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Stefan Stenudd 01-22-2009 10:48 AM

The Challenge of Not Competing
 
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Aikido is non-competitive. That's easy to say. The practice is not about defeating an opponent, but about both participants being victorious by finding a truly peaceful solution and growing as human beings in the process. That, too, is easy to say.

Still, there's a lot of competing going on in aikido. Numerous aikido students hurry along the way in an effort to surpass their fellow trainees, in skills as well as grades, eager to take a teaching role when working with whatever partner, reluctant to learn as equals.

But it doesn't stop at the individual level. It happens that dojos compete as well, to attract more students from the streets, maybe even hoping to lure some over from the other dojos. And the rings on the water widen. Groups of dojos, connected by little more than a common organization or by their definition of a style of aikido, might also show the hostility of a porcupine towards other groups or the outside aikido world as a whole, insisting that none is closer to the truth.

There are no medals handed out in these kinds of competitions, but those involved race in order to call themselves superior and everybody else inferior. That's usually the bottom line, and it's not far at all from what takes place in just about any sport.

So, honestly speaking, there's a lot of competing going on in aikido -- although just about all of us happily and sincerely support the non-competition principle at the core of it. But it's easier said than done. Why?

Survival of the fittest

What immediately comes to mind is the Darwinian idea of the survival of the fittest. In any species, its individuals compete to procreate. This, the biggest competition of them all, is supposed to promote the development and refinement of the species. Such a mighty force is likely to affect just about everyone, in spite of our individual preferences or convictions.

But we seem to have done away with a lot of those Darwinian instincts in our society. We not only allow the weak or disabled to live, but we put great efforts in assisting and supporting them. We insist that their lives should be just as fulfilling as everybody else's. Nor do we hurry to reproduce, but quite the contrary. Although welfare brings the possibility to support a lot of offspring, nativity rapidly decreases when welfare increases. That's true also for individuals who are very successful at attracting mates.

There are many anomalies to the Darwinian paradigm. Nowadays, biological science tends to place the urge of reproduction in our genes, and not our whole beings. I'm not sure to what extent that's a question of plain semantics, but it meets with just about the same anomalies.

Well, I'm not trying to redraw the map of zoology. I just have my doubts about the survival of the fittest being the root to our urge to compete with one another.

The meaning of life

Instead, I think it boils down to one frustrating circumstance in human existence: we are all going to die, and we know it. That's the koan implanted in our conscious minds. We will die, and we don't even know what that means.

So, we have an insatiable drive to do the very most we can of our lives, to reach the farthest and the highest, to gild our days in the hope of making them mean more, maybe even one day making us at peace with the unavoidable outcome.

It's not exactly what makes us compete, since winning over others has precious little to do with making our own lives full. But it's what makes us hate losing.

In the limited time span we have at our disposal, we don't want to waste it doing what's second best, or finding that others use their time better. We don't need to come first, but we don't want to come second, because it implies that we failed in making as much of our lives as could have been done. That would make the moment of death one of utter failure, an interruption before completion.

Practice makes perfect

If so, then what to do about it? There is no competition in aikido, but how to avoid competing?

Like everything else in aikido, it's a question of practice. We train the aikido techniques in order to perfect them, and thereby somehow also our minds. Non-competition is an attitude, not just the lack of fighting for medals, and should be trained as such. Only by diligent practice can we become non-competitive.

I believe that the aikido techniques are the keys. Their nature is such that they promote non-competitive thinking, and their solutions show the rewards of it. But then it's important not to practice them with an attitude of using them to defeat an opponent, but to find a solution that both participants find better than any one's victory.

Again, that's easy to say.

Stefan Stenudd
Stefan Stenudd is a 6 dan Aikikai aikido instructor, member of the International Aikido Federation Directing Committee, the Swedish Aikikai Grading Committee, and the Swedish Budo Federation Board. He has practiced aikido since 1972. Presently he teaches aikido and iaido at his dojo Enighet in Malmo, Sweden, and at seminars in Sweden and abroad. He is also an author, artist, and historian of ideas. He has published a number of books in Swedish and English, both fiction and non-fiction. Among the latter are books about aikido and aikibatto, also a guide to the lifeforce qi, and a Life Energy Encyclopedia. He has written a Swedish interpretation of the Chinese classic Tao Te Ching, and of the Japanese samurai classic Book of Five Rings. In the history of ideas he studies the thought patterns of creation myths, as well as Aristotle's Poetics. He has his own extensive aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido

Joe McParland 01-25-2009 01:56 PM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
So true... But here is more to consider: In the view of some, we are looking for spontaneous and appropriate solutions to the situations in which we find ourselves---takemusu. This mindset is hampered whether we seek to win or not to lose (competition mindset) as well as when we seek not to compete---an aversion. It's a light paradox that viewing something through not-competing eyes fundamentally still gives rise to the competitive mindset. In a sense, everything we do, every choice we make, can be viewed or judged as competition: to eat in or dine out, for instance, though we may not think of it as such. What to do? I suspect it is best to recognize consciously when we (or those around us) find ourselves in a competitive situation and respond appropriately, without being swept away by the circumstances.

Thank you for your column!

R.A. Robertson 01-30-2009 11:40 AM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
Hi Stefan,

I see that we are wrestling with many of the same issues. I think Joe has some good insights. Are we at war with war? Are we competing with the idea of competition?

I've come to suspect that competition is inevitable, but in aikido we learn perhaps not to contend.

There are more and less aiki ways of competing. Cooperation and collaboration and symbiosis also give a Darwinian edge, and I think aikido is oriented accordingly.

Thanks for pondering on the difficult questions!

Ross

Stefan Stenudd 02-04-2009 11:31 AM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
The mind is a maze, so if we try to judge our actions by what in our minds may have triggered them, we are quite likely to get lost.

When I stuggle to succeed with my aikido technique - am I competing?
I guess that the problem is sort of the same as in trying to act without selfishness. If this is an ideal, one is selfish just by trying to realize it.
On the other hand, if others benefit from my act, I am sure that they don't mind if my reason can be questioned.
Similarly, maybe we don't compete as long as our partners don't feel like losers?

Kevin Leavitt 02-04-2009 04:53 PM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
Stefan wrote:

Quote:

Similarly, maybe we don't compete as long as our partners don't feel like losers?
I think this is a good statement on the subject!

I compete in BJJ and Judo (an lose alot!), however, I don't feel like a loser when I lose because of the lesson I learn and the way the competitive process has motivated me to strive for a higher level of performance and excellence!

Joe McParland 02-05-2009 11:40 AM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
Zen folks have an expression, "do without doing." On some level, it's not different than Nike's "Just do it." Ideally, if you can maintain a state of equanimity, you will not be mentally / emotionally off-balanced---your "ki won't be drawn out." Finding and maintaining this state under stress both take practice.

Someone with a competitive mindset may be easily drawn into a competition. Someone who feels he must not compete can be held at bay with the mere suggestion that he would be competing to do otherwise. Someone who feels he must win can be drawn into a trap with the suggestion that victory is not yet his. Someone who is concerned with an adversary's feelings is easily manipulated and steered off his original course.

That said, the dojo is the place to work out those details. That means we struggle with techniques (competing with self), we sharpen each other's skills (perhaps competition with each other), and so forth, as we work toward the ideal practice.

L. Camejo 02-05-2009 04:21 PM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
Quote:

Kevin Leavitt wrote: (Post 224503)
I compete in BJJ and Judo (an lose alot!), however, I don't feel like a loser when I lose because of the lesson I learn and the way the competitive process has motivated me to strive for a higher level of performance and excellence!

Very good point.I think when many refer to the negative effects of competition they often (but not always) refer to the situation of one-upmanship and the necessity of having a winner and loser. But do these particular negatives still exist if it is a win-win situation even if one "loses" (i.e does not emerge as dominant) in the actual encounter?

Kevin spoke about his encounters in Judo and BJJ, but is this situation different when applied to Aikido? If we "compete" in Aikido to "strive for a higher level of performance and excellence" such that the winner/loser situation is now a winner/winner situation, are we adhering to or moving away from its core tenets?

Just a thought.

Best.
LC

Kevin Leavitt 02-05-2009 09:25 PM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
Larry, I think as with any thing....moderation is the key. If you become so focused on winning and high percentage techniques that it consumes you, then I think you may have issues and have a hard time of "letting go" later on when you start to get old or can no longer compete like you used to.

You know, I have seen aikido folks who profess to not be competitive at all get very obsessive and serious about things in aikido to the point that I feel the lose the perspective of moderation.

True the may not be "competitive" in the since of sports tournaments etc, but they are competitive in a way that is not positive.

Joe McParland 02-05-2009 11:36 PM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
If I roll my dog on his back and hold him by the neck, there is a very primal response that goes well beyond words - presumably even if I could reason with the dog and explain that it is not my intent to dominate with this action.

At a very basic, primal level, in alternating between the roles of uke and nage, we condition *ourselves* not to be swayed with what instinctually appears as competitive threat and not to act dominantly in wanting to destroy a threat.

This balances the practitioner - victory over self.

Outside the dojo, I am now hopefully less likely to be drawn instinctually into conflict. My tendencies to assert my will, to need to be right, and so forth, can be controlled. Moreover, I know that I can brush off ocassionally yielding to get through the day, particularly when cornered in a fight or flight situation.

Once I am not ruled by the instincts, I am free. I can assert or yield as the situation demands to accomplish my own objectives. I can now compete without being swayed by competition - "do without doing."

I'm not at odds with Kevin here; we've hashed out our understanding in past threads. I'm just trying to reason through my own understanding a little more deeply.

Tony Wagstaffe 02-08-2009 07:29 AM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
To compete or not compete, This is the question?
I somehow get the feeling that 'Hu' man is hard wired to compete and would find it very hard not to ....
In some its stronger than in others and the instinct to survive and make the best for one's allotted time is going to happen naturally....
Nothing lasts for ever!! And if science has it right nor will this solar system!!
Religion, medicine, technology, compassion is what allows the not so strong to survive and make their way in the world. In other species that doesn't happen, so only the strongest and fittest do survive........
As the OP implies, the older and less firmer are now increasing as those coming into the world are beginning to decrease...... there is some evidence that sperm count is decreasing in young men now?
So maybe Darwin is essentially right and if we become too self important or complacent and allow defective DNA/Genes to continue maybe our species will die out to replaced by another?
Natural selection hhhmmm?

Alister Gillies 02-09-2009 12:57 PM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
Stefan paints an accurate picture of the Aikido world - ‘Divine techniques’ practiced by human beings!

The difficulty here is no different from the dilemma presented at all levels in human society and at all times in our cultural history: how are we to live in harmony with each other?

Is Aikido just another attempt at resolving our all too human condition, yet another sect that claims to resolve all our difficulties? For some it undoubtedly is, and all of the characteristics we commonly associate with cultism are often painfully evident. But we should not despair at this.

This is the human condition: the conflict ridden, the narcissitic, and the confused populate our dojos. The dojo is after all a microcosm of society at large. How can it be different? Aikido does not give you a free pass, and does not, if you are awake, locate you on some exalted level of consciousness. We should not be surprised by what we find in the dojo, but we should be careful about what we bring to it and what we take away.

In Aikido the subjective and the objective collide - often with illuminating results. Techniques, regardless of stylistic considerations, function like koans (public cases). Kata (objective)is designed to elicit understanding (subjective). Attributing absolute status to our undersatnding gives rise to rigidity and fosters egotism.

How we recognise this, break the cycle, and move on is a matter of practice. If your practice is unreflective, dogmatic and the ‘only’, ‘true’ way, then your practice will reinforce this attitude.

You are what you practice. Whatever is in your heart/mind will have an objective manifestation. If competition is at the heart of your practice, then you must be prepared to accept the consequences and experience what Shakespeare describes as “nature preying upon itself”.

Aikido offers us the opportunity of living in harmony with each other; contesting with disharmony seems counter productive. What are we to do?

The founder of Aikido often said “I look behind me and I don’t see anyone practicing Ueshiba’s Aikido”. Perhaps we should ask ourselves: what am I practicing?

Stefan Stenudd 02-10-2009 04:54 AM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
Quote:

Alister Gillies wrote: (Post 224729)
You are what you practice.

Eureka! That's the botttom line.
Aristotle insisted that character is shown by action. According to Montesquieu, we are what we eat, Vonnegut said that we are what we pretend to be, so in aikido we are what we practice.

ikkitosennomusha 06-22-2009 04:39 PM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
Sure, we let the inferior have equal rights in many facets of society but I disagree that the Darwin's theory is less prevalent today. It can be seen everywhere you go; the academic student trying to make better grades, the grocery store clerk trying to get promotion over someone else, etc. This is the attitude that drives society-"self comes first".

I don't like this kind of competitive nature and it is truly refreshing to selfless acts of kindness. Aikido teaches to compete with one's self, not against a fellow human. Through aikido, we can change aspects of Darwinism by helping the less fortunate while maintaining "the self".

Kevin Leavitt 06-22-2009 05:08 PM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
Competition is fine as long as the rules are fair and clear and everyone has a reasonable chance of success. It is when folks start breaking the rules or taking advantage of others, lie, cheat, stealing...when we get into problems with competition.

JO 06-22-2009 08:11 PM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
You can't "change aspects of Darwinism". Darwin's theory, in a an updated and much more thorough form, is at the heart of nearly all biology. But Darwin's theories have very little to do with social Darwinism, this idea that only the strong should survive and that head to head competition is at the heart of survival.

Evolutionary theory can and does allow for, and in fact can explain, much about how and why cooperative and other social or "selfless" behaviours come about. Humans are social creatures and cooperation of various types is just as central to our biological meakeup as is competittive behavior. We often want to place our selflessness as some kind of proof that we are better than our "base instincts", yet the universal placement of selfless behaviour as a virtue in just about all human cultures tends to indicate that this is one of our base instincts. Thus is not so surprising as we have been social for a lot longer than we have been human (the fact that all our closest primate relatives are social shows that this trait goes back very far to, at the very minimum, an early primate ancestor from which all monkeys and apes are decended. For the uneducated, we are apes, chimps are more closely related to us than they are to gorillas, for example.

So, what of aikido? Competition is a fact of life, but so is the need for a human to get along with others and to find ways to connect to those others. I have nothing against the competitive martial arts, and if one trains with fighting or combat in mind, competitive training is probably beneficial. But competition would be counter-productive to my aikido training and the absence of competition in the training is an important reason I train in aikido rather than something else. Maintaining the martial aspect of the art while simultaneously building a connection with the other and avoiding becoming aggressive is what I am aiming for. Competition, or any kind of fighting (whether, fair, good natured or not) would get in the way of that.

While I have never trained in a competitive martial art, I have competed in many sports. The competitive mindset is very different from that which I am trying to develop through aikido.

Kevin Leavitt 06-22-2009 11:07 PM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
Jonathan, I certainly respect your choices and outlook so please don't take this the wrong way.

I have NOT found competition to cause aggressiveness quite frankly I have found it to actually temper it and help me and those I train with manage it.

I have found many a student walk in the door of our BJJ school and be VERY aggressive trying to use both physical and emotional strength, power, and determination and avoid the listening to the situation, feeling it, and tempering it appropriately.

Those that remain with our "competitve" model find most honestly that they will not be successful in the long run unless they learn how to slow down and apply the right amount of agressiveness.

That is just for pure randori.

The other aspect is the day to day dojo training or "budo" environment. You also find that in order to improve and grow that you have to achieve interdependence on your fellow classmates. That you train hard, sweat together, and must take care of each other.

There is no difference really from competitive schools and non-competitive. If there is, I would actually say the competitive model has forced me to form deeper bonds of "brotherhood" with my "competittve brethren because we train in a much more intimate and honest way to accomplish our goals.

Again, I do not mean to be critical of you and your experiences and choices.

I do think though in many ways that my dojo mates in BJJ are more authentic or honest in many respects than many of the folks I have experienced in Aikido dojos. I think it is very easy to hide behind "protective" devices in the "non-competitive" model and adopt a "false presence" of "interdependence".

Not saying that it is true in all aspect and all dojos, but I also don't subscribe based on my experiences in both "non-competitve" dojos and "competitive" ones that "the competive mindset is different in the way you describe".

Of course, your mileage my vary, depending on your experiences etc...and I do totally respect that!

JO 06-23-2009 06:47 AM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
Kevin, don't worry about hurting my feelings. I'm a freethinker that doesn't consider this type of exchange worth having unless my beliefs are being challenged at least a little.

At any rate, nothing you wrote really surprised me. I have had some of my more interesting training periods doing jiyu waza with people who had some judo background. Managing techniques with someone that is that hard to throw without "fighting" with them is a great mental, as well as physical, challenge.

It's not that I think that training competitively creates bad people. But I do think it creates a dualistic mindset that I am trying to avoid. Also, the right level of aggressiveness I am aiming for is zero (haven't really achieved that yet, but have had little glimpses and I would say my sensei is one of the more relaxed unaggressive people I know). On a separate note, I definitely think that it is completely at odds with what aikido is about. I agree with the idea that aikido is not about fighting and that it is about not fighting. I therefore find it difficult to imagine how you can do aikido while sportfighting.

Personnally I think that the biggest "problem" with the absence of competition in aikido is not so much the "illusions" or lack of authenticity this can allow. It is more that it allows people to be lazy in their training.

BTW, the competitve arts and sports have to work on their PR if they want to convince me. I see the macho nonsense that accompanies all broadcasted sportfighting and the tears and crushing dissapointment of those that are merely second best in the world at their activity and I see things I want to stay clear of alltogether. (Note that I have experienced, observed and heard of a lot of bad behavior in the world of non competitive aikido, so you don't really need to remind me of it).

jonreading 06-23-2009 11:56 AM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
1. Competition is part of all things. The will to live is a competitive drive. I once heard a shihan say, "Life is [a] competition; we don't want to die." Everyday we do things that directly compete with others. We cut someone off in traffic on the way to work. We finish a report and give it to the boss first [in hopes] to recieve a reward (raise). We put our kids in the best school we can so they learn in a better environment that other children. When those children drive, we put them in the safest vehicle we can find so they might survive an accident. We watch sports teams compete for recognition, we listen to politicians compete for our vote, we read magazines which compare products against eachother. We live for competition.

2. Competition is a natural barometer for assessing your [relative] ability to succeed. When we compete against others, we naturally develop a hierachy within that competitive pool which predominates our actions. For example, if I play baseball better than 9 other kids in a pick-up ballgame, what kinds of predominating circumstances will arise? A. Those nine kids will prefer to play on the same team on which I play. B. Those kids will likely let me play the position of my choosing and bat in the order of my choosing. I will also likely play a greater part of the ball game.
These are just some of the likely circumstances under which my skill level affects a baseball game. Just imagine what kind of knowledge you can gain from correctly assessing your skill against others in aikido... or life. I believe healthy competition tells us things which we may use to better act in a situation.

3. We [aikido people] tend to perceive competition as a negative concept and we strive to remove competition from everything in aikido. But then we compete in life. How can I live aikido if on one hand I try to remove competition from aikido whilest keeping competition in my life? I believe that competition is neither positive nor negative; we choose that perception. I seek to use knowledge I gain from competition to make better and more informed decisions in my life. I compete in aikido to test my knowledge and my skills and improve my aikido, I compete in life to test and improve my ability to protect myself and my family and give my family the best chance to live healthy, happy, and successful lives.

Kevin Leavitt 06-23-2009 02:06 PM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
Jonathan wrote:

Quote:

Personnally I think that the biggest "problem" with the absence of competition in aikido is not so much the "illusions" or lack of authenticity this can allow. It is more that it allows people to be lazy in their training.
Agreed. From my paradigm competition holds us accountable and does not allow folks to be lazy and therefore you acheive a certain degree of authenticity. of course, you also have to be cognizant that there are those that will focus solely on competition and neglect other areas as well. however, I think that is more about the dynamic and leadership of the dojo and less than the precieved evils of a competitive model.

It can go both ways if you ask me.

Quote:

BTW, the competitve arts and sports have to work on their PR if they want to convince me. I see the macho nonsense that accompanies all broadcasted sportfighting and the tears and crushing dissapointment of those that are merely second best in the world at their activity and I see things I want to stay clear of alltogether. (Note that I have experienced, observed and heard of a lot of bad behavior in the world of non competitive aikido, so you don't really need to remind me of it).
I think there is a broad spectrum when we look at the definition of competitive. On one end you have MMA schools and folks that are solely about being the best they can be in the MMA ring and strive to work with this end in mind. A competitive venture for sure. Also one I don't subscribe or personally identify with as, I agree, it does not fit my goals for long term, personal development...much like you.

On the other side you have arts like BJJ and Judo. they have a mix of folks and focus, but for the most part they take a more long term, holisitic approach to training and focus. We base our training on competitive models, AND the dojo dynamic and leadership will vary...as it does in ANY dojo competitive or not.

However, for the most part, you will find these dojos tend to force a fair amount of authenticity, mutual respect, support, and honesty through hard and accountable training models that are less nebulous than others. Competitive? yes and no.

Finally, I think Jon Reading sums it up fairly well above.

Ron Tisdale 06-23-2009 02:20 PM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
http://www.aikiweb.com/columns/ssten...darwin_ape.jpg

That's not MY culture and herritage...

From a rather good movie...I forget the name just now...

Best,
Ron ;)

Stefan Stenudd 06-23-2009 03:21 PM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
Quote:

Ron Tisdale wrote: (Post 233399)

Ron, the discussion has grown, in every meaning of the word, so you may have missed that the illustration of Darwin as half-ape was what I used for my column above. It's from his days. There were many such caricatures published in the newspapers to mock his theory.
The press was just as cruel back then as it is now.

As for the long discussion, I read it with delight and can only say: I agree with you all :)
I have the impression that we are discussing the two sides of the same coin. I might be wrong.

JO 06-23-2009 08:04 PM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
Quote:

Jon Reading wrote: (Post 233384)
1. Just imagine what kind of knowledge you can gain from correctly assessing your skill against others in aikido... or life. I believe healthy competition tells us things which we may use to better act in a situation.

3. We [aikido people] tend to perceive competition as a negative concept and we strive to remove competition from everything in aikido. But then we compete in life. How can I live aikido if on one hand I try to remove competition from aikido whilest keeping competition in my life? I believe that competition is neither positive nor negative; we choose that perception. I seek to use knowledge I gain from competition to make better and more informed decisions in my life. I compete in aikido to test my knowledge and my skills and improve my aikido, I compete in life to test and improve my ability to protect myself and my family and give my family the best chance to live healthy, happy, and successful lives.

I don't have much to comment about the first part of your post, but I have some questions about the above section.

And how do you incorporate competition into aikido? You say you compete in aikido, but from checking out the dojo you have listed in you profile I see that it is and Aikikai (ASU) dojo. I guess I had been expecting a Shodokan dojo or the like. What does it mean for you to compete in aikido?

I think one can "test" one's aikido without competing or completely letting go of the type of interaction aikido is about. That sense of creating a connection with the other. I personnally am a fan of increasing the focus and intensity of attacks, doing more jiyu waza and working with less cooperative and less predictable ukes. But I try to stay away from turning it into a competition, where, by definition, there is something to win and something to lose. Not because this will eliminate competition from my existence, but because I feel it will help me train myself in such a way as to make me more at peace with everyone and everything around me.

ikkitosennomusha 06-24-2009 01:44 AM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
I agree, you can't change Darwin's theory in evolution. One of my degrees is a masters in biology and I can't believe I worded it that way so, let me rephrase my point. You CAN change how Darwin's theory is observed and whether the theory is a socially implemented ideal in your lifestyle.

Remember, martial ways without realizing the mind is nothing but beastly behavior. Therefore the strong will survive. Realizing the mind will allow decision making with compassion regarded, therefore all humans can benefit through sensible solutions.....if possible :)

gdandscompserv 06-24-2009 02:06 AM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
Competition requires a referee. Without a referee things usually get out of hand.

dps 06-24-2009 07:20 AM

Re: The Challenge of Not Competing
 
What about competition as a way of being accepted socially? In Kevin's example,

Quote:

Kevin Leavitt wrote: (Post 233347)
I have found many a student walk in the door of our BJJ school and be VERY aggressive trying to use both physical and emotional strength, power, and determination and avoid the listening to the situation, feeling it, and tempering it appropriately.

The new aggressive student wanting to be a part of the group sees the outer form of BJJ tries to match or exceed that through competing hoping for acceptance as part of the group.

David


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