Re: Budo And Sports, A Rant
We are fortunate to have really good judo at the dojo. Several of our players are/were ranked, and a few have won significant tournaments in their career. We just concluded a coaching contract with an Olympic medalist. The judo in our dojo is overwhelmingly sport-oriented. Honestly, I think the sport stuff is fine. I think there are athletes who have entered the martial arts world via sport competition who otherwise would not be part of the culture.
Now, if you are criticizing the sport for constraining the art, I think there is value in that claim. I am not sure if that is a problem, as many judoka transition from the sport to the art after their careers wind down. To some extend, my opinion on this tends to be, "do what you can now because in 20 years you cannot." If a talent comes to judo and applies that talent to a sport career, good on her. Someday she will step down for another talent and judo needs to be ready to help her learn the rest of the art she held off for a career.
After all, isn't this the same process for American professional athletics? Don't we give a buy to professional athletes who bypass the education process to pursue a career, arguing that they can always go back to school after God takes away what was given?