kids, maybe that wouldn't be a choice that some parents would feel comfortable in making. For an adult wishing to train in "todays world" defenses, contact would be a mandatory entity which wouldn't be something you would want to leave out. That said, the contact involved would have to be safe enough, that you're training wouldn't suffer because of never-ending injuries. Then again, the contact has to be enough that both you and your training partner realize the strike they just felt, could have been very effective in determining an actual outcome.