I'm new to aikido (not new to the martial arts) and I feel that I have a fairly open mind and am fairly objective - I have absolutely no reason to be otherwise.
I really don't understand why so many people are against Tomiki "sparring". I looked at a few video clips of Tomiki aikido and I don't know what the problem is (no lectures budo and not competing with yourself please). It's not really sparring - it's training. Sure, points are given if your partner gets through to you, but so what?
While reading Matt's thread on "warrior spirit" (excellent topic Matt!) I kept thinking of Tomiki aikido - really testing yourself and your partners, with mutual respect.
I've said many times that I don't agree with "tournaments". This is just testing aikido's effectiveness - the parts that can be tested, that is - which is better than nothing.
My take is that a lot of people are saying that they believe that they wouldn't like competition. That's OK. Where it goes wrong is when they make the leap that it's wrong for everyone or wrong for Aikido (which in this context is the same thign).
I, personally, don' t want to take part in anything where a winner and, de facto, a loser are declared. But that's just me.
I think having options for both people that want competition as part of their Budo and peole that do not is a great
thing, not a bad one.
For example, I am, by nature and situation, a hyper-competitive person. I'm as aggressive and cranky as a hungry grizzly bear with a tooth ache. You've heard of the "type A personality"? I'm a AAA.
I'm trying very, very hard to mellow out. Cooperative training is working for me right now. I might
be able to handle the Tomiki/Jiyushinkai form of competition in the future. Just not now. Trust me, it would be a bad thing.
OTOH, I know a lot of folks that do very well with competitive Budo: Kendo, Judo, Karatedo, etc.
Jim23, I need to understand better what you mean by "sparring". Most dojo that I've visited (10 or so) practice jiyuwaza and randori where the parts of nage and uke are fluid and frequently transpose. But there are no judges, no scoring and no winner or loser; just training. Also it's not "all out". The level of effort into applying the technique and resisting/reversing the technique is scaled to suit one's partner.