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Old 02-26-2012, 01:42 PM   #30
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
Re: My thoughts on competition vs Non-competioin

Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
Aikido is a great martial art for the egotistical: they never have their delusions challenged; dealing with 'defeat' every time you practice, as in sparring/randori, forces you to be humble.
As a generalized rule, it has been my experience that some of the most small-minded views of competition seem to come from people who have never participated in that type of environment at any high levels for any appreciable periods of time. I find this trend to be particularly acute in the Aikido world.

People who have (and do) participate in competitive areas at high levels for sustained periods of time typically have a perspective similar to the one that I posted in previously in this thread. Those of us who come from those backgrounds and are very active in Aikido take those important perspectives and use them within the paradigm of Aikido training.

Marc Abrams
I agree with both of these points. As grapplers we grew up losing and learning ...all the time. I have long since lost track of how many times I got my butt handed to me. The only reason I can now do what I do is specifically because of how many times I learned via losing. This was compounded by real life encounters where I could have died. Many TMA teachers seem to be actually afraid of losing or being put in a position where they could lose. Personally, I find some peoples arrogance of entering in on these discussion cheap and cowardly. They never paid the price but want first class tickets. We must avoid saying the truth as the truth is seen as a personal attack, but there is one reason and one reason only that they will never appear on a mat to be stress tested-they know the outcome and they fear it. Curiously, on one level they fawn disinterest, but one the other they can't seem to stop themselves from interjecting into discussions above their paygrade that they claim disinterest in. Thankfully their fear and lack of true ability is transparent to most.
Having the conviction to make their proclaimed martial art skills-Martial- is one of the defining features of men like Bill Gleason or Ellis Amdur, Marc Abrams, Peter Bernath, Ray Cheong, Kevin Leavitt etc., who without reservation, put their asses on the line to see what they could do. And when it was handed back to them...they learned!!!

There is a reason that you seldom-if ever- hear of someone from Aikido who has ever won anything in a martial venue using Aikido or aiki alone to do so. As a martial art- Aikido doesn't work in a Martial sense against someone trained to fight back. For that reason alone we should be giving kudos to those in Aikido who are now stepping out and training IP/aiki and cross training in martial venues, making Aikido work more and more as a martial art. I have a personal interest to those actively training to possess aiki and making aiki both deadly and controlling instead of some artificial harmonious state predicated on totally false parameters. I agree with the increasing number of Aikido-ka who are summarily rejecting the over cooperative, falsely harmonious model that Aikido was for them.

As much as people complain, in years to come this is more than likely going to be referred to as the new golden age of aikido where Westerners take over the art and make it once again viable instead of relying on the terrible examples and teaching models we were given in the past. Cross training is revitalizing and educating smart people in the art (well most I have met in Budo are actually pretty bright so that's not what I mean) Rather it is the smart people who have started cross training as opposed to those who don't who are changing the art for the better. I think without them the art (well really ALL the arts) would be headed for the grave.
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