Yes, but you work your way up to it in stages. Shotokan kumite begins with very carefully controlled partner drills. Over time, these drills are performed with fewer limitations and restrictions until you reach the level where you are permitted to freely choose the techniques you use and the timing of your attacks.
Like any other activity with physical contact, minor bumps and an occasional bruise are part of the training. We supervise all kumite practice carefully to be sure that students are maintaining control of their actions and emotions. Excessive contact, bullying, and recklessness are not tolerated.