Darin Hyde wrote:
Tomiki and Yoseikan have competitions but I don't think their tournaments are open to all styles.
I haven't heard that much bickering about which style is best but I have heard out of shape instructors boasting they can take on 5 people at once or be able to easily deal with someone who is trained in another art.
As someone who has been repeatedly whipped to the mat by some of these "out of shape" instructors, I respectfully decline to denegrate them. Impressive physical fitness (read: "looks like he/she could kick your A**") is not a requirement for practicing the art -- some of the best Aikidoka out there look like your grandmother in a Gi and hakima
. They don't have to be able to run a 5 minute mile to deal with you, or jump tall buildings in a single bound, or even to be abe to bench press their own body weight 5 times. They only need to be able to apply the "non-violent" art of Aikido effectively and appropriately to deal with your attacks, until you are too tired to continue or painfully disabled and unable to do so. That doesn't take strength, nor even all that much stamina -- just experience, intelligence, timing, and grace under pressure.
IMHO, If you really want to see competetive "Aikido" and are only impressed by the use of physical domination to determine a pecking order -- look to Gracie-style Jujitsu and the full-contact competitions... A lot of aikido can be found reflected in jujitsu, and competition weeds out the less effective but more flowery techniques to something more brutal and effective... You might even enjoy it, for a while, until you are injured and unable to continue to compete.