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Old 02-15-2005, 07:02 PM   #85
L. Camejo
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Dojo: Ontario Martial Arts
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,423
Re: Competition in Aikido

Personally, I think the entire concept of "cooperative model" versus "competitive model" a bit of a moot point that actually holds no substance. Things are never that black or white. There is no such model on either side as far as I've experienced - at some point during cooperative training one evolves to the point where the technical integrity of what one is doing is "tested" in some way or form so that one can locate flaws and improve. Same way with those who practice with "competitive" methods it does not mean that this is the only mode of practice, otherwise no one will be able to learn anything as a beginner, where cooperation is necessary.

The term competition when used with Aikido often explains one single and small aspect of the training method that Tomiki K. created. Some forget that he was one of the earlier instructors at the Aikikai Hombu where cooperative practice is the norm. I doubt he would just dump what he learnt as an instructor there and try to reinvent the wheel just for the sake of creating "competitive" Aikido.

Also, like some others, I fail to see why one believes that a person who engages in competition is somewhat stunted in one's development as a Budoka. I find the concept totally ridiculous actually. If one approaches one's training with the mindset of doing Budo (a mindset I admit many Aikidoka do not have toward their training) then one attempts to explore the totality of the art in it's depth and breadth. I just don't see what special elements exist in the single act of competing that naturally causes this "lack of development" that Rob is indicating. Egotism and egocentricism is in no way the domain of the competitor alone. In fact from my experience it is the competitor who is often in more check of his/her ego from being constantly reminded that there are many out there who are as if not more skilled at what one does. Like some others, I have found the stunting effects of the ego to be a lot more widespread among non competitors who live in a false sense of reality of what they are actually capable of. As I said before, this is often seen when many non competitive Aikidoists try to go train at Judo and BJJ clubs where there is a lot of competition training and try to cop a "holier than thou" attitude in the other style's dojo (another product of the falsely embellished ego).

I admire Wynand's desire to test himself and get some sort of objective measure of his ability. There are many ways to do this, competition is one of the safer methods. Knowing one's ability tends to take on an air of increased importance when one lives in a society where personal ability to defend oneself is a high priority. It sounds like he loves the Aikido that he is practising but frustrated by the lack of an objective measure within that training method. The only other thing I can recommend to him is to try and make it to one of the regional or international tournaments and take part in the individual tanto and toshu shiai and try to learn as much as possible from the experience. Another idea may be to join an MMA club and do a lot of heavy sparring while using one's Aikido to see how it works. Personally, I can understand and empathise with where he is coming from.

Just my thoughts.

Last edited by L. Camejo : 02-15-2005 at 07:06 PM.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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