I added an element to my training method that I call Limited Sparring. What I actually do with this method, is filling the gap that exists between static practising of techniques and full contact sparring. I start practicing specific techniques and then gradually instruct the defender to start blocking movements. When resistance rises in the exersize both attacker and defender will encounter the necessity to adjust the techniques depending on the actions of the opponent. Finally adjusting the techniques is not sufficient anymore and the necessity comes in to make combinations with other techniques. By varying in the types of limitations I put in the sparring exercize, I can manipulate the amount of complexity that I think is best for the student the develop specific qualities of technique.
By making reactions to situations more intuitive, I create the possibility to have an empty mind during a fight. Of course in a real fight you also have the problem of nerves and fear coming in which makes it even harder to be fully with your attention in the moment without thinking. However training to recognize and reacht to situations on instinct makes it easier to keep your mind empty and let your body work without interference of thought.
I fully agree that no book can ever learn you how to fight (just like no teacher can ever learn you how to fight). I the end it is you yourself that has to do all the hard training. Doing movements over and over again, repeating situations over and over again and then even a hundred thousand times more. But books and teachers can always be of guidance. Every book and teacher has its own insights and none is complete. Some may work for you, some may not. In the end, every person is unique, so everyone has a unique optimal way to train and fight. You have to find out for yourself what is your optimal way. The best way to do that is to listen to as much teachers as possible and then experiment what works best for you.