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-   -   Tomiki Aikido and competition. (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=619)

jfearon 03-05-2001 09:53 AM

I know very little about Tomiki Aikido since I am a member of the British Aikido Federation. I do know however that Tomiki Aikido has some elements of competition in it.
Does anybody think competition is going against all that Aikido is? Would O Sensei approve of it if he were still about today? All though O Sensei did say that Aikido should evolve, is it right to evolve it into competition. Aikido is a true Budo martial art, and should not involve competition. Competition brings out peoples egos, and selfishness. Is this what we want to see in Aikido.

TheProdigy 03-05-2001 10:25 AM

Hey, personally I dont really know tomiki aikido that much, but the competition factor isn't necessarily bad. In competition, people tend to make sure their skills are well polished, and they get to experience a true attack by a skilled opponent. In this light, competition can bring out the best self defense a person provide for themselves (not that I personally would join that style... I'm in it for the spiritual aspect myself). As for the egos and selfishness, that's a person's choice... Regardless of what your doing, you don't have to become egotistical or selfish. What you believe will decide whether or not you embrace these traits.

Also, by having competitions, I'm sure it gets some people involved into aikido who wouldn't otherwise consider it. As a result, this person will become exposed to the traditions and ideas within the art and may embrace these ideas losing some bad ones...

Just some thoughts on it though...

-Jase

Nick 03-05-2001 01:58 PM

man, this subject comes up a lot--

my stance about Tomiki is that we'll all just have to agree to disagree. Personally, I feel that my own self is enough to compete with, so I don't need anyone else to fight with, but I can see valuable aspects for a good shiai shobu... however, if Aikido was considered for an olympic sport, I would still give a hearty heck no... if it was, I think soon we'd start seeing "Cobra Kai Aikikai" etc... "sport" aikido dojos showing everyone their fancy throws and racks of trophies, and I do think that's against aikido's philosophy...

Nick

sceptoor 03-05-2001 02:13 PM

Well, said Nick, I couldn't agree with you more. ;)

Brian 03-05-2001 03:05 PM

Not again!
 
Being one of the few Tomiki practicioners on this board, I feel obligated to respond, and I shall be very short and concise.

It has been said that "It's not the martial art, it's the martial artist." Just as true is "It's not the competition, it's the competitor."

As to whether or not competition is 'right' in a philisophical sense of some sort is a matter of opinion, and so I will only say this. Competition may hinder your aikido, but it doesn't hinder mine.

mj 03-05-2001 04:20 PM

:rolleyes: Whatever aiki you do... it is a martial art isn't it. Better to start learning to fight _against_ an ego in the club, O-sensei warned against 'tofu' aikido. Of course it's a personal life choice, but that doesn't matter if someone wants to kick the **** out of you, it may (will) happen. Confident is not competent!
(With Davies help!)

Brian 03-05-2001 07:25 PM

What ego?
 
Quote:

mj wrote:
Better to start learning to fight _against_ an ego in the club, O-sensei warned against 'tofu' aikido.

Just to sound exasperatingly picky, we shouldn't actually "fight" the ego, we should blend with it and then use it's haughtiness against it in order to quell it without doing ourselves too much mental harm, since O-sensei made aikido an art of peace/love/harmony/etc.
We, in this instance, could be considered uke, since we're blending with the metaphorical attack that our ego does to our character, and we don't want to hurt uke/ourselves, and....

Sorry, just brushing up on my 'Annoying Randori.' Anywho, I'm very aware that an ego shouldn't be cultivated, I just wasn't aware there was an ego to fight against. You'll note that I said "It's not the competition, it's the competitor," after referring to the common "It's not the martial art, it's the martial artist." Everything about the latter saying could be applied to the former. You shouldn't learn a martial art so you can bully other people, or feel like an invincible warrior, but so you can (insert philosophical goal of said martial art here). Likewise, in Tomiki aikido, we don't compete so we can beat other people and get nice neat shiny trophies, but so we can test our skills to a certain extent (emphasis on the certain extent), or so we can see what we need to improve, or (get this) maybe even just to have fun. And there are dozens of other motives, good and bad. But, when I say "It's not the competition, it's the competitor," I say that in support of the good ones.

dainippon99 03-05-2001 10:15 PM

I myself am in agreeance with brian. Its the martial artist. We all have personal aikido. There is a man i train with that is very combat oriented. Since that is his mindset, his techniques are very efficient. There is another i train with that is only interested in aikido for aikido. so his techniques is much softer and kind. Not better, not worse. Just different. NOw i have to say that if aikido was a olympic sport i would also give a heck no. I digress. My point is, like brian said, its personal man. Aikido is the most personal thing in the world and you cant let anyone give you aikido. you have to steal, build, and mold your own. some people need competition. some, i would agree, could do without it.

jimvance 03-05-2001 11:37 PM

Competition is Necessary
 
"What is Tomiki Aikido" and "Is competition contrary to the aims of Aikido" are two very large questions to answer, mainly because they are so misunderstood. I practice Aikido in the Jiyushinkai, which is a derivative of Tomiki Aikido, and I believe that more study of Tomiki Sensei and what he intended would be good for the Aikido community at large. I am not going to go into that, there are a lot of other better resources than me. I want to express my opinion and bring to light something my teacher told me not too long ago.
Competition is necessary. It is a fundamental of human interaction. Most of us equate competition with winning Olympic medals, in other words, sports applications. The sports mentality is slowly killing Kodokan judo and other martial arts that are "sportified". This is understood. But this is not necessarily competition. This is only promoting the value of winning at any cost while keeping the crowds entertained, i.e. sports. Should Aikido become a sport? Never. Should Aikido be competitive? Yes, understanding the definition of competition. My Merriam Websters shows that the word "compete" comes from the Latin and means "to seek together", with the implied meaning that I couldn't find what I am looking for without you helping me go to it.
Under the greater blanket of cooperative learning and growing together, competition at the right stages of development and in the right dosages have been key to some of the personal breakthroughs I have had on the mat. It pushes me into territory that is dark and scary and stretches my understanding beyond the merely academic. I can do aikido really well at home lying on the couch, in my head. This becomes a totally different story bowing in with a sempai during randori. Competition is a feedback tool that we use along our path to examine and realize our true nature, and I feel that without it, Aikido will eventually devolve into empty repetition of form without any true understanding.
A lot of people read what O-Sensei said but forget who he was as a person. He was intensely competitive in some respects. I really think that what O-Sensei meant was that to really use the principle of Aiki, the person using it never competes. They always cooperate (look that one up), and somehow use the attacker against himself. After the Second World War, he could not go back to teaching the same style of Aikido he did while Occupational Troops were watching all aspects of Japanese budo and bujutsu for signs of "military" behavior. Maybe I'm wrong. But how can uke attack you and mean it if he doesn't compete?

Hope this doesn't upset too many people.

Jim Vance

Warriors Code 03-06-2001 12:12 AM

Hello fellow aikidoka,I have been studying Tomiki style Aikido for the past 8years and have attained the rank of 2nd Dan. I would like to explain a few things about this style,in Tomiki Aikido we have 17 basic kata that can be developed into hundreds of different techniques depending on the attack the techniques just "happen" after alot of practice your mind just responds to the stimulus before you.The reason for this is that we practice alot against a resisting partner and it stands to reason that if you can do techniques against some one that is resisting and knows what you know that it will be alot easier to throw some one in the street.We also do very commited attacks meaning if you don't move then you get hit and it only takes one time to catch one in the gut to learn the true meaning of tenkan. We also do alot of multiple attack drills which further develope your sense of awareness. Tanto randori is practiced to give you a deeper understanding of the techniques not just for sport purposes. In my dojo i also teach my students defenses against all kinds of knife attacks,but the first thing i tell them is that if you face an attacker with a knife then more than likely you will get cut. I tell them if you can get away then run don't be a hero, but if your back is against the wall then do what you have to do.Having used my skills in self defense i can attest to Tomiki Aikidos effectiveness. But the main thing about any martial art is beleiving in it and your self. Because with out belief in your self you cannot accomplish anything. In boxing they call it having heart and thats a true fact,a man with out heart is a lost man. I would like to say to every one that if you are ever involved in an altercation with some one "Do what you have to do but go no further" once the threat has been minimized then go call the cops or what ever but dont stand around doing more damage to the person. The reason i say this is that i was attacked by two guys i separated one guys shoulder and threw the other with Hiki-Taioshi and the guy with the separated shoulder tried to file a suit againt me but it was thrown out because other people testified that they saw them jump me. So keep that in mind,i am not bragging here or anything as i felt rather bad for the guy,but then i realized that i could have been the one going to the hospital so better him than me in this case. I realize that some people here may frown on this but before you pass judgement put your self in that position.

Sam 03-06-2001 04:57 AM

Although this topic has been done to death, I think that any competition topic is going to attract us Tomiki practitioners.

Why do I like competition?

Life is competetive and always has been. It will always be part of everyday life - at work, in sport, even driving a car. I train to improve my life therefore I must train to understand the nature of competition.
I want my aikido to be effective. I want to be sure it will work - I don't want to be afraid of people and I don't want to doubt myself. Therefore I must test my aikido and develop the areas where it is lacking.

I want my kata to be technically correct. It is years until my next grading so by doing competetive embu I have an incentive to polish and work on my kata.

I want to be athletic and I want to work toward a goal. I want to have pressure put upon me so that I learn to perform under pressure.

I want to lose. If I lose I have been taught something. If I lose to a particular technique - I learn that technique. I learn little by winning.

Real life is serious. I cannot play at life - I want to learn to play again. In randori I find the spirit of play - to strive for a goal only in a positive and open way.

You will notice the use of tense. These are my thoughts and my goals. Everyone is different, and this is what I desire from my training.
I write only to express how competition for me is right.
A lot of traditional aikidoka are fond of saying 'I have enough problems competing against myself' - If I have expressed myself properly you will notice that this is what I am doing.....

Jim23 03-06-2001 09:31 PM

Competition in aikido? Hmmmm. I was told that it was a no no, yet some do it and agree with it.

Do whatever works for you. Personally, I see nothing wrong with it, if that's what you want. BTW, Tomiki isn't really competition - but it's close.

Jim23

darin 03-06-2001 09:57 PM

Quote:

jfearon wrote:
I know very little about Tomiki Aikido since I am a member of the British Aikido Federation. I do know however that Tomiki Aikido has some elements of competition in it.
Does anybody think competition is going against all that Aikido is? Would O Sensei approve of it if he were still about today? All though O Sensei did say that Aikido should evolve, is it right to evolve it into competition. Aikido is a true Budo martial art, and should not involve competition. Competition brings out peoples egos, and selfishness. Is this what we want to see in Aikido.

There is nothing wrong with competition. Its a great way for people to test their techniques.

Ego, capitalism and greed is what society is based on. You can't escape it. Everyone wants to be better than the next guy. Nobody wants to be last.

People will be egotistical no matter what they are doing. I have met many aikido instructors who have very big egos basically because they hide behind easy techniques and ukes with good ukemi. Its very easy to get over confident.

Generally people who do competition have more respect for other practitioners. Their ego is just their way of encouraging themselves and psyching out the competition.

Personally I think aikido should have more competition. Its done good things for almost all martial arts.


paul spawforth 03-10-2001 09:07 AM

I study Tomiki Aikido and have only been to one competition but i thought it was great!!! competition in aikido differs from competition in all other martial arts... there are no big egos, there is no "i'm gonna smash him into the mat" it is more of a "come and test your skill" competition rather than a "come and beat everyone up competition" it is lighthearted and friendly and not taken to seriously, everyone has fun and usually learns something from what is generally a good day!

Jim23 03-10-2001 10:37 AM

Re: Competition is Necessary
 
Quote:

jimvance wrote:

A lot of people read what O-Sensei said but forget who he was as a person. He was intensely competitive in some respects. I really think that what O-Sensei meant was that to really use the principle of Aiki, the person using it never competes. They always cooperate (look that one up), and somehow use the attacker against himself. After the Second World War, he could not go back to teaching the same style of Aikido he did while Occupational Troops were watching all aspects of Japanese budo and bujutsu for signs of "military" behavior.

Jim Vance

Jim,

You're starting to make too much sense to me.

Regarding O'Sensi, is that really the reason that he eliminated competition (besides his conversion)?

Are you guys (Tomiki aikidoka) disliked by other styles? This seems to be one of the few threads whehe you aren't "attacked" for saying that you agree with randori.

Jim23

Brian 03-10-2001 02:08 PM

Re: Re: Competition is Necessary
 
Quote:

Jim23 wrote:
Are you guys (Tomiki aikidoka) disliked by other styles?
Jim23 [/b]
I have yet to actually meet someone, in person, who practices a style other than Tomiki (I live in a town with approx. 20,000 occupants, surrounded by others of about the same size). However, here on aikiweb, on e-budo, and from the aikido journal forums, from the remarks I have read from other stylists regarding this issue, I would have to say that they fit one of three categories.

In the first, they don't care that we compete. Whether they think "To each his own," or "Whatever floats your boat," or that our style is just as valid as theirs, they let us do our thing while they do theirs.

In the second category, competition is looked down upon, and the other stylist dislikes the fact that other people of this art compete, but believe that this is in no way mars our character or our skill as a martial artist. The fact that we compete is not accepted, but grudgingly tolerated, since we practice aikido too.

In the third and final category, we are almost viewed as heretics, or just plain stupid. These individuals are either very hard core traditionalists, see O'Sensei's word as law, or view aikido as a quasi-religion, and the founder it's prophet. They rationalize, simply, that since the founder said there shouldn't be any competition, that there shouldn't be any competion, period. End of story. Anyone doing differently is in the wrong.

To summarize, I would have to say that some people dislike the fact that we compete to different degrees, while others simply don't care.

But, hey. To each his own. The fact that they disagree with me isn't hindering my ability to train, and since this is a matter of opinion, theirs is just as valid as mine.

Jim23 03-11-2001 10:24 AM

I've always felt that (at least a little) "sparring" was a good thing for all (Sincere) martial artists.

I've read a lot about Tenji Tomiki, his background, etc, however, I haven't seen any Tomiki-style sparring - I read somewhere that it isn't really "true" sparring. Is there a web site where I can see what it's like?

Just curious to see which techniques are included/excluded and what it generally looks like.

BTW, at the risk of offending (more) people here, I have to say that you guys seem WAY more tolerant and less defensive than the majority here. Makes you think about the "competing with myself only is better" approach.

Jim23

Erik 03-11-2001 12:22 PM

Quote:

Jim23 wrote:
BTW, at the risk of offending (more) people here, I have to say that you guys seem WAY more tolerant and less defensive than the majority here. Makes you think about the "competing with myself only is better" approach.

Jim23
I had a conversation with someone recently who argued for bringing competition into aikido. His idea was that it would allow a clearer line of practice. In other words, we could turn the competition off, instead of just competing behind the scenes. I thought it was an interesting idea, this is competition and this isn't competiton. Sure would clean some things up.

Brian 03-11-2001 01:56 PM

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find any site with video of randori, but I can explain a tad in-depth.

Quote:

Jim23 wrote:
I read somewhere that it isn't really "true" sparring. Is there a web site where I can see what it's like?
Just curious to see which techniques are included/excluded and what it generally looks like.
Jim23

You're absolutely right. I haven't heard of any forms besides tanto-randori, and saw a tiny bit at a seminar once. Basically, one participant gets a tanto, the other doesn't. The "uke" tries to stab "nage," scoring points for each hit. However, the attack must directly stab the torso- no slashing, and glancing blows are disregarded. "Nage," meanwhile, attempts to perform techniques while trying not to get stabbed, and is awarded points for breaking balance, and more for an actual throw. However, techniques that have a very high potential for causing injury are not allowed. After three minutes, uke and nage switch off, and whoever has more points wins.

There are too many limitations for tanto-randori to be considered "true" sparring. As my sensei told me, "Tanto randori is a game; it has rules."


dainippon99 03-11-2001 03:41 PM


tanto randori is not combat. its not meant to prepare you for a knife fight. its purpose is to hone your reactions, reflexes, and technique, and taisabaki.
so if you mean fighting by "true sparring", then you are correct.

dainippon99 03-11-2001 03:44 PM

for seeing the techniques, go to the JAA/USA website and look under animated techniques. These techniques are the junanahon no kata and are the only 17 allowed in competition. the site was not allowing me to get on to it, but it might work for others.

Jim23 03-11-2001 06:47 PM

Quote:

dainippon99 wrote:
for seeing the techniques, go to the JAA/USA website and look under animated techniques. These techniques are the junanahon no kata and are the only 17 allowed in competition. the site was not allowing me to get on to it, but it might work for others.
Do you have a web site address for the JAA/USA?

Jim23

dainippon99 03-11-2001 10:03 PM

http://www.tomiki.org/tomiki/

that should work, my friend.

Sam 03-12-2001 06:10 AM

Quote:

Jim23 wrote:
I've always felt that (at least a little) "sparring" was a good thing for all (Sincere) martial artists.

I've read a lot about Tenji Tomiki, his background, etc, however, I haven't seen any Tomiki-style sparring - I read somewhere that it isn't really "true" sparring. Is there a web site where I can see what it's like?

Just curious to see which techniques are included/excluded and what it generally looks like.


Jim23


Jim23 - I can supply you with short videos on several aspects of tomiki aikido - inc. randori-no-kata and tanto randori in mpeg format. Mail me - I don't know your address.....

Jappzz 03-12-2001 07:00 AM

Hi!

BuDO as opposed to jutsu or bugei arts is called budo for it's spiritual content. The essence of budo is that the initial attacker should always be defeated. Budo was NOT created so that macho bullies could try their ego's against eachother. I detest this americanized tomiki bull and i can only hope that some day people will stop defining budo as something anywhere near a sport. I have full respect though for people doing bugei arts as a part of the japanese cultural heritage but then they don't define their arts as budo either.
Feel free to shower me whith blunt comments if you like, but my oppinion stays where it is. Life is no contest.

Jasper



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