Re: Budo And Sports, A Rant
Competition and sport has it's place in budo IMO. however, it does tend to eclipse much of the practice. I believe this is really prevalent in Judo and has become prevalent in BJJ now too. You here the older instructors in BJJ lamenting constantly about how the young kids today are only working on strategies for winning fights in BJJ. Because of the lack of constraint and freedom in newaza, you are seeing some wild stuff that simply does not add any value at all as a form of budo.
It is a big reason why my Combatives organization has began to establish a distinction that we are not about BJJ, although we do continue to teach this as a subset and continue to encourage participation in BJJ and Judo tournaments as well as MMA and others. We feel that competition is a good thing and especially good when you can understand how to adapt your training to fit various rules sets. You may not be the best guy at the tournament or win, but if you can survive and do well, then that is a good thing.
I really didn't have any issue with what she wrote. I think she simply has other priorities now and budo is not here calling at this point. Getting close to 50, I agree, I cannot relate to, or hold the interest of 20 year olds. To get them to train with me I used to get them on the mat and roll with them until they realized I was better than them. I can't do this anymore without risking injury so I don't. Plus I am no longer interested in training those that only want to focus on how they can best someone using speed and strength. There are better people out there to train this than I and more power to them. They can deal with the young knuckle heads!
However, I do think it is a life long process and I concur with your thoughts as it relates to understanding combat distance, weapons, timing etc. There is much to learn and to appreciate in budo that keeps this practice relevant as a life long pusuit.
So in that respect, she is missing the mark. Frankly I think she is looking for an excuse not to practice and has found it. No problem there...maybe the problem I have is that she is blaming the external aspects, and she should be honest and say "I don't want to do it any more!" so I suppose I do have issue with it from that perspective!