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Old 08-17-2006, 10:30 AM   #20
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: Competition again!!!

David Skaggs wrote:
Thank you George.

I was thinking along that thought since that was written in 1935. I would appreciate your opinion about the competition part.

In Kisshomaru's book he says that O'Sensei, "concluded that the true spirit of budo is not to be found in a competitive and combative atmosphere where brute strength dominates and victory at any cost is the paramount objective." Doesn't this define O'Sensei's meaning of competition as 'winning or losing' and not 'seeking together'?

Thank You
In O-Sensei's original context, it was pre-war (or at least before our entry into the war that had been going on in Asia for years). I don't think his thinking about the competitive mind had changed yet to his post-war viewpoint. I belive that he meant this in the way that it would have been meant in any of the combat oriented jiu jutsu arts. If you train with someone in the combat arts with a competitive mind set you will be injured, perhaps severly. This is why training was done in Kata and there would be little or no competition.

I believe that O-sensei was as effected by the devastation of WWII as most Japanese were, perhaps even more so because of his spiritual beliefs about the uniqueness of the Japanese spirit and the Way of the Kami. I think that he saw that Japan had been led astray by its notions of conquest and that this oppositional thinking had produced its own destruction. At that point, I think his notion of not competing started to have more of the sense of not having the competing mind because it didn't fit with the spiritual lesson he felt the art should be imparting.

Howver, I do not think that he felt that shiai, competition in the sense of competing to perfect oneself was wrong, It was just that to do so would require rules and regulations that would change the martial nature of the art and he wasn't willing to do that. If one looks at the whole issue from his point of view, he saw an essential connection existing between all things that made it fundamentally inappropriate to talk about winning and losing. If the two opponents are really one, how can one win over the other? This is where he gets to the idea that the real conflict with is with oneself and he talks about masakatsu agatsu, tuer victory is victory over oneself.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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