I think Dan's story illustrates the advantages of not competing with others.
When I first started aikido, I didn't know anything about it. I just assumed that it was like most other martial arts, and that there would be some kind of competition. I didn't care -- I just wanted to learn aikido.
When I found out that there was no competition, it was kind of a new concept for me (although I now know that some styles have competition).
But over the years I've learned the value of not competing -- how it changes our attitude toward others, especially at that critical moment when someone wants to hand you your head on a platter.
It gives you a hidden edge, because you're not like that other guy (and yet you are), and he can't quite figure that out. You're cool when he's hot -- rational amid a swirl of irrationality.
Some people say that the lack of competition weakens us. I say, "it could, if you let it."
Some aikidoists still compete with each other in various ways -- but this approach to training is wrong.
The proper attitude is to simply strive to be better than you were during the last training lesson -- as a student or a teacher. Using this approach, you will always improve and excell.
Last edited by mike lee : 09-28-2002 at 04:44 AM.