I've heard alot of different people tell me that it makes your shins tough, and others say to use them to stay confident when your "checking". I know when I go shin on shin, it usually takes about 3 weeks for the soreness to go away. Which is best?
It will save you and your partner in training
When I kick the pads I don't use the guards. When hitting the pads my feeder may test my guard with some controlled shin kicks that I may have to defend.
When fighting your adrenaline is up and you feel the pain of shin clashing much less. Also, in a self defence situation the same thing happens. Don't worry about how tough you need to be. Concentrate on proper blocking with the guards on and when something real comes along trust yourself.
Besides, Team RTC is right. The more you get to train the more practice you get. The more you injure yourself the more time you'll need to heal and be out of training. Train for longevity! Of course there will be dings and bumps and bruises but wear the protection. It could mean the difference of being out of training for a month or a day or not at all.
good post MTS