Safety is very important when practicing martial arts, especially for beginners. I know a famous and very respected teacher that used to always say, "be careful, we all have to go to work tomorrow". That being said, is there ever a time where a person's skill reaches a level where they should fight unprotected? I believe there are advantages and disadvantages. Obviously the disadvantages are the possibility of injury. The advantages that I see are that a person will learn not to be too daring in combat with questionable techniques and they will also place more emphasis on sound defensive techniques and footwork.
What's your opinion?