James Wilson wrote:
Excellent posts guys,
Thanks very much for your opinions, all of which are very interesting.
Dominic, if I may take issue with your post, you wrote;
In my eyes, competition is not fighting.
A street fight has no rules, no limits noting.
A competition has all of these. There and time limits, move limits, certain things can and can not be done etc. If you train to compete you are not training to fight.
This to me is the difference between sport and budo.
Boxing is a sport
Aikido is budo (except the style you practice, which i consider a sport
Aikido also has rules. Go into your dojo and thump the nearest person in the head and see what happens - youll get kicked out. Bite tori when hes trying to move you in kote gaeshi and youll quickly be thrown out of any dojo in the world. How then does an aikido dojo better represent Budo (having no rules) than any of the sports previously mentioned?
And although there are differences between a competition fight and a street fight, who amongst us wouldnt put our money on a champion boxer or Mixed Martial Artist against a street fighter?
Putting the issue of which is best (boxing, aikido etc) aside as that is another discussion completely.
What you are discussing is training. Training has to be done under strict control so people do not get hurt.
Competition is different.
Gozo Shioda puts it best when he answers why aikido does not have competition in his biography Aikido Shugyo:
"Aikido must not make the same mistake as Judo which, although it has achieved growth as a sport, places too much emphasis solely on competitions. It has abandoned effective techniques that could actually be used in a real fight and has become ineffective today as a martial art."
This is only a short extract (and i highly reccomend reading the rest) but the long and short of it is that even though competition can be hotly contested it can never compare to real combat which budo tries to train you for. Rather than training to be good at competition.
Although i can not personally comment because i have not been training long (in Yoshinkan), but i have heard that other forms of aikido and dojos are as far removed from budo as most modern sport. Even dojos in japan.