Hello, Guys and Gals!
Whatever we may say, this thread raises much interest. But we must try to be as clear as possible about our points. So, let's see :
KAMI (QUOTE) : "I'm against competition not because it's done in this way or that way...I'm against it for the same reasons O-Sensei was : "There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. "Defeat" means to defeat the mind of contention that we harbor within"."
SAM (QUOTE) : "I strongly object to the suggestion that competition in aikido is morally wrong and that it will somehow harm aikido...I try to be an open minded preson and that is why I am not upset despite the fact that a lot of people feel free to critise Professor. Tomiki...Please dicuss competition, but you have no right to take the moral high ground here."
KAMI : (Answer) - Sam, read again my post. There's no moral high ground or accusations that competition is "morally wrong",only that it isn't good based on Aikido principles. Also, no one on this list, up to know, has criticized Tomiki Kenji Sensei. If anyone did, IT WASN'T HERE. We may disagree with Tomiki Kenji's ideas, since he was much more influenced by Kano Jigoro than by Ueshiba Sensei, but that's all. He was a very intelligent man and deserves our respect.
What I did say, following O-Sensei's ideas is that competition is against the better ideas of Aikido, since whenever you have a competition (IN ANY INSTANCES) there are winners and losers. IMHO, Aikido is joy, pleasure and cooperation, not competition.
JIM23 (QUOTE) : "Kami wrote:
I saw brazilian champion Aurélio Miguel crying uncontrollably after winning JUST the second place...
You went to watch this? Did you pay?
KAMI : (Answers) - No...It was an open event. To talk about something, one needs to watch it, don't you think?
TEDEEHARA (QUOTE) : "Like Kami mentioned, competition has taken over Judo. However, there are also judo groups like Zen Judo which are non-competitive and concentrate on perfecting technique. Perhaps there is also enough room in the world for both a martial art and competitive approach to Aikido."
KAMI : There isn't, I'm sorry! The Kano Society, the Zen Judo group and a few others, are small islands in the middle of a vast ocean of competition. Competition has the money, the propaganda and the media. How many people in the world ever heard about the Kano Society? Remember that even today many people gets surprised when they hear that Aikido (for the most part) has no competition. "What, no competitions?"
KELVIN (QUOTE) : "Competition is part and parcel of life. It is linked to one's ego. Only the enlightened masters like O'sensei who have reached that high level of oneness with the universe can truly reject competition. For the rest of us, trying to reject competition is like trying to reject our humanity."
KAMI : (Answers) - Death is a part of life and everybody fights against it. Disease is a part of life but everybody tries to avoid it and if they get sick they try to overcome it. Impatience, anger and violence are a part of some people's natures but to live in society we have to fight against it.
The fact that competition (in a violently competitive society in capitalism) is a part of our lives isn't a reason for us to aplaud competition and promote it. I think that quite on the contrary...
IRONY (QUOTE) : "While Kami may be correct in his assessment of competition I think that this is something that is not just on the physical level of formal competition, but on the individual's mental state while doing Aikido."
KAMI : (Answers) - I think that competition enhances and promotes the competitive spirit. The "Individual's mental state" is heavily competitive and agressive or nothing else. "To compete, not to win" is an impossibility
KARL KUHN (QUOTE) : "The concern about whether "competition" will corrupt Aikido is difficult to address in these forums because without first hand experience with the Shodokan method and its culture people have a tendency to project all of the failures of competitive events onto it. For instance "it's very common to see winners jump and strut like peacocks around the arena, with a savage happiness in their faces, whilst losers get out absolutely dismayed." Now, that makes good copy, but it does not accurately reflect the experience of Randori Shiai. I would caution against people making sweeping generalizations about something they have not experienced. I would also suggest that while some events are like that described, many more are not."
KAMI : (Answers) - Sorry, Karl, but "I would caution against people making sweeping generalizations about something they have not experienced". You don't know me but you claim that I have no experience about Tomiki Aikido. I have and my son has even participated as an invited guest in Tomiki competition. I talk about what I know and what I know is that I saw too many inflated egos in TA. I respect Tomiki Aikido practitioners that enjoy competition. To each his own. But I would remind you that competition, in Tomiki Aikido, never really took hold. There are many Tomiki dojo that do not participate in competition and quite a few offshoots (Fugakukai, Jiyushinkai...) that have abandoned it. Toshu Randori was abandoned after some time and Tanto Randori was the most practiced format. Now I heard that Toshu Randori is being studied again for competition. In Tomiki Aikido competition, the good techniques are rare and are usually seen in the higher grades and it seems the greater part of the competitors are universities's students. Anyway, I do not pontificate on Tomiki Aikido. They have their own organization and their own practitioners. If they choose to have competitions, it's their own concern, not mine. I talk only about non-competitive styles, if they choose to hear me. I have talked long with Peter Goldsbury, Chairman of the International Aikido Federation about this topic. Just as the Doshu (Aikikai), he doesn't like the idea but he's getting some return from Aikikai people.
Finally, the fact that there's competition (in a small scale) in Tomiki and Ki-Aikido (and in an even smaller scale in Yoshinkan) is no indication of the future for Aikido. For my part, I sincerely hope, for the reasons I explained (and not for "moral" reasons), that it will not come to pass.
Best regards and a good, non-competitive, Keiko