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Old 03-22-2001, 11:08 PM   #72
Dojo: Jiyushinkan
Location: Mesa, AZ
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 199
Cool This IS randori, man!

Magma wrote:
Jim Vance,
You build a mountain in your effort to explain a shadow.
That is a great quote. I would have to agree with you. It's my style. Let me say that after reading your post, I saw a couple areas I did not make clear and I would have to agree with you. My intent was not to single you out by the way. I thought you had supplied one of the more intelligent questions in regards to competition in this very LONG thread.

I agree with your initial postulate that points tend to move the training into the realm of sport, but then you abandon that, saying that competition is in everyday life and also in our kata training.
You are right, but I don't think I abandoned anything. I just don't think it right to think "sport" every time the word "competition" is used. How can uke give a committed attack without being competitive? And this does not mean that the whole practice is competitive. It is one little controlled version that exists under a greater blanket of cooperation.

..."are you a loser?" Your use of the word "loser" here is obsequious and inflammatory, causing every person of any self-esteem at all quickly to reply, "No, not me! I'm no loser!" But people are not running to agree with you in that statement, they are running away from the connotation "loser" has in our culture. ...In that contest, I am the loser; I am not "a" loser, with the connotation you casually employ.
I confer and profusely apologize.

So, back to my question, do people really misunderstand?
If we are talking about the word "compete" compared to the word "sport", I think so. That was the point I was trying to make. Competition is a process we are doing together to lift each other up (look up the latin roots), not just something where one person is being rewarded over another. Competition is like playing jazz, where soloists are trying to play different pieces that encourage the entire band, but that only they can do. They do not play their parts at the expense of the rhythm or connection to the rest of the band members. It is essentially the freedom to do whatever you would like and test yourself or express yourself. Sport is only one little part of competition, but we always refer to it when discussing anything remotely physical.

However, we are also aware that as soon as points are awarded, the focus shifts *onto* the competition. And in an activity such as tanto randori (the tomiki definition), that shift in focus, along with the points, turn it into sport rather than art... rather than budo.

But just so that we're all clear, I don't care if someone wishes to train that way, I just want them to be honest that what they are doing is sport.
I couldn't agree more. We don't use points in our randori, and I think anyone who does is participating in a sport. Why keep score?

My questions don't come from a loathing of competition in aikido, but from a desire to learn what benefits people get from it that I don't get from my normal training. I'm looking for something that will make me want to include the tomiki style tanto randori (or other similar competition events) in my daily/monthly training.
I think this is why I used your previous post; I could sense this attitude of curiousity and intelligence. (I am not just blowing sunshine up your ass, I just believe in giving credit where it is due.) As far as adding a competitive aspect to your regular training, I would not unless it was under the direction of a skillful teacher who has experience teaching non-sport, competitive training. Having someone come after you full force does not competition make. I had a very intense, slow randori session with my teacher tonight. Boy was it fun and frustrating. (Thank you Sensei.) You should come and train with us sometime. If you want more info, just email me off the forum. Hope this clears any confusion and emotion.

Jim Vance
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