Thread: "Competition"
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:25 PM   #44
patrick de block
Dojo: Shikado - Kapellen
Location: Belgium
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 30
Re: "Competition"

To derail this thread a bit further; I always use the example of Tohei and the American whenever someone tells me that there is (should be) no competition in Aikido. And that's what Aikido looks like unless you have very cooperative uke's or someone with superior skill. And Shirata also comes to mind, whenever they needed someone, in those days, to clean out someone who doubted aikido, he was called upon and Ueshiba approved of this, to say the least. And Ueshiba himself, he became famous for what? For saying whenever he was challenged: 'No, I don't do competition, only a fight to live or die'.

Of course I am using 'competition' in a broader sense than the one limited to actual matches with rules and judges. Competition in Tomiki Aikido are those very visible events which are what everyone talks about. But those competitions are only the visible part of a methodology, a methodology that consists of a three step program to develop skill: kakari geiko, hikitate geiko and randori. (Anyone who recognizes a similar system in Shinkage Ryu?) A step by step program with at one end two people going at full speed with all the conviction the can muster. Tomiki believed that a there was a dual road to proficiency, kata and free style. They should be in balance as both ways should influence (inform and penetrate) each other. It's not just about doing beautifully choreographed movements or just fighting. Putting the eyes back in the dragon, he called it.
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