Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Competition can also be a healthy way to benchmark ourselves and our development .... I do competitions in BJJ and submission fighting. It motivates me, I have developed some very good friendships, it has shown where I have grown and where I have weaknesses. I do not care too much about winning or losing, only doing.
Yes, that is the goal with sparring, not to care about "winning" or "losing," and you can be trying to "win" even in a class situation when you think you're not doing it. I learned this the hard way. That's why I say your ego and your pride can be working on you even when you think they're not. And I would be lying if I said I was there yet, although I understand that's where I want to be.
Personally, I started doing Jun Fan/JKD back in May, so of course, there's more sparring involved. My current goal now is just to learn not to hate it. (Yes, back in the day in karate, I was a punching bag with legs; how did you guess?) Consequently, I'm not worried that the Aikido dojo I go to is into cooperative practice as I already get the sparring elsewhere. Sifu Dan Inosanto is famous for saying every martial art has something to offer, so an art with no sparring has benefits, even if it's not the same as a system that does.
Besides, if everything was the same, what fun would that be? Wouldn't that be be boring? I think so. Vive la difference!