|Chris P. wrote:
If your partner really tries to hit you, and they succeed, you are most certainly a loser in that exchange; you lose your health. They want to hurt you, you don't want them to hurt you: this is the competition. To claim otherwise is a useless piece of sophistry. You should not try to claim the moral high ground of martial arts, you are throwing stones from a glass house.
My stand on competition in aikido is that it is counter-intuitive. I don't seek to win in my aikido, I seek to harmonize and resolve a situation. So if I am asked to show my skills against an opponent, I can show aikido. If I am asked to show them against an opponent who is honestly trying to hit me and take me down, fine, I can show aikido. If I am in either of these situations and I am being given points based on my performance, I'm no longer showing aikido. I'm showing how well I can play the tournament game.
Chris, I am not saying that competition is not competitive. I am saying that in competition, *competition* (or "winning") becomes the highlight (or at least, it *can*). Not aikido.
Now, if I understand you correctly, your are saying that even in standard training with a committed uke, there is a "winner" and a "loser" since the uke either connects or is foiled by the nage. And since there is a winner and a loser anyway, it is a competition of sorts. Am I restating your point correctly? If so, let me say that if these things are present in my normal training (both the positive benefits of training with a committed partner and the negatives of having a winner and a loser), then what do I gain through competition. Why risk letting the competition become the focus rather than the training or the aikido?
In fact, someone could even make the argument that competition is competition *because* it is the focus. And that's the last thing I want from my training. Others may disagree, but I have yet to hear a benefit of competition training that I cannot gain from non-competitive training.