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!