Re: Competition in Aikido
I was under the impression that we were supposed to blend with situations, to achieve harmony. By fighting, haven't we already failed in Aikido? I suppose it could be argued that fighting and competition are two different things but it's still two opposing forces that should seek harmony.
But as for competition to curb egos, what about the guy that comes out on top? I doubt that'll deflat an ego and probably do the opposite.
As far as raw skill vs those who work hard, I'm of the opinion that those who work hard deserve the rewards they reap. Were I a Sensei, I'm sure I would pay more attention to those who showed up every class and gave it their all rather than the one who showed up when they felt like it because they believed themselves to be good enough not to have to practice as often.
Perhaps my own dojo is coloring my opinion. In our dojo, rank is unimportant. We are tested when our Sensei thinks it's time for us to be tested, we wear no colored belts other than white or a hakema. Our Sensei is currently a 3rd Dan (Sandan?) and I've been told he's declined to test for his 4th on multiple occasions, because rank to him means little. It's more about what one can personally do. When we have seminars guest instructors are often impressed we can adapt to their style with little difficulty (though that's mostly the others since I've only just passed my 6th kyu). No one really cares who's the best, we all help each other's technique whenever we can.
So when it boils down to it, who cares where you'd rank in your dojo, it's a personal development where the only competetion should be against oneself.
Just my two cents, if I'm way off I appreciate criticism and if I've hit close to the mark, I'd like to know as well.