Cross-posted to http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...=&threadid=998
Whether you prefer to put your aikido to the test with other practitioners of aikido, or want to compete with other martial artists is individual choice, but as to whether Osensei really did feel a certain way about competition seems pretty clear, as well as his reasoning, in the book Aikido
(Kisshomaru Ueshiba, 1958, under the direction of Morihei Ueshiba), translated by Kaz Tanahashi quotes Osensei in the back of the book under the chapter heading "Memoirs of the Master":
We ceaselessly pray that fights should not occur. For this reason we strictly prohibit matches in Aikido.
That seems pretty clear, says he doesn't want "matches in Aikido" which I would call competition, and gives a reason, but if you want to go straight to the horse's mouth, contact Tanahashi Sensei in Berkeley. I'm sure he would, as the scholar he is, be able to tell you exactly what wording Osensei used in Japanese.
Also among the memoirs, same book, Then how can you straighten your warped mind, purify your heart, and be harmonized with the activities of all things in Nature? You should first make God's heart yours. It is a Great Love. Omnipresent in all quarters and in all times of the universe. "There is no discord in love. There is no enemy in love." A mind of discord, thinking of the existence of an enemy is no more consistent with the will of God.
Those who do not agree with this cannot be in harmony with the universe. Their budo is that of destruction. It is not constructive budo.
Therefore, to compete in techniques, winning and losing, is not true budo. True budo knows no defeat. "Never defeated" means "never fighting."
Second reason, from my interpretation. I doubt that he means you shouldn't compete because you might lose. My take is, in context with everything else he says in his memoir, is that in an aikido interaction should never end with anyone defeated.
Other than that I take from it that M. Ueshiba felt those interested in competing are not interested in what he called "true budo
." Think about it. What does competition do besides make winners and losers out of practitioners? Does winning a bout make the world one family? Does winning do anything except inflate egos?
In the same memoirs: A mind to serve for the peace of all human beings in the world is needed in Aikido, and not the mind of one who wishes to be strong and fell an opponent.
" So, if you trust the creator of the art you study.... why would you compete? I'm not asking you - Just offering a question to ask yourself...