They are different principals, sure, but it shows that you can learn them a variety of ways. Patterns are not the only way to learn, and to force people to do so penalizes those that dont learn well that way. Oh, and your right. You should have been penalized for not being able to spar. Sparing is not perfect, but it is the best way we can demonstrate fighting ability without being overly dangerous when done properly. You should not hold rank without holding skill first.