In a dojo where I participated for about a year very seldom did they spend any real time either working hand fighting but remember sparring only two maybe three times. No bag work, no makiwara, no punching/striking against any resistance, and mostly empty kata practice then a lot of weaponry.
This is a shame for that is only a very small and more insignificant part of the system of karate/karate-do (yes, I know karate is not really a weaponry system, i.e. kobudo, yet most clump them together). I don't mean to lessen the art of weaponry. I have shown that it is a part that teaches us about the entire system as created (traditions, customs, etc.) yet it is not critical or even recommended, for my dojo, if fighting or self defense is a training goal.
I firmly believe that spending too much time on weaponry and so little time on the empty hand aspects of karate/karate-do puts the system for that individual off kilter, out of balance, not in equilibrium. Weaponry is interesting, it is exciting, it is fun to learn, they are cool yet "if you are interested in the entire system then it [training/practice] should be balanced."
If you fight, you spar, you compete, and/or you expect your system to provide you with that ability to apply it in those areas then you have to hit stuff. You have to practice with others hitting each other. You have to put in the time and effort with a minimum of 10 minutes of hitting stuff for every hour of practice. You have to focus on your body because in most situations, other than combat, you won't have or want to use weaponry.
I, personally, stopped the practice of weaponry a long time ago simply so I could focus back on the basics/fundamentals of the empty hand system I practice based on Isshinryu and others that I have some familiarity with and recommend that to anyone who wishes to make their empty hands work.
I am adamant that although many would argue the point weaponry DOES NOT enhance your hand techniques or ability to use your hands. Weaponry can/are a crutch. I realize that it puts distance between you and your opponent. I also realize that this is natural, the way mother nature made us so we could survive. But, if you plan on defending/protecting yourself then weaponry is not what I would recommend.
Weaponry is primary in the military and police services. In reality, as a Marine for ten years, I can say emphatically you DO NOT WANT to engage in hand-to-hand unless there is absolutely no other way. This is in combat. You want your tools, weaponry, to do all the work. This is one time I agree a lot of distance between you and the enemy is a good thing.
Fighting, not violent attacks of a predatory nature, the type I call school yard scuffle, will get up close and very personal if it escalates to physical attacks. Think about this and take it up with your Sensei.