Timothy Walters Kleinert
I don't completely disagree with you, but you're comparing apples and oranges here. Keiko is training, and a sports match is competition. Training vs competition has different purposes.
If you look at sports training, rather than competition, you will see similar behavior to Keiko. Athletes will tone down their plays so that the other person/team can practice and get better, and depending on how the specific sport works (like with something like wrestling for example), you will also see individuals purposely take the "losing" side so the other person can practice/experience "winning".
And if you're talking about the "spirituality" of sports, the exact sport in question is a factor. Some sports are much more "team based" then others. Take Football, for example---you have the quarterback and the receivers who get all the glory, but their success is largely dependent on the actions of the linebackers or whoever. Those guys don't exist for their own glory, their role is totally to support the needs of the team. Or take a Nascar racer's mechanics, it's easy to forget that they even exist.
Those types of "team" sports are certainly a minority, but for this type of discussion, I think it's problematic to lump all sports together.
Hi Mark, well, I don't know...the rolling around on the floor only happens when someone doesn't want to do the role playing...in other words, the hierarchy in aikido often simply masks the competitive natures of the people involved. If people simply allow the rank of the parties to settle the dispute, there is no rolling around. BUT if one of the parties elects not to play by that rule...all hell breaks loose.
Point being, the competitiveness is still there...it's just being masked.
No matter how you look at the training, whether from beginning to end, sports has one end goal -- winning or losing. You'd rather not be the latter.
No matter how you look at the training, whether from beginning to end, the military has one end goal -- safety of the nation, even at the cost of your life.
No matter how you look at the training, whether from beginning to end, martial arts has one end goal -- how to live your life.
Throughout training in sports, that end goal of winning is always present. Training encompasses that aspect always and in all ways. Competition is the underlying bedrock of sports.
Throughout training in the military, that end goal of winning is always present. Training encompasses that aspect by drilling to follow orders without hesitation and without fail, even to the cost of your life.
Throughout training in the martial arts, that end goal of how to live your life is there in overcoming the competitive nature, to be budo strong and not live in fear, to get to a point where fighting isn't a fantasy/dream, etc, etc.
All three are very different and I find that a good martial arts school encompasses much higher ideals than the other two. And while incidents do happen because of competitive natures, the martial arts are about coming to terms with that nature.
All sports are competitive. You are that nature no matter whether you play singularly or within a team. That underlying spirit of competitive nature is oppositional to the spirit of good martial arts. Or do you think that those quality martial arts (Like Ueshiba's Aikido) didn't want competition for some personal dislike? Just didn't want to be showy? Didn't understand the nature of true sports or sportsmanship?